FC Dallas returned to the adidas Field at 8:30 a.m. today, following their 1-0 win against Toronto FC at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday. Brek Shea, Heath Pearce, Marvin Chavez, David Ferreira, Jair Benitez, Eric Alexander, Zach Loyd, George John, Jackson and goal scorer Jeff Cunningham all took part in a regeneration session conducted by Michael Johnson Performance’s Stuart Carlisle.
Goalkeepers Dario Sala and Kevin Hartman worked with coach Drew Keeshan on the south goal while the remainder of the team ran through a technical skills session with FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman.
Players were separated into three groups of four. Each group would place one player on each end and two in the middle of a 5 x 10 yard area. The players in the middle would work wall passes with one another after receiving an inlet pass from the players on the ends. Once a player would make a pass, they would move to the point to which they had passed the ball. The ball and the players were constantly moving.
After several minutes, Hyndman introduced new variations of the drill. The first was to have the target player check in front of his teammate in the middle. When the inlet pass came, the player would dummy the ball and look to receive a one-two pass from his teammate on the opposite side of the cone. The drill would then continue as it had before the variation with each player getting an opportunity at each position.
Hyndman always gave the target player the option to make his own decision between variations. For example, the player could dummy the ball as the second variation called for or he could play a simple wall pass with the second man in the middle.
The third variation was to have the target player check away from the player outside before returning to the ball and receiving it with his back foot. By receiving the ball with his back foot, the target man would draw in his defender before beating them with a one-two pass with the second man in the middle.
The fourth variation called for the player on the outside to chip a ball into the chest of the second man in the middle, who would then lay the ball off for the target player to receive the ball on the run.
Following a short break, Hyndman moved the combination play to the outside of the field. After the players completed the combination cycle, they would cross a ball into the center for the third group to work on finishing. Players in the middle focused on timing their runs, losing their markers and shaping their bodies to the ball.
Player Availability Update
All five players who were unavailable to play against Toronto were back at practice, making strides towards recovery. Atiba Harris and Daniel Hernandez, who were serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation, will be available Saturday against San Jose. Milton Rodriguez, who sat out against Toronto with a strained left shoulder, fully participated in practice. Dax McCarty, who has been out since July 17 with a strained right quad, participated in the combination drills before working on ball striking drills with FC Dallas’ Head Athletic Trainer Josh Watts. Ugo Ihemelu, who suffered a concussion against Philadelphia on Aug. 8, worked with the ball for the first time at practice, volleying balls back into the hands of Assistant Athletic Trainer Alan Reid.