Dallas Soccer: Andrew Wiedeman
A trade for Julian de Guzman could help FC Dallas increase its scoring opportunities.
Colorado tries to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time in four years Saturday night while Dallas looks to end its franchise-record 13-match winless stretch.
After Drew Moor's botched play led to the only goal in a 1-0 home loss to Vancouver on July 4, the Rapids (7-10-1) gave up two scores off corner kicks in last Saturday's 2-1 loss at Seattle.
"You've got to be big, you've got to be strong, but unfortunately that's what's killed us now," Moor told the league's official website.
Perhaps the 6-foot-2 Wahl can help with that after being acquired from Montreal on Friday for a 2014 international roster spot.
"Tyson is a natural left-footed defender with good skill and size," Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told the club's official website. "We're excited to be able to add such an experienced player without compromising our roster flexibility as we move into the second half of the season."
The Rapids, who last dropped two straight at home July 27 and Aug. 9, 2008, open a stretch of three matches in eight days with their second game against Dallas this season.
Jaime Castrillon and Martin Rivero scored in the second half to help Colorado snap a four-game road losing streak and defeat Dallas 2-0 on May 6. That was also FC Dallas' first home loss of 2012 after opening 3-0-2.
Dallas (3-9-7) makes its lone trip to Commerce City this season -- it lost 1-0 there Oct. 1 for its first 0-4 skid in MLS play since 2004 -- without a win since April 14 against the Impact.
However, coach Schellas Hyndman's club is coming off three consecutive draws, the latest scoreless with Western Conference-leading San Jose last Saturday.
Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman has surrendered just one goal during that stretch.
"Maybe our luck is changing a little bit defensively, so now if we could get a few goals, it would allow us to enjoy the fruits of our labor," Hartman said.
The team hopes de Guzman can deliver some offensive punch after he was acquired from Toronto on Friday for midfielder Andrew Wiedeman.
"He also has a bit of toughness to him that will help us win 50-50 balls and control the central midfield," Hyndman told Dallas' official website of de Guzman.
Midfielder David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP, is coming off his first start in 14 months due to a leg fracture, and midfielder Ricardo Villar returned last Saturday after missing 13 games due to a right foot injury. But Dallas leading scorer Blas Perez (five goals) could miss a fifth consecutive league match with a right foot sprain.
It's uncertain if Rapids first-year coach Oscar Pareja -- a former FC Dallas player, assistant coach and director of player development -- will start Omar Cummings, who is working his way back from a sprained ankle that sidelined him for more than a month.
Cummings scored his fourth of the season last Saturday as a second-half substitute.
FC Dallas, 0-3-2 in its last five games at Colorado, is trying to avoid its first five-game road losing streak since Aug. 21-Oct. 9, 2004.
Your eyes can deceive you; don't trust them. - Obi-Wan Kenobi
It's been a while since I've done a practice observations, life can sometimes get in the way. But I was in town so I stopped by Frisco for Friday's session.
- Based on what I saw today I wouldn't think Brek Shea would play this weekend. FCD has shut him down as a precaution, today he just did some light jogging and walking. Shea has a turf tow injury he picked up in Vancouver. He did play on it in LA and technically he's a game time decision. Coach Schellas Hyndman seems to think Shea can go, but with three games in seven days they may not risk him for this one.
- If Shea is out Scott Sealy seems the most probably to start in his place with Jackson just back and Adnrew Wiedeman & Carlos Rodriguez both injured.
- New trialist... or really a new signing. James Marcelin a Hatian holding mid recently waived by Portland Timbers (to make room for Steven Smith). Marcelin is a big kid, looks athletic and rangy in training, his touch looks good. FCD has requested to claim him off waivers after he played in the FCD Reserve game this week. There is an order to the waiver process, so once he clears to FCD he will be added to the FCD roster. That should happen today. He's a replacement for Bobby Warshaw, although even without Warshaw being on injured reserve FCD does have an open space.
- Fernando Clavijo is down in Panama scouting players. FCD may look to bring someone into the club next window. They have some room, a mid tier number perhaps. A "big" move would require FCD clearing some cap... The latter is what I expect to happen this summer.
- Bryan Leyva was missing today, he called in sick. Yes, seriously.
- Carlos Rodriguez was outside jogging for the first time since he was injured. He looks to be way off a return to me, couple weeks to my non0doctor eye. Hyndman confirmed C-Rod is not close.
- Ricardo Villar is jogging and doing some ball work. Moved better than Shea I thought. Getting close on Villar return to training.
- Kevin Hartman is back to full training and Hydnman says he had a great week. Hyndman hasn't made a cal yet as to who will start.
- FCD ran shot training sessions all this week, the hope is it will help their recover time in the short window before their next game after playing Colorado this weekend.
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
April 21, 2012
9 p.m. CT (tape delay following Texas Rangers on KTXA-21)
FC Dallas' Saturday night road matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps will kick off at 9 p.m. CT, but the match will air on tape delay due to the postponement of Friday night's Texas Rangers-Detroit Tigers baseball game. The estimated start time of the FC Dallas broadcast is 9:30 p.m. CT on TXA 21.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic.
