When the lineups for Tuesday night's USOC matchup against Real Salt Lake, it appeared that injury and scheduling was simply, finally going to win out over Schellas Hyndman.
Jason Kreis, who has to be the coolest, smoothest MLS coach in attitude and appearance, was rolling out what was really a "A" team. Pretty much every player was either a current starter, or had significant starting time - minus their keeper Kevin Raynish.
Schellas on the other hand was forced (or was he?) to start with a midfield with a combined number of MLS starts of 48. Kyle Beckerman alone has 231. Just let that soak in for a minute.
Villar, Warshaw, Guara, Avila and Alexander were Dallas' starting five in the midfield, and with all due respect to each of them, none are considered MLS All-Stars or even players that would immediately start for one of the league's better sides.
But Tuesday night the five played an outstanding match the belied whatever initial impression one might have had upon looking at the FCD starting lineup.
Dallas did have their full back line and defense, and that was far more than enough as Salt Lake failed to register a single shot on goal. The heat was an obvious factor on Real as they looked low on energy all match.
Watching Hyndman manage his roster through this month of July will be fascinating. It helps that players like Villar, Warshaw and even Guarda (is there a guy that needed a decent showing any more than him?) stepped up to show their coach and fans that they can be counted on to give the starters a breather.
Hartman: 7 - I think I saw him napping at one point
Loyd: 8 - Hopefully Grabovoy's unpunished assault on Zack doesn't have long term significance.
John: 9 - Absolutely owned RSL all. night. long.
Ugo: 8 - Great night, but a couple of lazy passes here and there
Benitez: 8 - Has Jair ever taken a free kick for Dallas before?
Alexander: 8 - Might be team's most unheralded player
Avila: 7 - Not as involved in attack, but did a lot of great defensive work
Warshaw: 8 - A tremendous rebound from a poor Saturday night showing
Villar: 7 - Might be single most important bench player to get through this stretch of matches
Guarda: 7 - A mixed bag for first 20 minutes, but ended up with a solid performance and he needed that
Chavez: 7 - Defenders must hate Martin
Jackson: 9 - Could we nickname him, "The Phoenix"?
Shea: 7 - The crowd buzzed when he cued up to come on
Wiedeman: 6 - Good to see the kid get time, but looked to quickly lose energy
- USOC Recap: FC Dallas run away with 2-0 win vs. RSL (mlssoccer.com)