Dallas Soccer: Josh Lambo

With Jeremy Hall gone, who could be next for FC Dallas?

November, 30, 2011
Two names, Edson Edward and Jeremy Hall, have already been pared from the FC Dallas roster this off-season. Edward being released was no big surprise but then again, neither was the trade with Toronto FC to send a disappointing Hall to the Reds.

But with these two moves comes a bigger question, who’s next? After a disappointing finish to the season and having several Generation adidas players graduate, there will likely be several more personnel moves before preseason begins on Jan. 13, 2012. Here’s a look at who could be next:

Maykel Galindo---When FCD brought the Cuban-born striker in early last season, everyone hoped the club would get the Galindo from the early part of his stay in Chivas USA, when he was one of the top scorers in the league rather than the oft-injured version that surfaced later in his tenure with the Red-and-White. After arriving in poor shape, it took Galindo a while to get back to speed and after a litany of injuries. He did see the field for six games, including one start, but the results just weren’t there. Chalk this up to a gamble worth taking, but one that clearly didn’t work out. Expect an outright release here since Galindo has little to no trade value.

Bruno Guarda---Guarda could definitely help provide some midfield depth in 2012. When healthy in 2011, he did make some contributions-chipping in five assists in 11 games. However, the SMU product did just finish his third full season in MLS and other than a spot start here or there, he has yet to become a consistent member of FCD’s first 11. Logic dictates that if he hasn’t cracked Schellas Hyndman’s lineup yet that he never will. Still, I wouldn't expect to see Bruno released but he could be traded if Dallas could get something of value for him. Maybe Guarda would thrive with a fresh start elsewhere.

Josh Lambo---This Wisconsin native would honestly have been better served if he had gone the collegiate route and spent a couple of years playing at that level before coming to MLS. Lambo was taken in the first round of the same draft as Brek Shea, the 2008 Super Draft and we’ve all seen what kind of player Shea has become. Lambo on the other hand has languished on the bench and in the eyes of some, has even regressed. His maturity level was a big question early in his pro career and he has had bad luck with some injury issues. Now that FCD has up-and-comer Richard Sanchez in the fold, they won’t be keeping four ‘keepers, so Lambo will almost certainly be gone.

Jack Stewart---Stewart was another midseason addition who was brought in to give FCD some defensive cover. Of course, he did have the huge goal in the win over Toronto FC at BMO Field in Champions League play, a tally that’s all but forgotten after Dallas crashed out of the CCL with a 4-0 loss to the same Reds club back in September. Stewart is 27 and does have a solid resume of playing experience. Stewart appeared in two games, including one start, in league play. He could stick around for preseason as a depth guy in the back but could also be released should Dallas find a better option on defense. FCD assistant John Ellinger is a big fan of his after coaching him in Salt Lake and Ellinger’s voice carries considerable weight with Hyndman.

Four to drop and four to keep for FC Dallas in 2012

November, 16, 2011
With the 2011 off-season now just over two weeks old for FC Dallas, it’s time to look at which players might remain in the fold for 2012 or which might be sent packing? This is just one individual’s opinion but here’s a take on four players who fall on both sides of the ledger:

Four to Drop

Edson Edward D---Seeing this guy make the opening-day roster in preseason 2010 was one heck of a great story, especially with him being from an NAIA school in Canada. He even got to make his MLS debut late last season. However, a knee injury sidelined him for all of 2011 and it would have been unlikely to see him make the roster anyway. Still, he’s a great kid with some solid skills who could get another shot in this league or maybe in the NASL.

Maykel Galindo F---Galindo came to FCD with a great attitude and a great mentality. However, there was one small issue with the Cuban-born striker, he wasn’t exactly fit when he arrived here early in the year. That lack of fitness ended up costing him dearly as it seemed like every time he got close to regaining his health, he suffered a setback in the form of some nagging ailment. He did get healthy toward the end of the year and did log some minutes with the first team but the results just weren’t there. It was worth a shot but this is one experiment that just didn’t work.

