Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Soccer [Print without images]

Thursday, February 3, 2011
FC Dallas practice notes from spring session two

By Todd Date

It was the second day of preseason training on Thursday and once again, the club trained indoors at Fieldhouse USA, which is right down the street from Pizza Hut Park. Here are some recent odds and ends from the session.

Take it Outside

FCD gaffer Schellas Hyndman’s team will likely be indoors for at least one more day but the veteran coach said in an ideal scenario his team will return to the outdoor practice field on Saturday for the first workout of the day.  Dallas would also do two-a-days on Sunday and Monday in advance of Tuesday’s scrimmage with Houston Baptist.  The plan is for FCD to do morning sessions which are actual practices and then head to Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney for fitness work in the afternoon.

Injuries Already Mounting in Back?

There were a number of injuries at today’s session. Here’s a breakdown:

Kyle Davies D---Should miss between the next 3-4 months after having ankle surgery in January.

Edson Edward D---Backup defender twisted knee and had to leave building on crutches. Hyndman said he’ll be evaluated further tomorrow.

Ugo Ihemelu D---Veteran defender trained on Wednesday but will have sports hernia evaluated on Thursday morning and could need surgery.

George John D---He’s not cleared to return to full practice yet after having surgery in the offseason to remove a bone spur from his ankle, but John is close.

Zach Loyd D---Missed morning session on Thursday with minor ankle issue, but his absence is considered precautionary.

Heath Pearce D---According to Hyndman, Pearce is over the hamstring issues that plagued him last fall but he pulled himself out of practice because of a tight hip flexor. He did so as a precaution so it wouldn’t carry forward into next week.

Present and Accounted For

Daniel Hernandez M---The FCD captain is practicing but not at 100 percent after having offseason knee surgery.  Hyndman said Hernandez is still having some issues when he pushes things a bit too hard.  He doesn't know when his captain could be at full strength.

Jackson M/D—The versatile Brazilian who played a key role at several spots during last fall’s run to the league final made his preseason debut on Thursday.  He had missed the first practice on Wednesday because of a visa issue.



Pearce Needs to Kick it Up

Hyndman made no bones about raising the bar higher for Pearce, who started much of the year at right back before an injured hamstring shelved him for the team’s entire playoff run.

“I think Heath’s got a lot of things he needs to get done this season,” Hyndman said.”  He’s one of our more highly-recognized players and we went through the whole playoffs without him.  How much better would we have been if we had been there?  He picked up his silly fifth yellow in the last minute of a game.  And then when he wasn't with the team, he did some extra sprints to pull his hamstring. And then he felt like he was ready to play in the championship game, which he wasn’t.  Obviously, if he didn’t go into national camp [in January], he wasn’t ready for that.  I think he’s got some things he needs to get done for us this year.”

No More of Wiedeman or Yeisley in Back

Last fall, FCD experimented with rookie strikers Andrew Wiedeman and Jason Yeisley in the back late in the year.  Wiedeman saw time at right back while Yeisley, who got several games with the first team early in the season, played some center back.  Hyndman said FCD fans shouldn’t expect to see either player in the back this year.

“No,we’ve been able to go out and find players now.  Andrew Wiedeman, we played at right back last year when we needed this and that,” the FCD gaffer said.  “I think now we’re able to help fix our roster.”

Bloody Well Right

When FCD lost Atiba Harris in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft, the conventional wisdom was that Honduran speedster Marvin Chavez, who was a much more effective player on the right side of the midfield when healthy than Harris, would become the new starter there.

And when FCD gave Chavez a new contract in January, that belief was driven home even further.  But Hyndman did say he wants Chavez to win the position as it looks like super sub Eric Avila, who had two big goals in 2010, is his biggest competition for the spot in the first 11.

“I do think that there always should be competition.  At the same time, we worked awfully hard to bring him [Chavez] back,” Hyndman said.  “We were a much more dynamic team with him on the field.  He was really playing his best soccer.  I think he’s playing his best soccer right now coming off the Honduran national team.  He’s sharp.  He’s quick.  We know what Marvin can bring for us.  For Avi and others, it’s just continue to work.  Avi wants to play.  Looking at this league and the number of games that we have, it’s not very realistic to think people are going to play the whole season.”

Galindo Gets a Look

FCD has two forwards in preseason camp on trial and one, ex-Chivas USA striker Maykel Galindo, who had 18 goals for the Red-and-White in 2007 but struggled the last few years with injuries, is a name very familiar to local fans.

“I think he’s a very good player.  He went through a difficult time after that ’07.  I think ’08 he had a sports hernia and it never really felt right,” Hyndman said. “I don’t think the last two years, he’s shown his best.  Now that could be by design, the way he is with the team, fitting in or not fitting in, not being completely at his fitness level, mentally, there are a lot of players you can look at in the league who are up and down.  I think he’s a player that has hard as we’ve been looking for a striker, we’ve found a guy who might have fallen in our lap.  We’re happy to have him here at camp.  He’ll be with us through Florida.  We’ll be able to have not only an evaluation of his abilities and where he is but also his character.”

Hyndman admits FCD had looked at bringing in the Cuban international last year before they settled on signing 34-year-old Colombian Milton Rodriguez.

“Yeah, last year we were looking at bringing in a player before we brought in Milton.  There was some discussion there but it didn’t pan out,” the FCD gaffer said.  “We’re very happy with Milton but I think what you find with Galindo is he’s an experienced player, good speed and quickness and can stretch a defense.  We’ve just got to see where he is with his fitness, sharpness and all those things.”