Zach Loyd vs Colorado Rapids (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)
FC Dallas right back Zach Loyd missed training on Friday after picking up a knock in training on Thursday.But according to Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, the veteran defender should be fine in time for Saturday's visit from the San Jose Earthquakes.
Maybe a lot is made out of a team's record coming off a loss, but considering how much FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman talks about character, how his side responds on Saturday night against San Jose at FC Dallas Stadium could say a good deal about how this team will be playing as the calendar gets ready to flip to June.
Now that the first part of his season with Saprissa of the Costa Rican first division is over, FC Dallas had a familiar face visiting practice on Friday at FC Dallas Stadium in Homegrown defender Moises Hernandez.
The Dallas native had been on loan to Saprissa since the start of 2013 after being on loan to Comunicaciones of the Guatemalan top flight in 2012.
When FC Dallas inked McKinney native London Woodberry to a Homegrown contract in January, the conventional thinking on the ex-Maryland defender was that he'd best serve FCD as a right back.
However, that logic has been tested a bit in recent weeks as Woodberry has made three straight starts at center back alongside Matt Hedges in the wake of George John's knee injury suffered in a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on April 27.
The book on how to supposedly stop FC Dallas has been in for a few years now, foul central attacking midfielder David Ferreira repeatedly to choke the flow of the attack from the middle to out wide. But now that Jackson and at times Fabian Castillo and even Kenny Cooper have helped make FCD more formidable on the flanks, there could be another strategy at work here.
Now that this is Schellas Hyndman's fifth full season at the helm of FC Dallas, it's time to look at where he ranks in terms of the longest-tenured coaches in Major League Soccer. So, here's the breakdown of the top five.
FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)
In the 64th minute of Saturday's 4-2 loss at Seattle, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made an interesting decision when he decided to bring off Kenny Cooper, who had scored in the 54th minute for Fabian Castillo.
The young Colombian normally enters a game to provide FCD some pace at a time when the legs of the opposition could be tiring a bit.
(On the outcome of the game...) "It's about right. They created a lot of chances, a lot of breakaways, a lot of counterattacks. It seemed like the only time Seattle really put their foot on the ball is when we were down a man.
Officially, FC Dallas has already scored six goals off set pieces this season-three off corner kicks and the other three coming off free kicks. But if one were to count the own goal by Vancouver in the 2-2 draw at BC Place on April 27, then that total would balloon to seven.
Schellas Hyndman is of course no different than any other soccer coach no matter the level of competition in that he wants to see his club be quite formidable in set-piece situations, something FCD has already accomplished even in the early stages of the 2013 MLS season.
OK, so we're not even at the halfway point of the 2013 Major League Soccer season, so it is more than a bit early to talk about team MVPs and some such. However, it's never a bad time to talk about which players have clearly meant the most to FC Dallas so far this season.
But if there is one player who has surprised many of us, and in a pleasant fashion, that player has been Michel.
Neither David Ferreira nor George John trained on Thursday morning in Frisco, but there is a major difference between the two FC Dallas starters. Ferreira will be making the trip to Seattle and should start against Sounders FC on Saturday while John, a native of the Seattle area, will not be traveling with the team in order to give the young center back more time to rest his knee, which has been bothering him since a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on April 27.
FC Dallas doesn't play Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink until Saturday night, but FCD will be leaving Frisco this afternoon (Thursday) in advance of that match. While leaving two days before playing might seem a bit early to some, it's been a practice that has become commonplace over the last few years for teams in MLS traveling West.
The wait was finally over for Walker Zimmerman. It had been 113 days since he went seventh overall to FC Dallas in the 2013 MLS Super Draft and finally the young center back made his MLS debut in the waning moments of Saturday's 2-1 win over D.C. United at FC Dallas Stadium.
The former Furman standout had only started practicing with FCD just a few weeks ago after missing all of preseason due to a groin injury that was a bit more serious and different in nature than was previously thought.
Three of the four starters who missed Saturday's 2-1 win over DC United for FC Dallas did not train on Tuesday morning. However, starting goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, who missed Saturday's game due to a twisted ankle but was still on the bench, did train.
But central attacking midfielder David Ferreira (hamstring), linking midfielder Andrew Jacobson (hamstring) or center back George John (knee) did not train.
That was a great result for us. We started off the game very well, scored a very nice goal. We went into a 4-4-2 formation so we could play Eric [Hassli] and Blas [Perez] together. We had speed on both flanks with Jackson and Fabian [Castillo].
Maybe Schellas Hyndmandoesn'texactly believe in the term "trap game," but judging from his comments about DC United, who currently sports the worst record in Major League Soccer at 1-7-1 and just four points, whom FC Dallas will host on Saturday night, illustrate that neither he nor his team will be taking the Black-and-Red lightly this weekend.
When FC Dallas signed Raul Fernandez in January, few knew what to expect from the 27-year-old Peruvian-born goalkeeper. But after he won the starting job for FCD in a preseason battle with Chris Seitz and considering how well he's performed in his first nine games, there's no doubt that Fernandez was the right choice to be between the posts for Dallas from the start.
