Dallas Soccer: James Marcelin

FC Dallas dropped a 2-0 decision to the Charlotte Eagles at FC Dallas Stadium in the third round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Dallas outshot Charlotte, 28-7, and still lost.

Dallas’ George John and Zach Loyd were forced out of the match after suffering injuries between the 24th and 41st minutes of play. Homegrown player Moises Hernandez replaced Loyd, while James Marcelin came on for John, but it was Charlotte’s substitution that made the biggest impact.

The Eagles’ Nate Thornton replaced Joseph Kwabe in the 40th minute. He needed just two minutes before he picked up an assist on a goal scored by Darryl Roberts. The play began with Thornton chasing down a long pass on the right flank and sending a cross to the back post for Roberts. There, the Trinidadian forward rose above his marker to nod a shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

Dallas’ uphill battle got steeper in the 78th minute, when Jackson was ejected from the match following a collision with Irwin. The red card forced FC Dallas to play down a man for the remaining 12 minutes.

Pushing men forward in search of a game-saving goal, FC Dallas was caught on the counter-attack in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The Eagles’ combination of Thornton and Roberts hooked up again, this time in reverse, as Roberts received a pass on the left flank and played Thornton into space. One-on-one with FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, Thornton calmly picked out the side-netting at the far post to give Charlotte the 2-0 victory.

Schellas Hyndman says James Marcelin still adjusting

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
2:12
PM CT
James Marcelin has now been with FC Dallas just over a month and in that time he has played in five matches, four of them starts. And while there have been some flashes of what the big man from Haiti can do in the middle of the yard, his addition to the central midfield of a depleted Dallas squad really hasn't brought all that much in the way of measurable results. Maybe some of us are starting to see what Portland head coach John Spencer saw that prompted him to cut him loose this spring. Either way, here’s FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman’s take on how the big fella has done thus far.

“He’s adjusting to what we’re doing. I thought there was a good improvement from the Chicago game to the Real Salt Lake game,” Hyndman said. “We sat down and talked with him. One of the things we wanted him to do was be more dominant in the air. Sometimes it’s really frustrating when you’ve got a guy that’s 6-foot-3 that’s not winning head balls or not attempting to win head balls and we talked about that. He had a head injury, so I think he’s a little hesitant sometimes but I saw some great improvements in Salt Lake because he understands this is something we’re looking for.”

Five quick hits heading into Seattle game

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
2:51
AM CT
We’re a day, give or take, from FC Dallas hosting Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday night in Frisco, so here are five quick hits on the game.

1. Hartman or Seitz in Goal? ---FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said after Sunday’s
2-0 loss to Colorado that he’d like to give one of the next two games to Chris Seitz. Will this be the game where the ex-Maryland Terrapin gets the nod or will Hyndman wait until Saturday night when Dallas visits Columbus to face the Crew? That decision was likely made after a short training session on Tuesday morning on the FC Dallas Stadium field.

2. Shea Back or Not? ---Brek Shea missed Sunday’s loss with a case of turf toe that has been bothering him for the last few weeks. He didn’t train on Monday but could still be in Hyndman’s first 11 for Wednesday. However, for that to happen, the 6-foot-4 native Texan will most likely have to have gone through Tuesday’s practice with little or no issues. If Shea was to miss the Seattle game, he would have to be considered a near lock to return to the pitch on Saturday night against the Crew.

3. Who’s in for Blas Perez Up Top? ---Hyndman may or may not have a tough decision on his hands. It all depends on how one views the situation. Conventional wisdom says the Dallas gaffer sticks with veteran Scott Sealy here even though Sealy’s results haven’t been all that notable since he returned to full health. Hyndman rolling the dice with a youngster like Ruben Luna would be an interesting move, but is likely not one he’d be willing to make, especially in the wake of having two starters out on suspension.

4. Is Marcelin Ready for Prime Time? ---Newly signed Haitian midfielder James Marcelin made his FCD debut on Sunday night, playing the entire second half at holding midfield and did well enough to earn solid reviews from Hyndman. The ex-SMU coach admits Marcelin isn’t match fit, but what other choice does he have than to start him at d-mid with starter Daniel Hernandez serving a suspension for this game? Not much of a choice at all, does he?

5. How Much Will FCD Have in the Tank for This One? ---Forget the fact that Dallas has just under 72 hours between games. Sunday’s loss took a lot out of FCD in several ways but playing two men down for the final 56 or so minutes will do that. And now that Hyndman’s club will hit the pitch on Wednesday night minus two starters, this is clearly an uphill battle for them to get any kind of favorable result against a team that is playing some good football right now. Schellas labeled Sounders FC as a tenacious team that is like a shark when they smell blood in the water. If that doesn’t describe FCD right now, then it’s hard to say what does.

6. (Bonus) Who Starts for Ugo Ihemelu? ---The captain is out with concussion symptons, either Matt Hedges or Hernan Pertúz will take his place. Earlier this year Pertúz would have been the obvious choice, but of late Hedges has done well filling in. Best guess at this point is Pertúz... or it could be Hedges... wait...