Jeremy Hall D---Hindsight is always 20/20 but there are few who follow this club that liked this deal from the start. After all, the trading of Eric Alexander out of the midfield was unpopular on several fronts. One, it sent to Portland a kid who had become a fan favorite and two, it ended up being a bad move because midfield depth wasn’t exactly the strength the FCD brass thought it was and this team definitely could have used Alexander down the stretch. Hall still has a great upside but hasn’t really cut it with New York, Portland or now with Dallas. Maybe it’s time we all realize he’s nowhere near the player in MLS that he was during his college days at Maryland.

Josh Lambo GK---Nothing against Lambo but he hasn’t really shown a great deal since he’s been here. Sure, there have been several injuries for him to contend with and he has been a Generation Adidas player but for a guy who was drafted so highly not all that long ago, where are the returns on this pick? Some thought him getting married during last off-season would result in a more mature and focused ‘keeper and for some of the time, it did. But with the emergence of Richard Sanchez from the FCD Academy, there really isn’t room for Lambo, so if indeed he graduates from GA status, he’s likely gone before 2012.

Four to Keep

Daniel Cruz M---Sure, Cruz didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his 10 games with FCD, six of which were starts. However, he did have one goal and one assist and did show flashes of some solid skill while on the ball. For a team whose midfield depth has now become somewhat of an issue, especially down the stretch of the recently-concluded 2011 season, keeping Cruz at least to start the season makes absolute sense. Now if he doesn’t show something else early on, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him go because if Dallas fans know anything, it’s that gaffer Schellas Hyndman is never afraid to make a move if he feels it will better his club.

Bruno Guarda M---Guarda saw time in 11 games, five of them starts and contributed two assists in 2011. And it is a fair point that he hasn’t even come close to being the star he was during his college years at SMU. But when healthy last season, he gave FCD a viable option in the middle of the park and at times, he was a more than able fill-in at linking mid with starter Andrew Jacobson battling knee issues for much of the year. If not just from a depth standpoint, Bruno has value on this team. The big question is whether or not Hyndman can find an upgrade over the former Mustang this off-season. If that’s the case, then Guarda’s time playing under Hyndman will effectively be over.

Maicon Santos F---To put it bluntly, Santos was the soccer equivalent of ex-big leaguer Kurt Bevacqua. If you don’t get the reference, former Dodger manager Tommy LaSorda once put it oh so eloquently in a rant that is forever immortalized on YouTube saying that Bevacqua couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a [expletive] boat. It was about that bad for Santos in his 11 games, nine of which were starts this year in league play. Maicon took a total of 40 shots, 11 of which were on frame and only two of those went in. That’s a success rate of a paltry five percent for those of you scoring at home. While this cold streak was going on, it turns out that he had been bothered by a tooth issue and had taken drugs for that ailment, which was affecting his play. But what about after his tooth healed? There was little if any difference. Santos likely starts 2011 with FCD but he will be on the shortest of leashes and if there is any hint of his finishing problems in 2012, then he could join the long list of former Dallas strikers who have been cut.

Ricardo Villar M---Villar’s first few months with FCD were pretty uneventful to say the least. He did start early in the year against San Jose and the results were underwhelming at best. The Brazilian-born midfielder was a bit miffed that he wasn’t getting more playing time, to which Hyndman replied he needed to show more during training. But to Villar's credit, he did the work in training to eventually earn a spot on the field and made some fairly notable contributions during the US Open Cup, an event where Dallas advanced all the way to the semifinals. Still, the big question with him is he a starting-caliber player, especially on this team? That remains to be seen but even if he isn’t, he could still be a valuable piece if not just for his set piece prowess heading into the 2012 season.

