PANAMA CITY, Panama - Since beginning their CONCACAF Champions League adventure nearly two months ago, FC Dallas has endured flight problems in both El Salvador and Mexico City delaying their return home for league games.
VISIT THE FC DALLAS CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HEADQUARTERS
So pardon them for flying charter with nearly 50 supporters and front office administration direct to Panama City in advance of Wednesday’s pivotal Group C match against Tauro FC at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
“Its great,” relished head coach Schellas Hyndman after the team’s hour-long training session Tuesday evening from the stadium. “I really think it’s a good decision by (FC Dallas President & CEO) Doug Quinn and ownership to do a charter because we got down here in like four hours.”
PHOTOS: FCD arrive and train in Panama ahead of critical CCL fixture
But not all of the Dallas regulars made the relaxing trip south for the fifth game of six in group play.
Left in Dallas were Jackson, Daniel Hernandez, and Brek Shea due to card suspensions and midfielder Ricardo Villar also remained in Texas following a long accumulation of minutes played.
In their absence, Hyndman mentioned two 2011 acquisitions that he wants to see perform Wednesday night.
“The player that needs to step up tomorrow is (Maykel) Galindo,” stated Hyndman. “He’s been with us all year from one injury to another and we need for him to get up and do the type of things that we think he is capable of doing.
“And then I think Bobby Warshaw needs to step up. It’s one thing to have a permanent fixture of Daniel (Hernandez) there, but now it’s like, ‘No Daniel, Bobby, this is what we drafted you for.’”
For Warshaw – who said the traveling FC Dallas support “means a lot” – the opportunity to start in the CONCACAF Champions League excites the former Stanford product.
“I’m going to go out and give my best and the guys around me are going to give their best,” said the 22-year-old. “Our expectations are to win and I think as a team, as FC Dallas, it doesn’t matter who we put on the field. I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited that they believe I can do it.”
FC Dallas previously played Tauro FC to a 1-1 draw two weeks ago at Pizza Hut Park, learning a lot about the Panamanian side in the process.
Their speed on the flanks, constant pressuring of the ball, and tricky passes through the backline unsettled the usually staunch FCD defense.
But on Tauro’s turf, Warshaw and company have a better idea of what to expect from the already eliminated Panamanian side.
“I think just matching their energy,” added Warshaw. “When you watch the film, they’re flying around everywhere. They’re high pressing, they’re all over, they’re getting the tackle and they’re just bringing a lot of energy.”
And if FC Dallas can manage the athleticism of their opponent, the traveling contingency will have something to cheer about on the uninterrupted flight home.
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @robertmcasner