Schellas Hyndman comfortable with James Marcelin filling in

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
3:26
PM CT
FC Dallas’ newest player, James Marcelin, didn’t have to wait long to make his club debut. The Haitian midfielder was pressed into duty at halftime of Sunday night’s 2-0 loss to Colorado.

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman needed someone to play defensive midfielder in the wake of starter Daniel Hernandez being ejected with about 10 minutes remaining in the open half, so Hyndman called on Marcelin, and by all accounts he did well.

“I think he showed us a little bit yesterday. I think he’s not match fit, so that’s a concern. He’s been up with Portland, went through preseason but once the season started, he wasn’t getting games. They decided to go in a different direction. That’s why they waived them. Now all of a sudden here’s a waived player that’s going to be starting for us a week after he got here,” Hyndman said. “Yeah, I’m OK with it, comfortable with it because you have to always think about what’s the other options?”

Marcelin agrees that he’s not match fit, but added that he does feel like he can contribute to his new club.

“I think I’m 75 [percent] right now because of that game [on Sunday],” he said after training Monday. “I worked hard. I wasn’t ready because I had a hamstring injury and then I came here. I already played a half in a reserve game.”

However, he admits that playing 45 minutes in a reserve game for FCD last Tuesday did help him out on Sunday night.

“I didn’t play the whole game because I didn’t want to force it with my (hamstring) injury,” Marcelin said. “I didn’t know where I was at because of the injury. I didn’t practice before I came here. I just came in and played the reserve game without knowing (about my injury).”

He admits that when Hyndman asked him to go in at the start of the final half of play, he didn’t know what to expect, but after shaking his initial feelings of discomfort, he felt better even though he didn’t come on in the most ideal of circumstances for his club debut.

“At first, I wasn’t comfortable because it was different. When we had the ball, we had to run into spaces to make plays so we can have the ball,” Marcelin said. “We couldn’t do anything but defend but we had to do what we had to do.”

So, is he ready to possibly make his first start with FCD as soon as Wednesday against Seattle Sounders FC, a game which Hernandez will miss on suspension. “It’s not physical right now (for this team),” Marcelin said. “The team lost two men in the game. It’s all about mental right now. We have to focus on that.”

He didn’t know anybody on the Dallas roster prior to arriving but was familiar with many of the players after spending 2011 with Portland and playing FCD twice. “I played them twice last year, at home and then here. But I didn’t have any friends here.”

But the affable Haitian did say that he was pretty good friends with a pair of Portland teammates who had Dallas ties in midfielder Eric Alexander, who came over in a trade for Jeremy Hall last summer, and ex-FCD striker Kenny Cooper.
Head Coach Schellas Hyndman

On the five cards issued in the first half…

It is real easy for me to sit here and bicker and complain about the obvious, but I would ask you to take a look at the videos. The first play of the game when Jackson gets taken down by [Tyrone] Marshall on the breakaway, that really sets the tone and the tempo. I challenge you to look at the video, and you come up with your own conclusion.

On the red card to Blas Perez…

I did see it as a 50/50 play, and I don’t think there was anything intentional. It was simply two players going for the ball and it is what it is.

On James Marcelin’s debut in the second half…

He did fine. It was just a difficult game. We needed someone in there for Daniel [Hernandez]. We had choices and we could have gone with a striker, or two strikers. You can appreciate that in the back of my mind, I was wondering if we were going to lose another man. At what point of time do you try and make it a battle?

On some of the positives the team can take away from this game:

I don’t think you ever want to underestimate that there are positive things to come out of games, win or lose. It was just a disappointing event. The players, I was really proud of them for how much they gave. It says a lot about the character of this team. They don’t give up. If we would have played another 45 minutes, they would have given the same effort. The game really gave us an opportunity to work on being a man down.

FC Dallas midfielder James Marcelin

General thoughts on the match… For me personally, I feel good. I feel good that I got in the match, but not too good because of the loss. It was a tough loss for the team, but we really couldn’t do anything about it.

On playing two men down…

It’s so hard to play against a team up two men. The defense is constantly under pressure, trying not to give up any goals. We would have loved to have not given up any goals, but we did well only allowing two.

On the short week, playing Seattle on Wednesday…

We’ve got to move forward and keep positive. If we work hard in practice, we should be able to get a good result against Seattle.

Have you ever played in a match where you were down two men?

No. That was my first time. Coach told us to take the ball to the outsides to attack. [Colorado] already had more players in the middle before the red cards, so we tried to attack on the outsides.

FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd

What was the team’s mentality, playing down two men?

As a team, the biggest thing is to come together. Despite the loss, we showed a lot of character, a lot of our guys who played the full 90 worked exceptionally hard. It’s obviously hard going down two guys. I thought we were resilient. We kept them from scoring a goal for a while but they just managed to break us down eventually. But overall, the team did a good job and showed a lot of fight today.

What did Schellas say at halftime?

He just told us it’s about character. When you go down two guys, the biggest thing is to not give up. You’re in a fight. You’re still trying to get a point. We did well as a team. I think the fans appreciate the hard work we put into the game when the odds were against us. Overall, it’s not the performance we would have liked to put on here at home but given the situation, I thought we fought hard.

