Dallas Soccer: Greg Garza

Zach Loyd vs Brek Shea one match-up to watch in US U23s scrimmage

February, 21, 2012
When FC Dallas and the United States Under-23 team square off in a 10 AM scrimmage on Wednesday at the FC Dallas Stadium complex, that game could feature a match-up that the FCD players have regularly seen in practice over the last few years.

That’s because if Zach Loyd starts at right back for FCD and Brek Shea starts at left mid for the U-23s, then they could square off against one another, which will not be a new experience for the ex-tar Heel.

“No, it will be normal. We match up in practice every day, so it’ll be just like training all over again,” Loyd said.

But after facing college foes over the last few weeks, the third-year defender admits it will be nice to have a step up in caliber of competition, especially with a trip to Orlando, FCD’s last excursion of the preseason, looming later this week.

“I definitely think as a group, we’re ready. We’ve been putting in a lot of work with two-a-days, going to Cancun, putting in some work and playing some teams from other countries. So I think the competition is something we definitely invite,” Loyd said. “We want to play the best competition we can in preseason and I think that the 23s will be real good test for us going in there before we head down to Orlando and before we play a couple MLS teams.”

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman clearly agrees. "Yeah, we've been at it for a little bit over a month and we’ve had a lot of new people come in. So we’re trying to make a lot of adjustments and pleased with the progress we’re making but also realize so is every opposition,” Hyndman said. “So we've got to make sure we’re all playing a system of play that we understand and have accepted. People need to know their job description and do it. Then, the competition will bring the best out of us.”

Besides Shea, there are several other names to watch with the Under-23 squad. Of course, Freddy Adu, who is now with the Philadelphia Union, is one such player along with local products Greg Garza of Grapevine and Jared Jeffrey of Richardson, both of whom play in the U.S. midfield. Other names of note include striker Juan Agudelo of the New York Red Bulls and defender Ike Opara, a former standout at Wake Forest who now plays in San Jose.
FC Dallas star midfielder Brek Shea is among 23 players U.S. Under-23 men’s national team head coach Caleb Porter has named for a 10-day training camp in Frisco, Texas. The camp begins Feb. 19 and culminates with a match against Mexico’s U-23 on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium.

Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on Univision.

The training camp and Mexico match make up an important stretch for the U-23s as they get set for the Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, with group play kicking off March 22 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. “I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get,” Porter said. “We’re going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time.”

In addition to the Mexico match, the U.S. U-23s will hold scrimmages against FC Dallas of Major League Soccer on Feb. 22, and the North American Soccer League’s new franchise, the San Antonio Scorpions, on Feb. 24.

“The No. 1 priority in this camp is to see our guys in games and to build a little bit of that rhythm by playing multiple games in a short amount of time,” Porter said. “Everything is geared toward the Mexico game, but we want to get a couple of games early in the week to get guys minutes so we can look at everybody to help with those final roster decisions leading into qualifying.”

Five players who had not previously been in camp with the U-23 team will be on hand, including Shea, who has appeared in all nine of the U.S. matches under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The 2011 U.S. Young Male Athlete of the Year and Bryan, Texas, native is coming off a strong season with FC Dallas that included MLS Best XI recognition and a nomination for MLS Most Valuable Player.

Texas natives Greg Garza and Jared Jeffrey return to their home state for training and the Mexico match. Jeffrey is from Dallas suburb Richardson, Texas, and Garza hails from Grapevine, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins on March 22, with Group A games being played at LP Field in Nashville and Group B games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA was drawn into Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, while Group B is composed of Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.

The semifinal and final matches will be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on March 31 and April 2, respectively. Individual tickets are on sale for the games in Nashville and Carson, and series tickets are available for the knockout phase in Kansas City.

Domestic Training Camp -- Frisco, Texas
Feb. 19-March 1

Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (7):Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaņa (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS (6):Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (8):Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)

Moises Hernandez called into latest US U20 camp

March, 17, 2011
FC Dallas home grown player Moises Hernandez has been called into Thomas Rongen's latest US U20 camp. Hernandez has had a great spring for FCD, cementing himself as a legitimate option at outside back after Jair Benitez or Jackson.

Also of note locally ('ish) are Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia) from Grapevine, Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke) from Missouri City, Dillon Powers (Notre Dame) from Plano, Conor Doyle (Derby County FC) from McKinney, and Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) from El Paso.