On Wednesday morning, FC Dallas chose to rise and shine to train at 7:15. After all, they didn’t want to miss the U.S. vs. Algeria game later that morning.
FCD had been starting training at around 9:30 a.m., but FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman opted to move the schedule up a bit to accommodate for the crucial World Cup match, which meant that players had to report to Pizza Hut Park by 6:45.
When asked if the new schedule could become a regular thing, Hyndman mulled that possibility and said that, with the U.S. continuing on, the team may do that a bit more.
“The guys wanted to see the game, so I gave them three choices: one, come out early; two, watch the full game and then come out at 11:30, when it’s 100 degrees out; or three, let’s stay and watch the first half,” Hyndman said. “They all wanted to see the full game and come out here early.”
For the most part, the feedback Hyndman got on the earlier session was positive.
“What might end up happening is they come up and tell me it wasn’t too bad,” Hyndman said, suggesting the possibility of a cooler 8 a.m. training session, with players reporting at 7:30.”
In fact, having early training harkened the manager back to his days as a collegiate coach at Southern Methodist University.
“When I was at SMU, we always did morning training. A big part of it was to get the guys out of the heat, [but] also to kind of wake the guys up for classes,” Hyndman said. “Also, you hoped it would curb their evenings and they wouldn’t be staying out too late with practice [the next day]. I don’t know how much that all worked, but I think they really enjoyed the morning practices.”
FCD captain Daniel Hernandez, who played for Hyndman at SMU, remembers those early morning sessions very well.
“Yeah, I remember those 7:30 a.m. practices. It’s tough getting up in the morning, but it definitely helps to beat the sun out,” Hernandez said. “I think we’re able to perform a little better and have a little harder of a training session. I don’t mind training in the sun. I think it helps us and gives us an advantage. We’ll see. I’m sure it was just one day for this U.S. game.”
Fellow midfielder Eric Avila was also forced to adjust his schedule on Tuesday night.
“I’m never in bed by 9 p.m., and that was my first time,” he said. “I usually watch TV and stuff but I had to cut it short. I woke up in the morning and was like, never again. It is a lot cooler, but [it’s still too] early.”
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