What can you take out of today’s game?

The biggest thing we can take from today’s game is character. A lot of guys showed character today and that they’re willing to put in the hard work for this team going into a tough stretch of games.

Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja

General thoughts on the match…

The second half, FC Dallas gave us a lot of difficulties. We couldn’t put in more goals. Now it is a different game when you’re playing a team with two men down, but I have to give all the credit to our players that came up with intelligence and patience and we put the things together. Scoring a goal is not easy when you put in a 4-3-1, which they did. The win was well deserved. Even when we were playing against their 11, we were a much better team than them.

Talk about facing FC Dallas for the first time as an opposing coach

It’s awkward you know. I spent 14 years here. But that’s the profession. You just have to come in here and do the job. It happened to me as a player. Sometimes you have to go and play against the players you love, the team you love and the city you love. As I said it’s a little awkward, but we came in and did our job.

On the offensive sub at halftime

This is the challenge that we have. When you have to play as one, it’s normal. We were expecting to play a team that put two forward waiting for a mistake to come at a run at us.

On playing against a team two players down…

When a team is down two you want to score goals because you have two more players. That desperation can become a challenge, but we did a good job. We wanted to put in Conor [Casey] to put in two forwards to have more offensive moments. We did a good job even though they had nine guys. You know you still have to create options.

Colorado defender Drew Moor

On the red card…

His cleat was extended into me. I don’t think he meant any malice in it whatsoever, but it is a scary situation. I hit my head pretty hard and I wanted to be sure that was ok. It was a physical game. It always is when the two of us line up against each other and that’s the way it went tonight.

On playing in Dallas…

You know it’s always tough to come back and play here. Oscar might not tell you he was nervous, but I’ll tell you he was nervous as well. You know this club meant a lot to both of us. And to be able to come in and win three points like this at this point in the season where we had had a dip in form at the end of a three-game week, it’s big. It’s always special. I had a lot of friends and family in the crowd. A lot of friends who supported me when I played for Dallas and continue to support me even when I play with the Rapids, so it’s a special place. I played in over a hundred games here for FC Dallas and it will always be a special place for me. A big part of my heart stays here. It makes it that much sweeter to finally get three points here.

On being captain

It has been great. You know Pablo [Mastroeni] is still our captain. We see him plenty and we hope nothing but the best for him because he’s going through some scary stuff right now. You don’t want to mess with concussions. I’ve had a few myself and they can be very scary. But I’m always proud to wear the armband. I wore it several times when Pablo Recendez was injured or missing games and it’s always special and it never gets old.

Colorado forward Conor Casey

On getting three points in Dallas…

It felt great. It was a great game to come into being up a couple men. It was good to get a good run in myself and then obviously great for the squad to pick up three points. This was huge for us. With such a long amount of time off, it’s important to go in there feeling good and obviously we are happy with the win and it’s going to make this week more enjoyable for sure.

How did you feel?

I felt great. I felt great. Obviously being up two men makes it a little bit easier. You don’t have to run as much. It was a great game for me to come into with the first chance to get some real good minutes. I feel good about it and I just want to build on it.
As we mentioned was happening in the practice observations yesterday, FC Dallas has signed 6-foot-2 midfielder James Marcelin off the waiver wire form Portland Timbers.

“We’ve had James training with us for three or four days and we like some of the things he does,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He’s athletic, technically sound and keeps the ball. I think for our team, where we are today with the recent injury to Bobby (Warshaw), he’s a nice addition.”

Born in Saint-Marc, Haiti, Marcelin joined the Portland Timbers in 2010 and was with the club for their transition to Major League Soccer in 2011. Marcelin appeared in 22 USL games with the Timbers in 2010 and played 12 games for the expansion side in their inaugural MLS season.

Prior to signing with the Timbers, Marcelin spent two seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders where he appeared in 22 games for the NASL side, which won the Commissioner’s Cup with the midfielder in 2008.

In 2007 and 2009, Marcelin joined the Haitian National Team for the Gold Cup and played the full 90 for his home country against the U.S. Virgin Islands on Sept. 2, 2011.

Marcelin was wearing No. 25 in training this week with FCD.

Side story: Hyndman called ex-FCD and current PR Islanders coach Colin Clarke to ask about Marcelin. Clarke gave a ringing endorsement and that's part of why Hyndman was willing to pounce so quickly. That and Marco Ferruzi's report of Marcelin playing well in the reserve game.

It's nice to hear there is communication between Hyndman and Clarke. Clarke having shown a great ability to find diamonds in the rough down there in PR... and when he was in Dallas to for that matter. I always felt Clarke got a bit of a railroading when he left here. Never could figure why no one ever considered him for any more MLS jobs given his track record.

Practice observations: May the 4th be with you

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
1:34
PM CT

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.

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Broadcasting live from FC Dallas Stadium, Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on the absolute footy feast that was Saturday's TV bonanza featuring seven live games from the Premiership followed by a full MLS slate.