FC Dallas returned to the adidas training field this morning, mere hours after tying high-powered Red Bull New York 2-2 despite playing a man down for 61 minutes. FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman took the opportunity to work extensively with the reserves. The first team participated in a regeneration session conducted by Michael Johnson Performance’s Steward Carlisle.
The preliminary drill of the day focused on combination play. The player starting with the ball would play a one-two pass with the man in front of him before knocking a cross to one of two flank players stationed 20 yards away. After returning the pass to the player who began the drill, the second player would track back to the flank player that received the cross and play another one-two pass. The flank player would then return the ball to where the drill began, restarting the cycle. Once a player made their pass, they would move to the next station in the drill.
The offensive advantages of playing down a man
Finished with the regeneration session, the first team players observed the end of the warm-up drill. While waiting to talk to a reporter, Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander discussed playing a man down against Red Bull New York.
“During the normal run of play, you never want to go off on your own and dribble too much and end up turning the ball over,” Alexander said. “But when you’re down a man and you do get a chance offensively, you have the opportunity to try something new with the ball. It’s a personal judgment, whether you want to see if you can beat a few defenders. It’s a sacrifice. Then you hustle back and return to the defensive system.”
Alexander certainly made the correct decision last night against New York when he beat three defenders and slid a ball underneath Red Bull goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul for a 2-1 Dallas lead in the 68th minute.
After finishing the combination drill, Hyndman divided the players into teams of four for a possession drill.
|Eric Avila||Edson Edward||Marvin Chavez||Bryan Leyva|
|Brek Shea||Bruno Guarda||Marco Feruzzi||Moises Hernandez|
|Kyle Davies||Andrew Wiedeman||George John||Peri Marosevic|
|Jason Yeisley||Jeff Cunningham||Ruben Luna||Victor Ulloa|
The object of the drill was simply to keep the ball away from the other teams. Teams would earn a point for completing eight passes in a row without losing possession. Midway through the drill, Hyndman limited the number of touches each player had to increase movement off of the ball.
The drill was run at a high pace. It was highlighted by a series of three consecutive heel passes in a very small space between Wiedeman, Cunningham and Guarda.
Kevin Hartman was not at practice today. Ugo Ihemelu worked out with FC Dallas’ Assistant Athletic Trainer Alan Reed, taking shots on goal. George John fully participated in practice and completed additional strength drills after the conclusion of today’s training session.
Hyndman on the status of George John
"We find it takes 10-14 days for a hamstring strain to heal. We were at seven. It came down to what you gain versus what you give up. We did not think having George in the lineup last night was worth the risk of not having him the remainder of the season."
Hyndman on Dario Sala
"Dario is a player with many years of experience. He is able to come in and handle any situation."