Dallas Soccer: Jackson
FRISCO, Texas -- Dan Kennedy finished with three saves to help Chivas USA tie FC Dallas 0-0 on Saturday.
With the tie, FC Dallas (3-9-5) extended its winless streak to 11 games to set a new club record. The previous record of 10 games without a win was from July 2 to Sept. 10, 2005.
FC Dallas is 0-7-4 during its winless streak and has been shutout four times during that span. Chivas USA is 5-7-4 and salvaged a tie despite only managing a season-low two shots. FC Dallas finished with 13 shots.
In the 65th minute, FC Dallas' Brek Shea had a clear shot from 10 yards which Kennedy batted away near the bottom left corner of the net. Kennedy also made a diving save in the 28th minute after Jackson Goncalves fired a shot from near midfield that forced Kennedy to dive to his right to punch away the shot.
Shea played for the first time since May 12 against Columbus, missing the last four games due to a combination of a three-game suspension and an injured left foot.
Shea, who led the team in goals last season, almost left the game in the 19th minute after he collided with Kennedy on a run to the net. Dallas was already missing four starters due to injury from its opening day starting 11.
Both teams have struggled to score goals all season with neither team scoring more than two goals in any game.
HOUSTON -- Adam Moffat scored his first goal of the season in the 76th minute to give the Houston Dynamo a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night.
Moffat converted a big rebound for Houston (5-4-4) after FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a save on a corner kick by Brad Davis.
FC Dallas (3-9-4) is winless in its last 10 games and played the last 26 minutes with just 10 players after Jair Benitez was given a red card. Benitez hit Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark in the head.
That play started a minor scrum between both teams, but cooler heads prevailed.
Jackson Goncalves tied the score in the 59th minute when he put a rebound past Tally Hall after Scott Sealy's initial shot caromed off Dynamo Houston defender Jermaine Taylor.
Both teams created multiple scoring chances in the first half, but Houston grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third minute on Bruin's goal. FC Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz tried to clear the ball, but his attempt deflected off Bruin and past Hartman from about eight yards out.
Dallas had six shots in the first half and nearly tied the score twice. The best chance came in the 16th minute when Sealy beat Hall from 15 yards out, but his left-footed shot hit the far post.
Hall finished with three saves, and Houston improved to 9-3-7 all time against FC Dallas and 6-1-3 at home against its intrastate rivals.
“Attitude-wise, 60 percent better. Focus wise, much better. Emotional intelligence, much better and he’s playing himself into game shape. Would I like to give him more rest time? Absolutely, but with the injuries we have it’s kind of hard,” Hyndman said.
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.
“Having Jackson on the field helps Brek [Shea] and helps [Fabian] Castillo because now there’s another guy you’ve got to worry about plus Jackson really distributes good balls,” he said.
According to Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman, the versatile Panamanian is expected to miss between two and four weeks, a situation he elaborated on before the club departed for Los Angeles on Thursday morning.
“The doctor was able to put the elbow back in place on the field and we took him to the hospital and we kept him in there overnight,” Hyndman said. “It was more of a precautionary situation because he’s an international. He lives by himself. English is not his first language. What we didn’t want him to do was have issues later in the evening and have nobody around, so we did the safe thing and kept him in there."
"Prognosis? It could be two to four weeks.”
Jackson made his 2012 debut, coming on for Rodriguez in the second half of the RSL game and it looks like the versatile Brazilian figures to start as a flank midfielder at least until he returns possibly by the end of May.
“Well, we know he got his visa. He’s got his visa appointment. He went to it and now he’s just waiting for his passport to be returned. I don’t know how many people are aware but Brazil, at the American embassy there they don’t ever give you the passport. They always mail it to you,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. “So however long that takes to get to him, but he had his visa appointment on Friday.”
Hyndman added that there is a standard timeframe for the return of a passport, but they don’t know the exact circumstances of the one for Jackson.
“They usually say two days, but we’re not sure if they mailed it out on Friday or if they waited until Monday to mail it out. That we don’t have the inside scoop on, but he’s ready,” Hyndman said. “He’s right now just in a hotel in Sao Paolo waiting for the visa to show up and he can go.”
Jackson could be back in Frisco later this week, and it will be interesting if he arrives back in time to possibly be available for Saturday’s game at Vancouver. Dallas’ last day of training in the Lone Star State is Wednesday before the team leaves on Thursday. FCD plans to train in Vancouver on Friday.
“I don’t know [exactly when he’ll be here],” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said after a recovery session on Monday. “I think his whole thing is just getting his visa, getting into the American Embassy and getting his visa. We have all the paperwork and everything in place. He could have been here last week, so hopefully he’ll be here shortly.”
