FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman was happy with the play of rookie central defender Matt Hedges against Seattle.
It was the first career MLS start for the University of North Carolina product, who played in place of captain Ugo Ihemelu.
“[He did] very good," Hyndman said. "Very good. We were winning every air battle. That’s George [John] and Hedges. They were dominating everything in the air.”
The 22-year-old was originally drafted as a replacement for John, who was on loan at English club West Ham. When John returned, Hedges took a back seat, but took full advantage of his opportunity on Wednesday night.
“We were very happy with getting Matt some playing time,” Hyndman said. “We drafted him because we never expected George to return, so we almost have to many people in the center back position and not enough people that can score goals. Matt did very well for the first game.”
Best of the bunch
With all the injuries and suspensions, Jair Benítez was forced from his usual left back position to left midfield against Seattle. The 33-year-old Colombian handled the move in stride, but could not help prevent defeat.
“I really think Jair had one of his best games this year,” Hyndman said. “We’re again playing players out of position. I thought he did a very good job on the left side. He got forward, he served early services, he gave good balls, he took our corner kicks, our free kicks. I thought he was very active.”