MLS Career: 41 games; FC/gm: 22.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 4; pens: 5
SAR (bench): Darren Clark;
JAR (opposite): Mike Rottersman;
4th: Paul Ward
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC - OUT: FW Darren Mattocks (R shoulder burn); DF Alain Rochat (L knee sprain); GK Brian Sylvestre (R knee surgery); DOUBTFUL: FW Etienne Barbara (groin strain); MF Michael Nanchoff (L heel contusion)
FC DALLAS - OUT: MF David Ferreira (R foot surgery); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot strain); MF Andrew Wiedeman (sports hernia repair); QUESTIONABLE: MF Andrew Jacobson (R hamstring strain); DF Hernan Pertuz (R foot strain)
Jacobson and Villar did not travel, Pertuz did and should be available.
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Eric Hassli
ALL-TIME (2 meetings):
Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal ...
FC Dallas 2 wins, 4 goals ...
AT VANCOUVER (1 meeting):
Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal ...
FC Dallas 1 win, 2 goals ...
8/15: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. PT;
9/15: FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. CT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/23: VAN 1, DAL 2 (Rochat 25 - John 53; Avila 83)
10/15: DAL 2, VAN 0 (Chavez 35; Shea 54)
- FC Dallas won both meetings last year in Whitecaps FC's inaugural season, including a 2-1 win April 23 at Empire Field.
Martin Rennie vs. DAL: first game ...
Schellas Hyndman vs. VAN: P2 W2 L0 D0
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC NEWS
- After starting the season without allowing a goal in 426 minutes, Whitecaps FC have now conceded six goals in the last 114 minutes.
- Both of Sporting's first two goals began with set-piece opportunities. In the three goals allowed to San Jose, one came as a result of a free kick chance.
- Whitecaps FC had a season-high 19 attempts at goal and put seven of those on target, also a season-high. Coming into the match, Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had been forced into seven saves total in six games.
- Camilo came in off the substitutes' bench for the final half-hour for his longest shift since starting the first three matches of the season as he recovers from a quadriceps injury.
- 2011 No. 1 overall pick Omar Salgado made his first appearance of the season, coming in for the final 11 minutes on the left side of midfield.
FC DALLAS NEWS
- FC Dallas have won two games in a row, both thanks to late game-winners.
- Already missing Ricardo Villar with a foot injury suffered in the New England match, Hyndman was forced into another change at halftime when Andrew Jacobson took a knock.
- That change was further complicated when Hern·n Pertuz was also unable to return after the halftime break.
- The substitutions also brought a tactical change, with Hyndman putting Blas Perez as a lone striker up top and setting out Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo to attack from wide positions.
- For Perez, his goal was his third of the season. He also now has three assists, recording an assist on the Shea's game-winner, his first since getting two in the opening game win vs. New York. "Whenever I score a goal, it benefits the team," Perez said. "I'm doing well so far, but there is still more work that we can do to understand each other better and to have better chemistry."
- On Wednesday, Hyndman confirmed Jacobson and Villar will not make the trip to Vancouver. "You may have players sometime say my leg doesn't feel 100 percent and they're looking not to play. Villar's the opposite. I'm ready to go even if he's 40 percent injured, I can help because he wants to play, because he has such a passion to play," Hyndman to ESPNDallas.com. "So I think on this one, we've got to slow it down a little bit because this could be a serious injury."
M ANDREW JACOBSON (hamstring injury in first half of Saturday’s win over Montreal)
Hyndman: It [his condition] is a big improvement from yesterday but there’s still a little bit of swelling in the back of the leg and we’re going to be very cautious this week and see if we can get him back for this game.
M BRYAN LEYVA (ankle sprain picked up in training last week)
Hyndman: No it wasn’t [in last week’s reserve game that he picked up that injury]. It was out here in training and it was just a couple days ago. He’ll be going for the reserve game today [Monday].
D HERNAN PERTUZ (leg injury in first half of Montreal game)
Hyndman: Much better as well, it happened about the last 10 minutes of the half. He just took a pretty hard hit to the middle of the foot. He’s getting treatment. Today was a recovery day, so neither player was really asked to do anything but I think he’ll be a player that we’ll just continue to watch as well.
M RICARDO VILLAR (foot injury in first half of 1-0 win over New England on April 5
Hyndman: Very good improvement, his toe is probably the area that’s got the greatest concern. The reason for that is it’s an area where you really explode from, that part of your foot. Right now we’re just grading it.
D GEORGE JOHN (CONCUSSION)
What is the latest on George, who was working on the side during training on Tuesday?
Hyndman: George I think has done his testing. Anytime you are dealing with concussion, head injuries, you’re always going to waver to the side of safety and we’re doing that. He did some running yesterday, some training yesterday and some basic heading yesterday, so those were real encouraging. Today I think he went to whatever doctor it is to get a follow-up and then more testing there. I see him down there now training and seems to be OK so hopefully he’ll be fine for this weekend.