When Dallas gaffer Schellas Hyndman made two changes to start the second half, bringing on Bruno Guarda and Bobby Warshaw for Andrew Jacobson and Hernan Pertuz, respectively, few thought it was anything more than a tactical adjustment. And since those changes signaled a shift from the 4-4-2 formation that FCD had employed in the opening 45 minutes to more of a 4-1-4-1 in the final half of play, no one thought that those two substitutions could be injury-related.
However, injuries are exactly what had happened, something Hyndman discussed after the game.
It turns out Jacobson was having some issues in his back and leg after getting kicked more than a few times by the hard-fouling boys from Montreal. As for Pertuz, he had a foot swell up and was unable to answer the bell for the second half.
“Pertuz got kicked over on the sideline and just wasn’t able to go. He fought his way through the first half but we knew something was wrong,” Hyndman said. “When we brought him up here [to the locker room at halftime], the foot was swollen and he just couldn’t go. AJ took a few hits, more of the back and leg that was bothering him.”
Obviously, if these injuries keep one or both of these guys off the field for any significant period of time they are big negatives for Dallas. No matter whether it’s been at left back or at right back, where he has started each of the last two weeks in Hyndman’s 4-4-2, the Colombian defender Pertuz has been a rock-solid addition to the FCD backline.
Some might have questioned why Jair Benitez, who normally starts at left back for Dallas, wasn’t back in the first 11 for the Montreal game, but the answer is simple. If Hyndman is anything, he’s consistent, especially when it comes to winning. When a formation and a lineup works, if all of those same 11 players are available the following week, it’s a safe bet he’ll employ the same look barring something unforeseen.
That’s why Pertuz was in the starting lineup against the Impact and Benitez was on the pine. Pertuz has earned his playing time and will be until he slips up or Jair plays his way back into the first 11 through a string of strong performances in training... pending injury of course. Pertuz might be relatively new to MLS and to this club, but he’s already more than shown his value and if he’s not available for a while, it would definitely be a big loss.
Ditto for Jacobson, who after a rough start to the season, seems to have found himself and is no longer trying to do too much in the middle of the field. Some feel he might best serve this team as the holding mid with Warshaw possibly starting in the linking role but that’s a whole other discussion. The fact of the matter is that he and Daniel Hernandez form a steady if not a bit nard-nosed tandem in the middle of the yard and if A.J. is out for a while, that too would be a big loss.
Of course, the Dallas midfield is already a bit thin with David Ferreira out for about the next two months, as is Andrew Wiedeman, after both of them underwent recent surgeries. Ricardo Villar is week to week. Help is on the way as Jackson is thought to be arriving this week but it’s unknown what his current fitness level is, but if he’s ready to roll, he can definitely provide help in very short order.
We’ll find out more about the condition of Jacobson and Pertuz on Monday. Hopefully the news is good.
Jackson’s return could very well be the panacea that Dallas needs in their ultra thin midfield, where the likes of 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira and Andrew Wiedeman are out for at least the next two months after having surgery. Ferreira’s fill-in, Ricardo Villar, is currently week-to-week with a foot injury.
However, it remains to be seen whether the young South American will start immediately upon his return or if he'll have to earn playing time. Before the announcement became official, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman offered his thoughts on Jackson.
“We've always liked Jackson. I think the fans like Jackson. There’s only a couple of instances with Jackson that we were concerned about, but I think that’s part of maturity as it would be with Brek Shea, as it would be with Castillo or anyone else. As far as the big reasons why Jackson’s back here, he had some very uncomfortable, I should say, personal problems ... family problems that became personal that he had to deal with,” Hyndman said.
“And so, at that time that we weren't prepared for, but it came at a time where... FC Dallas also recognizes that if a player has got issues at home, those issues are not going to go away just by bringing him 5,000 miles. We’ve always enjoyed Jackson but we also feel if there’s issues, deal with it and then if the situation became right, we would welcome him back.”
Those issues the Dallas coach speaks of center around him missing a game with New England last summer to get married in Brazil. After returning, he did apologize to the entire team and looked like the same old player.
Jackson was a well-liked guy in the room for FCD, so a warm welcome is completely assured for the versatile talent who definitely left his mark on the club during his short time here. And here’s hoping those aforementioned personal issues are now things of the past because when this guy’s focused, he’s invaluable but when he’s not, well we’ve all seen the drop off when his focus isn’t there.
“We really felt it was important we strengthen our depth in the midfield as much as possible,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “Jackson wanted to come back to Dallas. He’s a player who knows our system and our players, and I expect his transition back into MLS will be very smooth.”
