Cunningham has struggled to score thus far, but he's feeling refreshed after the break.
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

FC Dallas Notebook: State of the team ahead of Chivas USA

FRISCO, Texas -- Now that the nearly three weeks between matches is almost over, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman and his team are back to normal preparations with a Saturday match against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center looming.

FCD will play a final tune-up as they face off against against Dallas-area PDL side DFW Tornados on Tuesday morning at Pizza Hut Park.

“It’s going to be the starters tomorrow and then the reserves in the second half,” said Hyndman after training on Monday. “We want to get [the starters] some outside competition. We’ve gotten the reserves a lot of outside competition and want to continue to give them some games. Now we’ve got to get our starters some games. Before you know it, we’ll be in [Carson] playing.”

Hyndman’s club is now injury free, a trend he hopes to see continue.

“Injuries are a funny thing because once you talk about being injury free, it always seems like something happens,” the FCD coach said. “Right now, we’re pretty happy with the level of fitness, the injuries and players recovering. What we need to do now is pick up again on focus.”

Speaking of Trialists…

Last week, Dallas had Peter Philipakos in camp. The American-born midfielder, who played at St. John’s and most recently played abroad in Greece, is no longer on trial with the club, according to Hyndman.

Plans to bring in another Brazilian on trial, the last of a group of three players FCD Technical Director Barry Gorman recommended during a recent trip to South America, have hit a snag.

“There’s a little bit of an issue, so we’re waiting to see if that gets resolved. A lot of the time, players in Brazil aren’t owned by the club,” Hyndman said, “they’re owned by other people. So we’re trying to get everyone in one meeting room, which hasn’t been easy with the World Cup.”

About two weeks ago, FCD had Brazilian right back Jackson in on trial. He played in a friendly against the West Texas United Sockers but was not offered a roster spot and returned to South America early last week.

Returning to Work

After the league-wide World Cup break from June 9-14, Hyndman and his team returned to practice last week. Although the team was given last weekend off, things are now back to normal as FCD prepare for their first match since a 2-0 win over San Jose on June 5.


“We took about five days off, which was good, and trained last week. Now, we’re focusing for the league to start up again,” Hyndman said. “I think everybody is pretty good. We did a fitness test on Friday and I was happy to see everybody has improved. Obviously, we’re getting something out of training.”

One player who looks to be especially sharp after the break is top scorer Jeff Cunningham. Although the striker leads Dallas with four goals, he has struggled for much of the first third of the 2010 campaign.

“Absolutely, I think the break helps all of us but I think for Jeff, it was, ‘Let me get away, clear my head and get rid of bad karma to start fresh.’ He’s really come back with a good attitude and work ethic,” Hyndman said.

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