F SCOTT SEALY (LEFT HAMSTRING)
Is he close to returning to training?
Hyndman: Good question, I think the reports I’ve gotten from the trainer is he could be out there training with us as early as tomorrow.
M RICARDO VILLAR (RIGHT FOOT)
Talk about the nature of his injury
Hyndman: Ricardo, he ended up with mid-foot sprain. What ended up happening when he was taken down, he came down and then Shalrie Joseph’s body came back on top of it [his foot] and twisted it in the ground, so it was a mid-foot sprain.
Did the foul by Shalrie Joseph that led to the injury look worse than it actually was since you had a good view of it as it happened right in front of you?
Hyndman: I think if you look at it, it was really an intent to stop a player from going anywhere because he came from behind and took the leg down. Was there intent to hurt him? No, and it probably would have been just a rolled ankle or something just on that alone because his body kept on going because once he took him down, he went straight down and his body fell on top of him. It definitely was not an intent. Injuries like that, now he’s out and the other guy has a yellow card. It doesn’t seem fair.
What is the timeframe for Villar’s return at this time?
Hyndman: We’ll take it week-by-week but it’s really a backwards step for the team because he’s such an important player for us and he was really getting into his own groove. He’d scored two goals. He’s an important player. Every team has their injuries. We just want to get him back as soon as we can.
F ANDREW WEIDEMAN (SPORTS HERNIA)
Did this injury pop up during preseason or has it been lingering with him for some time?
Hyndman: It lingered at the end of last year. We were a little bit conservative with it and just kept on working with him. He came back for preseason and you know how preseason is. You’re doing two-a-days and you’re going pretty hard and he started feeling a little bit of a pull. I think at first we had diagnosed it as more of a hip flexor and then it turned into OK, it’s not really that hip flexor. Maybe it’s more of an abdominal, hernia, sports hernia, whatever. So we got that taken care of because he was just getting to the point he was working hard out here but you could see his lost his explosion and all those quick things he used to do. We knew he wasn’t going to be out on the field. We’re looking at probably four to six weeks on him.
Is it similar to the injury Dax McCarty had in 2010, which was originally thought to be a hip flexor only to later be deemed as a sports hernia which needed surgery?
Hyndman: Yeah, I think it’s probably similar to that.
Wiedeman is expected to miss four to six weeks with the injury.
Leyva did not disappoint even though he is not normally a flank player. The talented youngster got up and down the right side with ease and in the 22nd minute got a shot on the Timbers goal that was saved by Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Leyva's teammate Blas Perez was ready to pounce on the rebound, giving Dallas a 1-0 lead.
However, just before halftime, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman noticed several disturbing trends in the match as it headed to the break and took Leyva off in favor of George John. Even though Leyva’s first start lasted just 45 minutes, his coach still raved about his performance.
“I thought Bryan played very well. This was the first time he started for us. He’s been working awfully hard and sometimes opportunities come in different ways,” Hyndman said. “This was an opportunity because we lost Brek and we lost Castillo. And I thought it would be good to give him a chance to play in front of his home crowd and I thought he did a good job.”
While there were plenty of highlights for the young midfielder, there are still plenty of areas where his game still has some rough edges things which his head coach feels will work themselves out over time.
“The biggest minus is probably just the lack of experience, which you would anticipate. With the ball, he’s always been very productive. Without the ball, he’s not been as reliable on both sides of the ball,” Hyndman said. “Now he’s making conscientious adjustments and improvements, so it’s a little bit different when you’ve been playing in the academy leagues and get away with walking back or not being in position. Here it costs you games. But he’ll get more opportunities and I’m sure he’ll continue to work on that.”
As last week progressed and Castillo did not train, speculation began about who would start in his place on the right flank. The logical first choice was Andrew Wiedeman because he played there during preseason, performing well against college competition but not nearly as well against higher-caliber foes during FCD’s weeklong stay in Florida.
However, Hyndman used last week’s Reserve League opener with Real Salt Lake, a game the Dallas reserves won 3-1, as his ultimate determining factor in who would get the nod in place of Castillo. Leyva had a goal in the win over RSL.
“Lot of conversations there, the issue we run into is how they’re really performing in training. Quite honestly, the difference maker was Bryan Leyva played so well in the reserve game, so he caught our attention. He’s coming on, so he’s really playing well and you want to reward someone who’s playing well,” Hyndman said.
But it wasn’t like Wiedeman didn’t play well against Salt Lake. He did rebound nicely after a less than stellar opening 45 minutes to play better in the final frame, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to sway his coach’s judgment.
“I thought Wiedeman did not have an active first half but he played much better the second half in the reserve game. Now we’re throwing him into another level asking him to start. I wanted to reward Bryan and also to generate the other players, to motivate them to say hey, look Bryan got a start. And opportunities come in different ways-call up, injuries, coach’s gut feeling, match-ups,” Hyndman said. “For Bryan, the important thing was he got a call-up [from the reserves].”