A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Jackson first joined FC Dallas from São Paulo FC on Aug. 13, 2010. He made his FC Dallas debut just one day later against D.C. United at RFK Stadium, coming on for Brek Shea in the 82nd minute of a 3-1 victory. Jackson started nine regular season games and all four playoff matches for Dallas in 2010, recording one assist.
Jackson recorded eight goals and three assists for FC Dallas across all competitions in 2011. He logged the ninth-most minutes during the regular season (1,952) and doubled his games played (28) and games started (22) totals from 2010. He also took 46 more shots in his second MLS season.
Starting left back Jair Benitez is another player who has been referred to in a similar vein, as in his seeming lack of that trait in certain games. Benitez’s composure deserted him yet again in Friday’s 4-1 road loss to D.C. United at RFK Stadium and sure, Danny Cruz sold the apparent elbow Benitez delivered and the one-game suspension Jair got for that infraction on Tuesday is more than a bit iffy, but the point is he shouldn’t have been in such a position in a first place. Then again, he should have had more composure than to just elbow a guy like he apparently did to Cruz.
Benitez won’t be the only starter Dallas will be missing on Thursday night against New England. Ex-captain Daniel Hernandez will also be suspended after being ejected from the D.C. game after earning a pair of yellow cards in the loss.
Who replaces Hernandez at defensive mid is a much bigger question than who replaces Benitez at left back as that will likely be Hernan Pertuz, but these two suspensions, which come at a time when FCD’s depth is still more than a bit suspect, does bring up the point that emotional intelligence has already been an issue for Hyndman’s club this season.
Of course, Benitez was well on his way to yellow card purgatory after earning a caution in each first two matches, a streak that ended in the loss at Kansas City, but composure has always been an issue with him and Hernandez has been suspended on several occasions during his career for yellow card accumulation.
So maybe not having Benitez and Hernandez has a somewhat unexpected silver lining for the Revolution game? Maybe it allows Hyndman to roll out a 4-4-2 formation for the first time this year or maybe it gives Pertuz and maybe even Bobby Warshaw or Bruno Guarda a chance to shine in the ex-captain’s place.
Hopefully Benitez and Hernandez will spend plenty of time contemplating how and why they are suspended this week because like it or not, the starting left back and d-mid are two players who are both pretty crucial to any success FCD hopes to have in 2011. If they can regain their composure and show some emotional intelligence, then it will be to the better of the entire club but if this becomes a trend, it could have far-reaching effects to say the least.
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.
It’s no big secret that for a good part of last season, Jackson’s head and heart just didn’t seem to be in playing here in the States. There were the two episodes where he was red carded, instances that infuriated FCD gaffer Schellas Hyndman so much that he coined the term “emotional intelligence” to describe exactly what kind of poise he expected in his players each and every time they set foot on the pitch.
Of course, there were other players who displayed a lack of “emotional intelligence” throughout the season, but Jackson was the one the term was coined for in the first place. And then there was the situation surrounding his wedding, which just happened to be scheduled for the same weekend as a game with New England.
But the thing that likely irked Hyndman and the other brass on World Cup Way was the fact that their versatile Brazilian hadn’t consulted them first. The FCD officials found out about Jackson’s pending nuptials only a few weeks before the actual date.
As we all remember, he went off to Brazil for his wedding, missing that game and leaving some ill will lingering in the room, not just with his coaches but with his teammates. And to his credit, Jackson did apologize to the entire squad, a display that seemed truly heartfelt, but it looks like the damage had already been done.
Sure, Jackson was a real trooper considering he started in the back, midfield and up top last year, answering the call from the coaches whenever or wherever they needed him. But the two red cards and the wedding situation looked to completely erode any goodwill he had built up not just with Hyndman and his staff but also with his teammates.
So, if the Soccer Sensei didn’t trust him, then why did he keep running him out each and every week in the first 11? Simply, considering how depleted this team was personnel wise last summer in the wake of a rash of injuries and plenty of extra games, Hyndman basically had no choice but to put Jackson out there.
In terms of talent, pace and a solid skill set, there were never any questions about his ability to get it done between the lines. But a perceived lack of maturity and a player with a serious case of homesickness might be how many FCD fans remember him.
Jackson is still only 23 and who knows, maybe this loan to Cruzeiro is just what he needs at this point in his career. Will he ever log another minute for FC Dallas? That remains to be seen, but last year he was a guy who first fell completely off Hyndman’s proverbial bus and was running to get back on the rest of the season. Maybe he’ll be back or maybe not, but no matter what, Hyndman is looking forward to 2012, a season where his plans won’t include Jackson.
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