FC Dallas trained indoors today at Fieldhouse USA due to a full day of rain yesterday and most of last night. In spite of losing the ability to run a fully functional practice, FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman accomplished the most important thing on his list – “not picking up any additional injuries.”
Warm-up drills remained the same, but the players seemed to enjoy the preliminary passing drill, which utilized the indoor soccer arena’s walls. Following a sideline-to-sideline juggling drill, FC Dallas Assistant Coach John Ellinger handed out pennies and four teams rotated through a highly competitive day of training.
Rotating keep-away drill
The team began with another new version of the often used keep-away drill. Teams of three would attempt to rack up as many consecutive passes as possible in a very small area. Depending upon the result, teams would rotate to the next station to take on a new group of defenders.
Following the passing drill, Ellinger re-racked the teams for head-to-head indoor soccer.
|Dax McCarty||Daniel Hernandez||Eric Avila||Moises Hernandez|
|Eric Alexander||Brek Shea||Bryan Leyva||Bruno Guarda|
|Zach Loyd||Ugo Ihemelu||Peri Marosevic||Marvin Chavez|
|Jackson||Victor Ulloa||Andrew Wiedeman||David Ferreira|
|Jason Yeisley||Jeff Cunningham||Ruben Luna||Jair Benitez|
Luna broke a 0-0 deadlock between his yellow team and the white team when he sprinted straight down the middle of his attacking third of the field and launched a line drive into the back of the net. The goal was typical Ruben Luna – not full of a lot of flair, he just powered the ball into the back of the net.
Following practice, Hyndman discussed the possibility of Luna appearing in his first playoff match on Saturday.
“Rookies have done very well for us this season,” Hyndman said. “The quality of the leadership on this team allows us to play unproven guys and get good performances out of them. Ultimately, players get those opportunities when the situation demands it.”
Following a long stretch of possession from the blue team, Atiba Harris buried a low shot to the far post for a 1-0 victory over orange. The orange team remained on the field for the following match against white to allow the two winners to play. Their fatigue showed, and white posted a 2-0 win. The second of two goals was scored by Shea, who skillfully chipped goalkeeper Dario Sala from 35-yards.
Each of the last three matches ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Lightening up the mood, Hyndman had FC Dallas Equipment Manager Marcus Owens construct soccer tennis nets out of tape and four high chairs – or so he thought. More arguing took place than actual soccer tennis. It took five minutes for the first serve to be allowed between the orange and blue team due to a disagreement over the rules. Assistant Coach John Ellinger had his hands full refereeing the match, which eventually ended in favor of the orange team. The orange squad did have the unfair advantage of having Benitez and Chavez, two well-documented soccer tennis lawyers on the same team.
“We’ve got 10 referees on this team,” Bruno Guarda said after the first match.
Orange dispatched the yellow team even quicker than they beat up the blue team. Luna had some trouble with multiple net violations and Ferreira was too adept in charging forward from his back line position to spike game-winners. The white team offered the most resistance, but orange took the win in that match as well. Despite the lack of serious soccer training, the drill did requite significant communication, which will be a key to victory in noisy Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday (9 p.m. CT on Fox Soccer Channel).
Hyndman on Real Salt Lake without Javier Morales
"I’m pretty sure we’ll see Will Johnson in his spot. He is more of a two way player, a little more aggressive. Having him in there will allow [Kyle] Beckerman to get forward more often."