It was a good result for us considering we were without three of our most important attacking phase players: Fabian Castillo, Brek Shea and David Ferreira. I was really pleased with the effort the boys put in. I was very happy we fought all the way to the last second. – FCD Head Coach Schellas HyndmanEl Bueno (The Good)
I don’t think you can under sell what a big addition Blas Perez has been. He’s exactly the kind of high striker FCD has needed. Ability to hold the ball, positioning in the box, laying the ball off to attacking midfielders, defense form the front… everything FCD needed.
Zach Loyd has been terrific this year and continues his great form in this game. He’s amazingly fit and is getting down the field even late in games.
I like what I’m seeing from Ricardo Villar in the David Ferreira spot. Villar is linking play well, getting into good spots in the final third, holding for transition, and earning fouls in dangerous spots. I’m beginning to think he might make a good linking mid when Ferreira comes back, giving Jacobson a challenge.
I felt we started off well, thought the first 20-25 minutes we did a lot of things right. Ricardo was getting a lot of touches on the ball. - HyndmanEl Camino Central (Middle of the Road)
Fantastic for Leyva to get his first start, I thought he was solid, even getting in on the goal. Leyva’s sub was about the dangerous crosses and getting a defender into the game, you can see Hyndman say that to him and gesture to the defensive end. Still, that has to be a gutting blow to the kid, I was afraid for a second he might tear up.
He’s a Homegrown player. He has been with us three years and this is the first time he played any minutes. We all felt like he did a very good job, but we may not be able to dodge that bullet if we did not get George John on the field. - Hyndman
Andrew Jacobson for me was a bit hit or miss in this one. He had some solid play defensively, helping clog the midfield, but didn’t add a lot going forward. I’d like to see more box penetration and long range shooting from him.
2 games, 2 starts for Daniel Hernandez... I know the season is young but if he starts all 34 games FCD is going to have a big problem.
No Tan Bueno (not so good)
I’ve long admitted to not being a fan of Jair Benitez’s game, he takes to many risks for me and relays on his pace to recover. As he ages, and he’s not young at 33, that strategy won’t work as his pace diminishes. His form this year isn’t great and I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end. He’s been outplayed in back to back games by both Carlos Rodriguez and Hernan Pertuz was subbed in the first game and shifted to midfield in this one. It won’t shock me to see George John back in the starting lineup with Pertuz wid lefte in the next game.
The fact FCD played the 2nd half with two outside backs at wide midfield (Jair Benitez and Carlos Rodriguez) clearly demonstrates a roster problem. There simply isn’t enough wide mids on the roster. Shea is missing, Castillo hurt, Scott Sealy, who can play there, is banged up… SH clearly has no faith in Andrew Wiedeman. That’s how you end up with Bryan Leyva, who is traditionally more a central player, out wide in the first half and two defenders in the 2nd. FCD needs to find at least one more wide mid Hyndman can actually feel good about putting in a game. Someone like Eric Alexander maybe… oops.
I just think we are very thin right now. I didn’t want to put a player late in the game and have him try and get into the rhythm of the game. That is why we only used one substitution. - Hyndman
There are, however, some red flags that could derail the season and Coach Schellas Hyndman has his work cut out for him.
Older Player’s Health
Kevin Hartman 37, Daniel Hernandez 35, Jair Benitez 33, Ricardo Villar 32, David Ferreira 32… Those are not spring chickens.
Older players do get hurt more, they break down, they need more rest, and they can’t play as many games. The core of FCD’s team is old (in soccer terms) and several of them are coming off injuries. Hernandez in particular has been playing hurt at playoff time the last two years, needing knee surgery in both cases.
Can these older gentleman hold together for the season and carry FCD deep into the playoffs? Time will tell.
FC Dallas struggled with a very heavy fixture schedule last year and Hyndman admitted at the end of the season the team was short on depth. The schedule will be lighter this year with no CONCACAF Champions League, but the team’s depth hasn’t gotten any better. Several players who logged a lot of minutes last year are gone (Jackson, Marvin Chavez, Eric Avila, Maicon Santos, Daniel Cruz) a few of them without being replaced.
It’s good for the long term situation at FCD that the club has six home grown players… but in the short term it’s bad. Those Home Grown players eat up roster spots that could be filled by players coming out of college or signed from other leagues. Bottom line, FC Dallas needs some of the Home Grown players (other than Ruben Luna that is) to start improving, getting some minutes, and making an impact.
Maybe FCD’s new TD Fernando Clavijo can help with this one.
Brek Shea and Summer Olympics
At this point Brek Shea appears to be a big part of the US U23 team that will be heading, pending qualifying, to the 2012 Olympics in London. Olympic qualifying starts March 22nd for the US, Shea will probably be gone for a camp then the games that could run till Mach 31st.
