CANCUN, Mexico – FC Dallas played Atlante’s Under-23 squad to a 0-0 draw in a rain shortened scrimmage today. The match was postponed after 45 minutes of play and will be rescheduled for later in the week.
FC Dallas nearly found the back of the net in the 18th minute when Jair Benitez came forward from his position at left back to combine with midfielder Brek Shea and get off a good cross to Blas Perez. Perez beat his marker to the pass and directed a header down towards the left post, but Atlante U-23 goalkeeper Diego Gonzalez made a diving side to his left to push the shot wide of the goal.
Atlante battled back in what quickly became a wide-open attacking game, but had its best chance of the half denied by a diving punch by Kevin Hartman in the 25th minute.
Shea continued to combine well with his teammates near the 37th minute. He sent a through ball forward for Perez after cutting back on his defender, but Atlante’s David Velazquez quickly broke up the play and started a counter-attack. In top form, Shea quickly tracked back the length of the pitch to intercept the final pass and regain control of the ball for FC Dallas.
Just before the half ended, Fabian Castillo received the ball on the right flank near midfield and displayed his tremendous speed. Beating the defender to the end line, Castillo put a cross in on the ground that found the left foot of Perez, but Atlante defender Miguel Mendoza got a foot in to deflect the shot out of bounds.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
General thoughts on the half
It was unfortunate that we had to call the game because of weather. Both teams were playing wide open. We were able to see both teams possessing the ball, counter-attacking and changing the point of attack. Atlante had a very quick team. There were a few puddles out there creating problems for both teams. But it was nice to get another chance to see our two trialists out there again (Rodolfo Espinoza and Nicolas Gianni) as well as [Hernan] Pertuz.
I was very pleased with it. The guys have worked hard this preseason. They still had some legs today. The conditions here were just so bad that we didn’t want to risk any injuries nor would we want to hurt any of Atlante’s players.
On what he saw out of Pertuz
He is a solid center back. He marks tight. He wins balls. He is very composed under pressure. He is going to have a very good career in MLS. We watched him play a couple of times and we were pleased with him but you don’t really know until you’re coaching a player with your team that you have the right guy. Right now, we have a good feeling about him. He is going to help our defense.
On the offense
Fabain [Castillo] and Blas Perez caused a lot of problems for them. The thing I really like about Blas is that he puts himself right in front of the goal. There were two of three quality saves from Atlante’s ‘keeper and defenders that stopped the ball from going in. That header Blas put on net and of course the ball Fabian put in on the ground to him in which the defender had to make a last second save.
DAL – Fabian Castillo (caution; reckless tackle) 22
DAL – Blas Perez (caution; reckless tackle) 34
FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, Jair Benitez, Ugo Ihemelu, Hernan Pertuz, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea, Nicolas Gianni, Andrew Jacobson, Rodolfo Espinoza, Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo.
Atlante U-23s – Diego Gonzalez, David Velazquez, Alfonso Wna, Miguel Mendoza, Santiago Lopez, Joaqnin Vigril, Aldo Aleman, Pedro Valverde, Sonny Guadamana, Lizandro Echeverria, Ulises Newmuil