FC Dallas practiced on the stadium field at Pizza Hut Park today from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Central time. Currently enjoying a 14-game unbeaten streak and a six-game home winning streak, the team hosts Red Bull New York tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Following the usual stretching and warm-up sessions, FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman shortened the field and had the first team play the reserves in an 11 versus 11 scrimmage.
Cunningham/Chavez combo thwarted
Early on in the scrimmage Jeff Cunningham and Marvin Chavez worked a one-two pass through the middle of the opposing defense. Cunningham was nearly in alone on goal before defender Zach Loyd arrived on the scene. The last defender broke up the play with a sliding tackle that sent the ball out over the end line for a corner kick.
Hartman has both posts covered
Chavez nearly connected on a second goal-scoring opportunity with Eric Avila a few moments later. Chavez called for the ball on the right flank. Once the ball arrived, he sent a well-directed cross to the feet of Avila at the back post. Avila did well to strike the ball on goal with his first touch, but Hartman, coming from post to post made a solid save while falling to his right.
Sala also looking sharp
Going the other direction, David Ferreira was given too much space at the top of the area. Ferreira lined up a shot and hit a low drive to the right of Dario Sala, but the goalkeeper made a diving save to deny El Torito.
Towards the conclusion of the drill, defender Jair Benitez got forward on the left flank and challenged Sala a second time. The Argentine goalkeeper charged off his line to cut down Benitez’s angle. The ensuing shot caught the tip of Sala’s boot on its way out of play.
Hyndman brought the team in for a short talk before moving towards the north end of the stadium field to work on defending kicks from the flag. Avila stood over the ball and delivered crosses into the reserve players working against the first team defense. Forward Andrew Wiedeman rose above his defender and redirected a header to the back post on the very first attempt from the right corner flag.
After a few more successful attempts at shutting down the reserves from the flag, Hyndman progressed to defending against free kicks from the flanks and eventually free kicks from the top of the box. When the drill shifted from the right flank to the left, Ferreira narrowly missed picking out Loyd at the back post for a goal.
Hyndman concluded the session shortly after, but the entire team stayed after to work on various drills. Captain Daniel Hernandez chose to work on free kicks from the top right corner of the area. Hernandez crushed a free kick attempt on San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch in the first half of Saturday’s draw against the Earthquakes. Several of his attempts on goal at the end of practice found the top left corner of the goal.
Heath Pearce and Avila took turns in goal as the players moved into a crossing drill. The best goal of the day was scored by defender Esdon Edward, who drilled a header just overtop of Pearce’s head from six yards out. The final drill of the day utilized FC Dallas Assistant Coach Marco Ferruzzi. From roughly 30 yards from goal, the players would play Ferruzzi a ball in on the ground. Ferruzzi would chip the ball straight up into the air for the players to strike shots out of the air. Wiedeman scored his second solid finish of the day before Ferreira murdered a ball that fit just under the crossbar before breaking into a dance.
Hyndman on Red Bulls Trade For Mehdi Ballouchy
He’s a very good player, a player we’ve been interested in bringing here but they didn’t want to trade him within the conference. He’s technically very good and he has a great work ethic. If we end up playing Colorado in the playoffs, I’m glad we won’t have to face him.