Then Olympic soccer tournament will run from July 25th to August 11th. Doubtful, of course, that the US will advance to all the way to the final, but we can hope yes? There will be camp before the tournament where the final team is selected and Shea will almost certainly be a part again.
So a quick glance at the MLS calendar says Shea could miss 10, maybe 12 games, and that doesn’t include call ups to the senior team for which Shea has now started 10 games in a row.
With FCD’s depth the way it is, there aren’t a ton of solutions when Shea will be out. Scott Sealy can play some in wide midfield; Andrew Wiedeman is getting a lot of time with reserves this spring; and Carols Rodriguez is a possibility, if not an ideal one.
Bottom line, FCD’s best player last year may miss a third of this season.
George John contentment/happiness
I’m of two minds about George John’s return to FCD. On the one hand he’s a terrific MLS player who is a great asset for the back line. Alongside Ugo Ihemelu, they make one of the best center back combos in MLS.
But on the other hand, I’m not real sure John wants to be here in Dallas. Twice now he’s gotten involved in a potential transfer, the most recent of which involved a loan with a buy option (that wasn’t picked up). John has a Greek passport, which makes him eligible for play in Europe without counting as a foreign player. Coach Hyndman says John has turned down multiple contract offers from FCD.
And just this week John again didn’t want to talk about his contact… “I have no comment on that right now. I’m with the team, John said. “I’m here for the year, just looking forward to earning my spot back on the squad and playing some games.”
It’s not that I blame John for wanting to go to Europe. He would make way more money over there and play at a higher level. MLS and FCD both have a typical salary structure which means there’s only so much a club will want to pay a domestic center back. Of course John wants to go, wouldn’t you?
The problem for FCD is how John will react to being back. John has always been a player who worked his tail off both in training and in games. He’s physical, tough, and doesn’t back down from challenges. If he does not really want to be here will he be the same player?
It’s clear last year the team’s defense went downhill after John returned from his first potential transfer that didn’t happen. Yet what I know about John tells me he will still work hard and be the same guy he’s always been; leading a once again tight FCD defense. It’s not in his nature to mail it in.
As I said at the top, Coach Hyndman may have his work cut out for him this year.
Will the 2010 version of David Ferreira return or is he gone for good?
Ferreira didn’t make his preseason debut until Feb. 23 against the U.S. Under-23 team. While there have been flashes of his old self, he did suffer an Achilles injury during last week’s trip to Florida and was in a walking boot, casting considerable doubt as to whether or not he’ll be ready for Sunday’s season opener with the New York Red Bulls. “El Torito” was known for taking a beating during his MVP season but the cumulative effects of all those knocks finally caught up with him last year when he went down with an ankle injury just six games into the season.
Verdict: Mixed, while there have been flashes of the 2010 version, prompting some to drink the Kool Aid and say he’s completely back, those statements are a bit premature. Ferreira is more than likely a shell of his former shelf, which is still pretty good. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said he was at 80 percent late last week, which isn’t bad. But the fact he might not be as durable as he once was is a huge concern heading into the season.
Who will step up at right mid?
With 2011 starter Marvin Chavez traded to San Jose late in 2011 and likely heir apparent Jackson playing in his native Brazil, there was some question as to who would start at right midfield. Fabian Castillo has pretty much claimed that spot as his own. Sure, there have been some nice preseason performances by one Andrew Wiedeman, but his six goals all came against college competition and there’s still some question about whether or not he’s a starting-caliber player in MLS. So, your starter at right mid will be Castillo on Sunday. Wiedeman could be a nice option off the bench, maybe even as an energy guy sort of like Eric Avila was over the last few years, but he’s not a starter, at least not yet.
Verdict: Resounding, Castillo has been by far the top choice at right mid. Sure, Hyndman would like to see him handle his defensive responsibilities better, but with his pace and ability to get up and down the flanks, he gives FCD exactly what they need in that spot-a playmaker. He is still young and relatively inexperienced but the upside associated with this speedy Colombian remains quite high. That alone means he’ll be the starter.
Will the health of Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson be a concern going forward?
When healthy, the central midfield combination of holding mid Daniel Hernandez and linking mid Andrew Jacobson was rock solid for FCD last year. The problem was that they weren’t healthy for much of 2011 as both fought through respective injuries (although they still did pretty well in all honesty). Both Daniel and AJ had knee surgeries this off-season and their respective recoveries have been mixed. Hernandez’s surgery was about six weeks after Jacobson’s, and while he did have some issues initially, he now appears to be over those. Jacobson hasn’t experienced any issues at all during preseason, so he appears good to go going forward.
Verdict: Mixed, Hernandez has experienced some issues during his recovery while Jacobson has not. Maybe a big part of that is Hernandez’s age, but of the two players, the ex-FCD captain has to rank as the bigger concern going forward, especially with his age and injury history, especially his knees. This was not Jacobson’s first knee issue, but it was his first serious injury as a pro. The sample size with AJ is much smaller, but there don’t appear to be any concerns with him going forward. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Hernandez.
