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Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Practice Notes February 8th

By Todd Date

PRACTICE NOTES

FC Dallas had their second practice of the week but their first of preseason on the Adidas field. There were a number of players not participating. Here’s a look at the injury report:

Kyle Davies D---Was seen walking around the practice field with a boot on his foot. He’s expected to miss the next 3 months. Davies was in good spirits despite his obvious disappointment.

Daniel Hernandez M---Was doing side work with one of the club’s trainers. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said the team is taking a slow and cautious approach to both Hernandez and George John, both of whom had surgery in the off-season.

Jackson D/M---Versatile Brazilian took a pretty nasty fall late in practice and didn’t return but doubt his injury is a serious issue.

George John D---Has yet to practice this preseason after having bone spurs removed from one of his ankles during the off-season. Hyndman doesn’t know exactly when he’ll return. Hyndman said John is fine running in a straight line but has issues when he tries to cut.

Heath Pearce D---Besides hamstring a hip issue last week that caused him to pull himself out of training on Thursday, Pearce has more recently been bothered by a back strain. He did get a shot in his back earlier this week but it looks like he won’t play this weekend against Houston in Corpus Christi.

MORE ON BRUNO MARTINS

“He’s from Sao Paolo but he was with Paulista, which is a second-division team in the city of Sao Paolo. He’s another midfielder, a holding midfielder and he was a player that Barry Gorman saw when he went down to Brazil. We had been looking for a striker for how long? This was a player that Barry came back to me and said I know we’re not looking for another central midfielder but this might be a player you might want to consider. So, we made the decision to bring him. It’s the protection of Daniel Hernandez or if we need some more help in the center. Losing Dax McCarty was a blow to us not only because you’ve got a talented player but he also understands what we’re doing. Bruno, Ricardo and Jackson are all coming from not doing anything for two months. Jackson, the last time he played was with us two months [ago]. Yeah, they’ve gone out and done some jogging and stuff like that but that doesn’t prepare them for two-a-days.”

AVILA’S BIG CHANCE?

Hyndman lauded the play of Eric Avila in the linking midfield role on Wednesday.

“Today, Eric Avila was very good. Eric Avila could be a player that could do that,” the FCD gaffer said. “Part of this league and you saw with Brek Shea last year, he was given a chance and he embraced that. We don’t want to miss the chance to give Avila the same opportunities.”

FORWARD THINKING

On the team’s forward situation in general

“If you look at our team, we’ve always had multiple, different looks in the attack because we attack with our fullbacks,” Hyndman said. “Our flank players are very active. Our central midfielders are very active. We have a very good strike force. It’s always good to have that one striker there that can stretch the defense or run by people. So, we’re still in the process of trying to find that striker, that perfect fit for us.”

On his 2011 expectations for Milton Rodriguez

He also discussed his expectations for 34-year-old veteran Milton Rodriguez in 2011.

“I would expect Milton to be in a position where maybe he’ll score 10-12 goals. I think last year, he scored 5 goals in a very short time and he was injured a few times,” Hyndman said. “I think he is a very good finisher and hopefully we have Chavez, Brek Shea and everybody running hard, causing problems and Milton ends up with the ball. I think realistically, we could count on 10-12 goals. I think that’s a realistic number for him.”

On trialist Sheldon Palmer

“He’s very athletic. He’s a hard player. He works on both sides of the ball. He’s quick. We haven’t seen enough from him yet on shooting or finishing. He’s a little bit like a Dominic Oduro type-very athletic and very explosive, works on both sides of the ball. We just want to see if he can contribute to this team.”

On fellow trialist Maykel Galindo

“He’s a very good player. Maykel Galindo’s a very good player. He’s played in the league. Every day, Galindo looks better. Every day, he looks a little bit sharper. It’s not been an easy road for him recently. He’s lost a little bit of his fitness and that’s the key thing right now. When would he be at this best?”

On Ruben Luna being with the Mexico Under-20 team

“I think the opportunity is here but as much as going to Mexico and playing with the Under-20s is nice, we need him here.”

GETTING DEFENSIVE

On the injuries to the back line

“You look at our defense, which is one of our strengths with Hartman, Seitz and Lambo. You look at our back four and you’ve got Jair, who we’re very happy with. Then you’ve got Ugo, who is injured. He left today for surgery. George, injured with his ankle. Right side, Heath is injured so Jackson [fills in there]. Go back to the middle and Zach Loyd [fills in there] with maybe Bobby Warshaw or Scott Gordon. We have some players. I think we’re picking up a lot of injuries right now, silly injuries. I think every team has that but it seems like they’re right here.”

LEYVA 2.0

Hyndman made no bones about expecting more from the team’s first Homegrown player, young midfielder Bryan Leyva.

“He’s playing his best right now. Last year when we brought him in, I thought he had a very good preseason. Then, he hit a wall and just kind of disappeared. I think that’s part youth, part immaturity and that’s part of a blasť attitude of where I’m not playing so it doesn’t matter what I do. So we had some strong conversations with him saying Brian, you have a lot of ability but ability is what got you here. What keeps you here is your character, hard work, determination and improvement. It’s nothing any different than what I’d tell my grandson. Hey, you have ability but if you don’t put the ability to use, you might as well not have ability. I think he’s come back in with a good attitude. He works very hard and looks very good in training. Sometimes when you’re given something very quickly, you don’t appreciate how much you have. How many people have been here for years and never had that? What he needs to do is buckle down and get better every day.”

GOAL-ORIENTED

On the team’s goalkeeping situation

“Yeah, I am happy with them. First of all, I think Kevin looks like Kevin last year. He’s injury free, got a great attitude and he’s playing well. Chris Seitz is a new person for us, so we’re still watching and evaluating. But he seems to be what we had thought we would get. Lambo looks the best since I’ve been here. He’s playing with a lot more confidence. What he needs is game time and opportunities. This is the thing that stops a lot of goalies from development is lack of playing time because so much of goalkeeping is decision making. It’s not like a field player where one day you can play right back and another day you play right midfield. Goalkeeper, you only play goalkeeper. What he’s lacking is playing time. We’re hoping that the reserve league and things like that will help.”