There's a big question on every FC Dallas fan's mind, an elephant in the room so to speak: How is David Ferreira looking? But that's not the question that I'm going to answer at all. You have to buy a ticket to March 11th for that.* So I'll stick to something a little easier.. the good, the bad, and the ugly of Cancun.
The guys in the media department asked if I would provide an update on the preseason trip. I swear every time they ask me to write a story, I think of really great things to say. This time I was going to talk about "raising the bar" and enhancing the individual expectations. I start to feel like Hemingway getting ready to use metaphors and personification. It'd have beautiful compound sentences. My words could change your life or get used in 50 years in a sixth grade English class. I get really excited about it. But then I realize I'm not exactly sure what a metaphor is and spelling isn't really my thing. I'm just a guy that kicks a soccer ball (and apparently people). Truth is they would have had someone else write the story for the website, but anyone that follows @hernandezsoccer on Twitter knows the options are limited (and dangerous).
But back to the point: what's going on in Cancun? Let's start with the good. Training has been sharp. The injured guys are starting to make their way back and they look good. I'd give you the details but that's not my job. You just have to come to a game to find out.**
More important than individual sessions, though, is the team bonding aspect. Coach constantly reminds us that games are won with more than skill. It's not just passing and trapping that gets the job done. It's focus and determination and intelligence. It's working as a team and pushing each other to go beyond what the other side is willing to do. Qualities you can't get from just stepping on a field and doing drills. They grow from telling stories and sharing jokes. They are enhanced when you do two sessions in a day on a random field in a random country with water bottles that might make you sick for days. They are increased on 30 minute bus rides to and from practice every day. And they are developed at the dinner table.
Without families to spend time with, we only have each other. I've got no one to tell about my preference for breakfast buffets except my roommate, Matt Hedges. And he has nothing else to do but listen. And after enough of those conversations we become friends. And after we become friends, we work harder for each other on the field. It's not easy to get a whole team together at home, amassing all of the different countries, cultures, and languages to a dinner table. But a preseason trip makes it possible.
The bad. Hartman lost two in a row yesterday. His team jumped out to an early lead but they couldn't hold on. He was yelling his brains out. Frustration showed on every line of his face. He was putting every ounce of energy possible to get his team back into the game. The people in front of him just weren't getting it done, though. Going into the third round, he really had his back up against the wall. His team needed him to put up another big performance. Fortunately, that's just when Kev shines. He opened the match with a patented double kill.
What? You thought we were talking about soccer? Definitely not. Hartman travels with an XBox on every road trip. Him and Seitz "kill noobs" as often as they can. They once made a rookie switch rooms because the TV and couch setup was better for gaming. It's important to have the right size screen and the proper distance from the TV, you know. They would probably even trade running water in their room for a stable internet connection. But to their credit, they are good. In the world of Halo Reach, they've got street cred.
The ugly. The hate I am going to get from Kevin after he reads this. Wish me luck.
Peace out girl scouts.
*Hey FCD Ticket Sales, can a brother get some commission or what?
**Hey FCD Ticket Sales, my rate increases the longer I write.