How quickly will Blas Perez have an impact up top?
First off, some well-deserved credit to Hyndman and the rest of the FCD powers that be for bringing in the man known as “Super Raton” in the first place. He is the kind of veteran and dependable presence that this club has needed up top almost since Hyndman arrived. Schellas had Kenny Cooper at striker when he arrived but Perez has a much longer career and more proven track record than KC. Expecting Perez to score 15 goals, and add between seven and 10 assists, is far from too much to ask from this talented veteran.
Verdict: Resounding, Perez is the forward Dallas has been needing ever since Jeff Cunningham left two seasons ago. Now the only big question is can some of what he has rub off on teammates like Ruben Luna, Jonathan Top or maybe even Fabian Castillo, who could start up top or at right mid depending on what formation Hyndman opts to go with.
Who will start at center back alongside Ugo Ihemelu?
When George John went to second-division English side West Ham United in mid-January, few knew how things would turn out for the affable center back across the pond. As we all know now, John didn’t get a ton of run with the Hammers but did gain some invaluable experience in training, which should help him now that he’s back with FCD. John and Ihemelu have developed a strong partnership over the last few seasons, one which should continue. Backup Hernan Pertuz performed well in his absence but the clear language barrier between the Colombian newcomer and Ihemelu is definitely an obstacle. Rookie Matt Hedges has already shown some flashes in his first two months of pro soccer but it’s way too soon to determine if he can be counted on as a rookie.
Verdict: Resounding, getting John back is absolutely huge for FCD but had Big George not come back from England, Dallas would not have been in as dire straits as many think. Pertuz gives them some much-needed depth in the central defense, something that was at a premium last year. And if John gets injured or misses time, he could definitely step in. Hopefully John and Ihemelu are healthy for the entire season, which is a possibility, but if Hyndman needs to call on Pertuz and maybe even Hedges a bit later in the season, both figure to be ready.
This team needs some more depth, specifically in the midfield
No doubt about it, depth could be an issue for this team in 2012, specifically in the midfield. Ricardo Villar has battled injuries all through preseason. Daniel Cruz never was healthy and has now left the club, and who knows where Bruno Guarda stands with Hyndman and the club’s other brass after his suspension not all that long ago? Andrew Wiedeman has had a solid preseason but his six goals did come against college kids, so how much can one really read into that? Homegrown player Bryan Leyva has made strides in his fitness but how much can we really expect from him this year. Fellow FCD Academy product Victor Ulloa only recently returned from a foot issue.
There is some precedent for a trade
Hyndman has never been afraid to pull the trigger when he feels like it’s necessary. Remember the trade of Heath Pearce to Chivas USA last February? That was necessitated by completely different reasons, but Schellas has never been afraid to make a deal if he feels like it would improve his club. Just listening to his tone last week, it sounds like he could finally be at that point. French midfielder Geoffrey Tulasne did OK during his trial but didn’t exactly set the world on fire and while the club has Scott Sealy on their roster, who can also play midfield, he might best serve this club by providing depth up top.
FCD has some pieces of value
While this might sound like heresy to some, besides the obvious draft picks and allocation money, FCD also has another resource they could choose to trade-one of their homegrown players. Left back Moises Hernandez might be one possibility here as he hasn’t done a ton to set himself apart from the other five homegrown players. Talented young goalkeeper Richard Sanchez is another possibility along with Leyva and even young striker Ruben Luna. Sure, it might send the Dallas supporters into a complete state of panic, but teams trade prospects all the time in other sports, especially in baseball. And considering FCD currently has six homegrown players on their roster, there’s a very good chance that only one of them or maybe even two ever pan out anyway. That’s just a simple law of averages, so why not get something for one of them while the club still can?
It would shake things up a bit
Hyndman isn’t too happy with the lack of internal competition on his club. What better way to shake things up than with a trade? Seeing someone new come in and maybe even one of their own head out of town could reinforce to the entire roster that no one’s job is truly safe.
The loquacious gaffer lamented earlier this preseason that his club’s chemistry remained a work in progress and that the room was nowhere near as tight as it was in 2010, when they made an unprecedented run to the MLS Cup. Part of that dip in chemistry might be the tough circumstances they endured in 2011, but it could also be largely attributed to a change in personnel. A club with chemistry that could be better, and also one that doesn’t have much in the way of internal competition heading into the season, sounds like a recipe for possible disaster later in the year if things continue on their current path.
Orlando City has MLS ambitions, MLS Commissioner Don Garber is giving them some serious consideration to be the league's 20th team. But the would-be-MLS side fell short of the mark yesterday in the Disney classic when they ran into FC Dallas.
Orlando was in trouble right out of the gate when former FC Dallas draft pick, and current OC keeper, Sean Kelly was red carded four minutes into the game for a tackle on Blas Perez. David Ferreira converted the PK.
Ferreira later assisted on Fabian Castillo's 33' goal. Blas Perez and Andrew Wiedeman added 2nd half goals to bring the scoreline to 4-0.
