Following a 3-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday in Washington, FC Dallas got back to work today on the adidas Field at 8:30 a.m. Now that the team has secured their share of the all-time MLS road unbeaten streak record (9-game), they turned their focus to defending Pizza Hut Park against Chivas USA (5-10-4) this Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Training began with a plyometrics session focused on short bursts and recovery runs.
Midfielder Dax McCarty, who made a short appearance against Inter Milan on Aug. 5, fully participated in the plyometrics drills and looked well on his way to returning to the starting lineup. McCarty has been out since straining his right quadriceps muscle in a match against Real Salt Lake on July 17.
Defender Ugo Ihemelu, who missed his first full match since the first game of the 2010 season, was absent. Ihemelu suffered a concussion and left the game in the 20th minute of FC Dallas’ 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Aug. 8. He did not travel to Washington, D.C. with the team last weekend. Rookie defender Zach Loyd filled in admirably for Ihemelu, helping FC Dallas to its first win in RFK Stadium since 2005.
There was another new face at training today – Brazilian trialist Flavio Dias.
“Flavio is a striker who has played with a lot of different teams in Brazil,” Hyndman said. “We wanted to get him in here and have a look at him.”
Dias has spent time with various clubs including Santos, Grêmio, Acadèmica de Coimbra, Avaí, Ituano FC and Ypiranga FC.
The team huddled up for a short talk at 9:05 a.m. before breaking into four teams to play a game that limited the players to one or two touches on the ball per possession. Dias made a strong play early in the session, getting wide to receive a pass before driving in a low cross.
FC Dallas’ newest signee, Jackson Goncalves, also showed his value on the right flank, beating defenders and crossing two precise balls to David Ferreira and Brek Shea on the back post.
The squad broke into two groups at 9:40 a.m. The first group worked an offense versus defense drill while the second focused on finishing.
Eric Alexander, who picked up his first MLS assist and goal on Saturday, ran the point for the second string offense (Alexander, Jason Yeisley, Moises Hernandez, Eric Avila, Edson Edward, Bruno Guarda, Peri Marosevic and Milton Chavez). The starting defense (Heath Pearce, Zach Loyd, George John, Jair Benitez, Daniel Hernandez and Atiba Harris) worked on keeping their shape while the offense shifted the point of attack.
Alexander remained on the attack when the focus shifted to working on the team offense. Hyndman also brought in Brek Shea, Milton Rodriguez and David Ferreira from the finishing drill to supplement the attack.
The drill closed with a nifty combination between Harris and
Ferreira at the top of the box. Ferreira played a through ball to Harris, who
faked the one-time cross before laying a ball back to a wide open Ferreira, who
finished clinically to the far upper 90.
The team completed a rigorous full-field sprinting drill before circling up to stretch and conclude the session.