On Saturday night, FC Dallas will host DC United in the second game of a span of three matches within 10 days. Of course, DC was a playoff team last fall, finishing second in the Eastern Conference with 58 points (17-10-3).
However, things have swung in the opposite direction for the Black-and-Red so far this season as United currently sits 1-7-1 with just four points after being blanked 4-0 by Houston at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night.
Not only was the 2012 season tough on the FC Dallas fanbase, but it also exacted quite a heavy toll on FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. In fact, the tough campaign weighed so much on Hyndman that he was having trouble sleeping and even dozed off when talking to this reporter after a practice last season.
It surely is what all FC Dallas fans were thinking after Wednesday night's 1-1 tie against an impressive Portland Timbers:
With the starting roster missing three mainstays, and the ending roster looking more like an early round US Open Cup match, Hyndman & Co again demonstrated that little lump of luck that was so absent in 2012.
One of the positives to come from FC Dallas losing central attacking midfielder David Ferreira to a hamstring injury early in the second half of Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Portland is that veteran striker Eric Hassli, who came on for Ferreira, got his first significant action of the season off the bench.
It was a really wide open game. I thought both teams came in not at their best. Both teams were missing some players. At the same time they're very athletic. We were very concerned about their attacking players. In the first half we were giving too many balls away in the center of the field, and we talked about getting the ball up wider, quicker, and finding David (Ferreira) more as quickly as we could.
In a definite sign of how well things have gone for FC Dallas thus far in 2013, the club is currently riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, which happens to rank as the third-longest such run in franchise history. Here's a quick look at the top five unbeaten streaks in club history:
Monday was a day FC Dallas fans, the organization and one current player in particular would rather forget. It was the one-year anniversary of then-captain Ugo Ihemelu suffering a concussion in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Stadium.
And as everyone knows, Ihemelu has yet to return to the field and now that the one-year mark has come and gone, the questions about whether or not he ever plays another minute for FCD begin anew.
There were two notable absences at FC Dallas training on Monday morning on the stadium field-midfielder Andrew Jacobson and center back George John. Jacobson picked up a hamstring injury in a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on April 27 and John suffered a knee injury in the first half of the same game.
MRIs on both players last week came up negative but neither starter was on the field on Monday.
Fernando Clavijo is far from in a hurry to add to FC Dallas' roster. But when your club has the top record in Major League Soccer like FCD does, one can afford to be patient like the Dallas technical director is being.
However, the Dallas TD has recently been quoted as saying that FCD was close to adding a holding midfielder to its roster.
When the FC Dallas reserves play a home match, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman is usually front and center.Of course, the primary responsibility for coaching the Dallas reserves falls on the shoulders of longtime FCD assistant Marco Ferruzzi, but Hyndman is always in the periphery for home reserve matches.
"I think the players really get on well before the game and after the game, but once that whistle starts, it's a war. We had a very strong contest in Dallas. Obviously we had a really strong contest here, but I don't think there is any animosity.
When FC Dallas picked up Stephen Keel in the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft last December, the thought was that Keel, who had previously played for both Colorado and New York, would provide FCD with some much-needed depth at center back.
And at least to start the 2013 season, that was the case as Keel came on for the final minute of Dallas' 1-0 season-opening win over the Rapids on March 2 in Frisco.
The Seattle Sounders hit rock bottom in last week's SBI MLS Power Rankings, but after recording their first win of the season the Sounders look poised to start their climb toward the top.
The Sounders defeated the Colorado Rapids to not only erase the zero from their win column, but also to help open the account for Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, who scored his first Seattle goal on Saturday.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman Thoughts on the match... We had an outstanding first half. We created a lot of opportunities, played with very good ball movement, very quick, very unselfish. We took a 1-0 lead, and then we came back in the second half and, again, just started right back.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC is one of two other MLS teams that current FC Dallas striker Eric Hassli once plied his trade for. And with FCD hosting Vancouver this Saturday night in Frisco in the first game of a home-and-away series over the next two matches, Hassli admitted after training on Wednesday that he wants to stick it to the Whitecaps a bit this weekend, but not for the reason many might think.
On Saturday night, FC Dallas will host the very team that edged it out for the final Western Conference playoff spot last fall in Vancouver Whitecaps FC. This weekend's tilt at FC Dallas Stadium will mark the first of two straight matches against the Whitecaps with the second leg being at BC Place next weekend.
When FC Dallas acquired Je-Vaughn Watson from a trade with Houston back in February, the initial thought was that Watson, who had seen regular minutes with the Dynamo over the past few seasons, was brought in to provide some much-needed depth at holding midfield.
However, FCD Head Coach Schellas Hyndman has come to realize that maybe the best spot for Watson isn't in the middle.
When the FC Dallas Reserves travel to Chicago on May 1 to face the Fire reserves that could be a match that attracts some extra attention from FCD fans because the club's lone reserve-division match of the month could be one where injured defender Stephen Keel, who has been out the last few weeks with a quadriceps injury returns to the field as well as could see the first game action for flank midfielder Ramon Nunez and rookie center back Walker Zimmerman, FCD's top pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.