FCD Trialist Geoffrey Tulasne got the start for FC Dallas wide in midfield. Tulasne is a left sided Frenchman who plays for Bulgarian side Litex Lovech.
Dallas is back in action on Thursday, when they face Toronto FC at 5 pm CT.
FCD - 5' David Ferreira
FCD - 33' Fabian Castillo (Ferreira)
FCD - 55' Blas Perez (Castillo, Ricardo Villar)
FCD - 89' Andrew Wiedeman (Jair Benitez)
FC Dallas: Kevin Hartman (Chris Seitz, 46'); Carlos Rodriguez (Jair Benitez, 81'), Hernan Pertuz (Matt Hedges, 45'), Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd; Daniel Hernandez (Victor Ulloa, 76'), Geoffrey Tulasne (Andrew Wiedeman, 63'), Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira (Ricardo Villar, 46'), Fabian Castillo; Blas Perez (Jonathan Top, 73')
Orlando City: Sean Kelley; Jerome Mechack (Justin Clark, 72'), Rob Valentino (Kieron Bernard, 72'), Wes Allen (Kyle Davies, 46'), Erik Ustruck; Anthony Pulis (James O'Connor, 46'), Don Smart (Dustin McCarty, 60'), John Rooney (Miguel Gallardo, 5'), Molino, Adama Mbenge (Charlie Campbell, 46'), Dennis Chin (Maxwell Griffin, 46')
The Roster Dance is a long running feature of 3rd Degree. It is an effort to break down the FC Dallas roster into its various components with all the trialists and draft picks competing for spots. The Roster Dance includes things like nationality, age, status, green cards, and anything else that might impact space on the roster and the players that might fit into it.
Last updated: 2/24/12
Senior Roster (18 to 20)
For now MLS rosters hold at up to 30 players. Players 1 to 20 are on the senior roster and have to fit in the salary cap. (MLS teams may carry only 18 players on this senior roster if they wish)
FCD has 8 international slots in 2010 with 8 currently filled.
|1||David Ferreira||32, Colombian F/M. (8/9/79) Got his green card.|
|2||Daniel Hernandez||New 5 year coach/player deal. 35, US M/D (7/23/76)|
|3||Jair Benitez||33, Colombian LB, (1/11/79). Green card.|
|4||Blas Pérez||(I1) Panamanian striker, turns 31 this year. (3-13-81)|
|5||Brek Shea||20, US Nats MF. (2/28/90).|
|6||Ugo Ihemelu||28, US D. (4/3/83)|
|7||Kevin Hartman||37, US GK. (5-25-1974)|
|8||Zach Loyd||24, US Nats M/D. (7-18-87)|
|9||Fabian Castillo||(I2) 19, Colombian striker. (6-01-92)|
|10||Ricardo Villar||(I3) 32, Brazilian, AM. (8-11-79) working on green card|
|11||Andrew Jacobson||26, US DM. (9-25-85)|
|12||Hernan Pertúz||(I4) 22, Columbian U23, D. (3-31-89)|
|13||Chris Seitz||24, US GK. (3-12-87)|
|14||Bobby Warshaw||23, US M/D. (11-21-88)|
|15||Carlos Rodriguez||(I5) 21 year old Panamian M/D from Tauro FC. (4-12-90)|
|16||Bruno Guarda||26, Brazil MF. (2/6/86). Green card|
|17||Scott Sealy||T&T F. 30, Previously with KC and SJ. (6/4/81) green card.|
|18||George John||US CB. (3/20/87) Not currently on FCD roster. Spot saved?|
|19||Dogba||(I6) Ange Pacome Dogba Gnagbo.Ivory Coast F|
|20||Open Spot||Sports 19 and 20 don’t have to be filled.|
Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $42,000 in 2011.
Off-Budget Roster (10)
Roster Spots 21 to 30. Generation adidas, developmental players, and home grown. Players 24 and under that don’t count on the salary cap. MLS teams can have a maximum of 10 off-budget players.
|21||Matt Hedges||UD D, 2012 1st pick. (4-1-90) Senior roster?|
|22||Andrew Wiedeman||(Ga1) 22, US versatile. F/M/D. (8-22-89)|
|23||Bryan Leyva||(HG1) 20, Mexican U20 MF (2/9/92) green card.|
|24||Ruben Luna||(HG2, I7) 19, Mexican U20 striker. (2-10-92)|
|25||Victor Ulloa||(HG3) 19, US Midfielder. (3-4-92)|
|26||Moises Hernandez||(HG4) US D, former U20 (3-5-92)|
|27||Jonathan Top||(HG5) 19, US striker. (1-26-93)|
|28||Richard Sanchez||(HG6) 17, Mexican keeper, US Citizen. (2-28-94)|
|29||Christian Ibeagha||22, Former US U17 from OK (born Nigeria). (1-10-90)|
|30||Alex Lee||2012 supplemental pick, D from Maryland.|
|--||Ian Kalis||2012 supplemental pick from SMU. Injured? Still on roster, not traveling.|
Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $32,600 in 2011.
