Am changing the format of the practice report around a bit, this one will be more like a practice notebook. FCD returns to the pitch on Saturday night against New England at Pizza Hut Park and their home grounds are a much welcome sight after spending last week on the road, facing Seattle and Houston away from home. So, here’s a look at what went on at training today but in the meantime, here are a few bullet points:
Jackson already gone
A new defender this summer?
MISSING MAN FORMATION
There were two notable absences from training today and they were both in the back. Center back George John is still working his way back from a groin strain but joining him on the sidelines was fullback Zach Loyd, who has been starting on the left side with Jair Benitez on the sidelines. Hyndman addressed Loyd’s injury albeit briefly.
“Just a shin bruise. He’ll be fine.”
One thing worth noting is that Loyd’s injury was so bad that he wasn’t able to walk back to the locker room on his own. Now, FCD was practicing on Field #4 and maybe him getting a ride back to the room was precautionary but it still doesn’t look too good.
As for John, he may or may not be able to return this weekend according to Hyndman.
“I think it’s day-to-day. I think it’s a lot better today than it was yesterday but I haven’t had a chance to talk to the trainers yet.”
The FCD defensive ranks figure to be even thinner this weekend as normal starting right back Jackson will miss the Revs game as he is getting married back in his native Brazil. He has already headed home to South America and the gaffer was asked about his absence, which may be excused or unexcused depending on how one perceives this quote.
“He’s got personal issues. We just support him on his issues. Yes [he will be back next week.”
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Sure, the 2-2 draw at Houston on Saturday was a huge downer but one big plus was the return of Jair Benitez, who came on for Jackson at the break and performed well in the final 45 minutes against the Dynamo.
“I thought he did very well. He was a guy that we called and couldn’t go to Seattle. No coach, I’m not ready. I don’t have the confidence to make a tackle. We go to Seattle on Monday and on Thursday, he meets us at the airport going to Houston. I don’t how much better his confidence got on his tackle but I think he was very committed to the team needing him. So we were glad to get both him and Milton [Rodriguez] to join us to Houston and part of that reason was because George was banged up. We weren’t sure if George could go or not and then he failed his game test and that put Jair into the top 18.”
It also looks like forward Milton Rodriguez is back to full fitness as well.
“It’s hard to gauge him because of that IT band but when I talked to him, he said it’s fine. I asked him the percentage and he said between 90 and 95. That’s better than 75.”
But the news isn’t exactly as good for Cuban forward Maykel Galindo and honestly, some have to wonder what if any sort of contribution he’s going to make at all in 2011.
“Galindo’s just coming back. He said he had a decent week of training last week. The issue he ran into was pain after training. We want to get past that stage. When there’s pain, something’s not right. Maybe he needs to back off a little bit or maybe don’t go two days in a row intense.”
REINFORCEMENTS ON THE WAY?
With the wave of recent injuries in the back, no one who follows FCD even as a casual fan can really blame the gaffer or TD Barry Gorman if they are looking at possibly bringing in players to add defensive depth in the July transfer window. Check out the Soccer Sensei’s quote that was buried at the end of a question about his club’s current lack of depth in the back.
“[Our lack of depth is] definitely a concern, something we’ve been talking about for the summer window as well.”
Here’s the rest of that quote:
“We’re definitely thin. The month of June is really a good month for us when you look at the schedule, four games, three of them at home. We want to use this month as more of a training month where we don’t have to travel as much. So we’re trying to get things done. Today, we really spent the whole training session playing numbers up and numbers down, something I haven’t been able to do. Of course, the Houston game makes me realize I haven’t covered that yet and then just continue to work on the fitness. I think defensively, this is one of the areas that we’re thin in. You saw what happened when we lost George [John] and Bobby Warshaw comes in and does a good job. Now we’re not prepared to lose other players.”
Speaking of FCD’s 2011 first round pick, Bobby Warshaw, the gaffer had good things to say about how the Stanford product has fared in his recent action.
“It’s a big jump and I think at this level, he’s probably a better central midfielder where there are people around him. The two previous games he played in were designed to give him more playing time, to build him into potential injuries or those extra games we’ve got coming up. To throw him into a center back position against Houston on the road, those are tough things to do and I thought he did fine.”
WALKING THE LINE
David Ferreira continues to be sidelined after the broken leg he suffered in May. However, there is some news on how his recovery is progressing.
“Just recovering, he’s still in the hard cast. He comes in daily, goes through his therapy and I think next week, he goes into a walking boot and then probably the workload will be weight bearing with that walk boot and then there will be more and more things that he’ll be asked to do.”
But when asked if that has changed his timetable for returning, Hyndman was admittedly unsure.
“No, it’s so different and a big part of it is the mental strength of the person.”