FC Dallas trained today from 8:30-10 a.m. Central time on the stadium field at Pizza Hut Park in preparation of tomorrow’s match against the New England Revolution (7:30 p.m. on FSSW Plus).
FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman moved quickly into an intrasquad game. The coach placed players in various positions trying to find the right fit to combat injuries to Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, George John and Daniel Hernandez as well as the suspension to Brek Shea.
“It is interesting,” Hyndman said after practice. “The four guys we have over there working on recovering are a goalkeeper, the two guys in front of him in Ugo and George, and the guy in front of them – midfielder Daniel Hernandez. It is quite remarkable how well we played down a man for so long against New York. I even thought we had the better scoring chances in the second half of the game.”
“I told the team at halftime if we kept our structure and got an extra five or 10 percent of everyone’s work ethic, we would get a good result. But I thought the game would end 1-1, not 2-2.”
Hyndman addresses starting lineup against New England
“[Marvin] Chavez and [Eric] Avila are good choices to start out wide,” Hyndman said. “We could also bring Dax [McCarty] out on the right and move Atiba [Harris] out to the left. Another choice is starting Eric Alexander out wide. That’s the neat thing about this sport. In American football, you don’t see guys changing position too often, but because the game is always moving and players are making runs all over the field, you can try a guy at different spot.”
“Look at Jackson. He’s a right back or a right mid. He has played center back the last two games. I am sure if I asked him to play left back tomorrow he’d say ok. The bigger issue now is that we have fewer options.”
Cunningham looking sharp
Early in the scrimmage, Jeff Cunningham received a pass at the top of the box. He cut to his right without the ball before turning a pair of defenders inside out by stepping twice back to his left with the ball. The move split the defenders and Cunningham tapped a shot off the near post from a tight angle.
Dead ball situations
Following the scrimmage, David Ferreira took several corner kicks from the right flag. Moises Hernandez then sent some nice crosses into the back post from the opposite side of the pitch. Goalkeeper Dario Sala came off his line to intercept a few of the crosses and start a counter-attack. Practice officially came to an end a few minutes later, but everyone stayed after to work on a finishing drill with FC Dallas Assistant Coach Marco Ferruzzi.
Dax McCarty, Peri Marosevic and Milton Rodriguez all had nasty finishes to the back post early on in the drill. McCarty added a second quality finish via a half-volley from a cross sent in from the right flank. Brek Shea and Jair Benitez continually sent nice balls in from the left flank. Jackson, Atiba Harris and Zach Loyd worked the right flank. Hyndman talked strategy with Ugo Ihemelu and Daniel Hernandez for several minutes before speaking to reporters. The finishing drill wrapped up with a nifty finish from Bruno Guarda, who heeled a ball into the back of the net with his first touch.
As always, Cunningham was one of the last players off the pitch after working on penalty kicks with Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez and Ruben Luna. Shea was the very last player off of the field following training. He completed a fitness drill by himself.