FC Dallas is leaving the rolling plains of Frisco behind and heading south for a weeklong training trip to Cancun, Mexico.
While the beautiful beaches offer the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation, manager Schellas Hyndman hardly envisions it as such. In fact, training camp is just ramping up in the eyes of their manager.
“Things are going to change,” Hyndman said on Monday. “It’s going to be more into team structure. It’s going to be more into identifying who we are going to keep.”
The team assembled by Hyndman this off-season is finally starting to take form - at least in the locker room.
Building the team on paper is simple. Now the manager must focus on acclimating the new players to their teammates and building team chemistry.
“I think we need to start developing team coordination,” Hyndman said. “How do you get better with a guy unless you start playing with him? You must start to read him, start to understand him.”
On the other hand, Hyndman is still searching for the final pieces to balance out his roster. Among the club’s top needs are a right-side midfielder and another striker for depth.
A number of trialists have trained with the team in Frisco and will travel to Mexico, including forward Scott Sealy and defender Scott Gordon. While the two have impressed in camp thus far, they and the other roster hopefuls will face fresh competition on the team’s trip.
“There are probably four or five players going to Cancun that are on the bubble, so we have to see how they’re doing compared to our other players,” said Hyndman. “I think there are two or three players that will be joining us in Mexico that we will be looking at. Some of the teams we will be playing against will also have some players that we will want to evaluate.”
The team is scheduled to play three exhibition scrimmages while in Mexico.
The first test will come on Thursday, as the club will take on Inter Playa del Carmen, a third-tier Mexican club. The second scrimmage on Saturday will match the club against the U-23 squad of Atlantes FC of the Mexican first division.
The team’s final match will be on Monday, when the team takes on the New York Red Bulls in a preview of the season opener on March 11.
“We’ve got three games down there, so things get pretty serious,” Shea said. “At the same time, we’ve got to work on some things as a team, knowing that there are a lot of new guys. We’ve got to get the chemistry back. If we don’t get results right away, it’s no big deal.”