Anyone connected, rumored, tried out, waived, training invited, or signed as a short term player.
|Jack Stewart||Late 2011 defender depth, didn’t stick in 2012|
|Rodolofo Espinoza||30 year old Mexican M, spring trial.|
|Kleyner Bejarano||a.k.a. Kleyner Bejarano Colombian D, spring trial|
|Scott Gordon||23 year old US D, spring trial|
|Daniel Osorno||Formerly of Puebla, AM/F|
|Nicolás Gianni||a.k.a. Nicolas Cridani. 29, F/M|
|Daniel Cruz||Colombian, M didn’t play well in 2011, injuries cost him in 2012.|
|Marvin Chavez||Traded to San Jose.|
|Walter Hines||M, preseason trialist|
|Martin John||LB, preseason trialist|
|Joe Madigan||M, preseason trialist|
|Jackson||Brazilian M, on loan to Cruzeiro|
|Mykel Galindo||Waived in off season.|
|Edson Edward||Waived in off season.|
|Josh Lambo||Former Ga GK, waived in off season.|
Ferreira came on for Andrew Wiedeman about 10 minutes before halftime and only had several touches over that time frame. However, after telling FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman he was comfortable with starting the second half, Ferreira was back out there and that’s when flashes of the old David started to show.
“I was really excited and it felt really good to get back out on the field. I’m glad that I’m finally back,” Ferreira said through a translator. “Happy, content and really excited. It was great to get back out there on the field of play, need to keep going.”
While there were flashes of his old MVP form, especially a long ball to fellow Colombian Fabian Castillo early in the second half, there was still some rust. And while some were quick to say he’s back, a small sample of size of just 22 minutes does not mean he is officially back to his old self. We should know in the next week or so if Ferreira is going to be able to return to his MVP form of just two seasons ago or if he’ll be a mere shell of his former self, which is still a pretty good player.
Of course, none of this is lost on the affable Colombian playmaker. “The team is getting better. We’re still not 100 percent,” Ferreira said. “It’s going to take some time but we still have a lot of games to play to get our match fitness.” And the same goes for his own personal fitness level going forward. “I’m still not 100 percent but I’m getting better every day. I can’t wait to get back to my level,” he said.
Only time will tell if indeed he can return to that level because make no mistake about it, no player is more crucial to FCD’s 2012 aspirations than one David Ferreira. If he’s not the same player he was two seasons ago, then this will once again be a club that could struggle to score goals, even with the off-season addition of Blas Perez and a team that might find itself on the outside looking in when it comes to the MLS playoffs.
And almost immediately, some started wondering if that look signaled that FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman was strongly considering rolling out in a 4-4-2 for the March 11 season opener with New York.
But consider for a moment that formation against the Mustangs didn’t even feature David Ferreira, as the 2010 MLS MVP had not been cleared for full contact until earlier in the day and central midfielders Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson are a ways from being 100 percent after both having off-season knee surgeries.
The readiness level of Ferreira, Hernandez and Jacobson will go a long way in determining whether or not Hyndman goes with the 4-4-2 or sticks with the 4-1-4-1 formation that was the norm in 2011.
Hyndman likes having three guys in the middle of the park, as part of his preferred diamond midfield. Besides Perez, another star of the SMU game was Andrew Wiedeman, who started at right mid and scored the first goal.
Wiedeman has five goals this preseason and some wonder why he won’t be the starter on the right flank come opening day. He is a nice, solid and smart player with a good nose for the ball but he can’t offer the pace that Castillo has in getting up and down the flanks and it looks like there is a much bigger upside with the young Colombian than there is with the Cal product.
But Castillo is far from locked in as the starter at right mid. Ricardo Villar, who is currently out with a calf injury, is also in the mix even though he looks better suited to play a more central role as he doesn’t quite have the speed to be a true threat on the flank.
“Oh, he could definitely be the right midfield,” Hyndman said when asked about where Villar figures into the discussion at right mid. “He could be in the central midfield. I think the thing that Ricardo brings is a lot of versatility.”
However, one player that is out of the mix is Panamanian newcomer Carlos Rodriguez. Before he arrived, Hyndman said Rodriguez could play at both right back and right mid. Well, in an interview last week, Rodriguez said he feels most comfortable on the left side and according to the gaffer, mainly in the back.
“He’s not a right-sided midfielder,” Hyndman admitted. “We looked at him a little bit as a left-sided midfielder but I think he’s a left back.”
So while Wiedeman has clearly shown well for himself over the last few weeks, his five goals and one assist have come against college competition. But if he can replicate those numbers against the tougher competition FCD will see in their upcoming trip to Orlando, then it could be a toss-up as to whether Hyndman goes with him or Castillo come opening day. But Castillo looks to be the leader in the clubhouse by a sizeable margin, but there are three weeks until the season opener, so much can change between now and then.
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