After beating SMU 3-1 at Pizza Hut Park last Friday night, FC Dallas packed their bags and headed for the Sunshine State, where they're set to play at least four MLS teams over the next six days.
Schellas Hyndman's men got off to a good start, easing past the Seattle Sounders, 2-0, on Monday afternoon. Brek Shea tallied a goal and an assist for Marvin Chavez, and Dallas were able to hold on despite playing with 10 men after new signing Andrew Jacobson was red-carded for a challenge from behind.
Hyndman said he appreciates the value in playing quality opposition during preseason.
“I think the big thing is playing the MLS teams," Hyndman said before the team left for Florida. "I think my first year we didn’t do enough of that, and I recognized that. It was a false illusion that we were doing pretty good [in preseason]."
Monday's win marked the debut of Jacobson, and though it turned out to be a far-from-auspicious outing for the midfielder, Hyndman is excited about acquiring the former Union man.
“I think it was one of those deals where it wasn’t working for him there and he’s a good player," Hyndman said. "He’s played a lot as a holding midfielder. He’s also a player that can come back and play center back and right back because he’s got very, very good feet."
Jacobson could find himself battling Daniel Hernandez for starts in 2011. The veteran captain returned to play on Friday after recovering from knee surgery early in the offseason and was eager to work on getting his fitness — and sharpness — back.
“It’s always good because the best way of getting back in shape and getting to know your teammates and getting back in that rhythm is just playing games," Hernandez said. "You can do all that fitness in the world, but if you don’t play games and get used to each other in match form, I think that’s the best thing we can do."
But one player who likely won’t see action this week is third-year center back George John, who continues to recover from surgery to remove bone spurs from one of his ankles.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself," John said. "I’ve learned with these injuries that if you push it too hard, you might come up with another injury, and that’s no fun.”
FCD came into the trip well rested as their last practice was on Thursday. That should prepare them well for this week's full slate of games, which includes the four-team Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Buena Vista, Fla. That's scheduled to kick off on Thursday against USL PRO side Orlando City SC.
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