Ruben Luna nets game winner for FCD Reserves in 2-0 win over Houston

September, 26, 2011
FCD Reserves (4-3-0, 12 points) defeated the Houston Dynamo Reserves (4-4-0, 12 points) 2-0 Sunday morning at Pizza Hut Park. Home Grown talent Ruben Luna scored the game winner and his team leading 4th goal of the season in the 74th minute. The second goal game on a own goal from Will Bruin who headed a FCD corner kick past his own keeper.

Luna's goal came on a line drive punt from FCD netminder Josh Lambo. The Houston defense midjudged the bouncing punt at midfield and allowed Luna in behind them. Luna caught up with the ball inside the box and slide it past Tyler Deric before the two collided.

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Ruben Luna 74
HOU – own goal (Will Bruin) 85

Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Eddie Robinson (caution; unsporting behavior) 71

FC Dallas Reserves – Chris Seitz (Josh Lambo 46), Jeremy Hall (*Michael Ambrose 76), ^David Rodriguez, Jack Stewart (Mark Ashby 46), Moises Hernandez, Bobby Warshaw (*Jia Jie Zhuang 46), Victor Ulloa, Bryan Leyva, Andrew Wiedeman (Jonathan Top 42), Maykel Galindo, Ruben Luna.

Substitutes not used: Richard Sanchez, *Mark Ashby, *Daniel Garcia.

* = FC Dallas Academy player
^ = FC Dallas guest player

Houston Dynamo Reserves – Tyler Deric, Hunter Freeman, Jermaine Taylor, Eddie Robinson, *Christian Gonzalez, JeVaughn Watson (Francisco Naves Cobo 46), Josue Soto, Jason Garey, Colin Clark (*Bradley Bourgeios 76), Will Bruin, Can Weaver.

Substitutes not used: *Fernando Pina, Alex Dixon, Danny Cruz, Calen Carr, *Alan Arellano.

* = Houston Dynamo Academy player

Referee: Fernando Galvan
Referee’s Assistants: Alex Cantu, Chris Gordon
4th Official: Rickey Mercado
Weather: Clear, 79 degrees

2011 FC Dallas salaries

May, 8, 2011
As they do everyone year, the MLS Players Union has released the salaries for their players for the 2011 season. I have pulled out the FC Dallas salaries from there data.

Senior Roster

These players all count against the salary cap, but as I mention every year, these are NOT the salary cap numbers. As a prime example of this I mention Fabian Castillo and his $42,000 salary.

Castillo, as we know, is a designat Player this year and this year only because of the transfer fee MLS/FCD paid for him. Transfer fees are included in the salary cap number. So Castillo’s Salary cap number is the DP number of $335,000 and not the $42,000 he gets paid.

The two numbers listed for each player are his base salary and the guaranteed compensation he will get with bonuses.

Eric Alexander 46,750.00 46,750.00
Eric Avila 100,000.00 133,000.00
Jair Benitez 150,000.00 171,250.00
Fabian Castillo 42,000.00 42,000.00
Marvin Chavez 50,000.00 50,000.00
Kyle Davies 62,500.00 62,500.00
Edson Edward 42,000.00 42,000.00
David Ferreira 600,000.00 705,000.00
Maykel Galindo 55,404.00 55,404.00
Jackson Goncalves 84,000.00 105,375.00
Bruno Guarda 48,000.00 63,000.00
Kevin Hartman 155,000.00 175,000.00
Daniel Hernandez 160,000.00 172,500.00
Ugo Ihemelu 170,000.00 170,000.00
Andrew Jacobson 45,000.00 45,000.00
George John 42,000.00 42,000.00
Zach Loyd 52,250.00 96,875.00
Milton Rodriguez 198,000.00 228,000.00
Chris Seitz 100,000.00 100,000.00
Brek Shea 100,000.00 133,000.00
Ricardo Villar 150,000.00 150,000.00

Developmental Roster

These 10 players do not count against the salary cap.
Moises Hernandez 42,000.00 44,500.00
Josh Lambo 100,000.00 133,000.00
Bryan Leyva 55,000.00 70,833.33
Ruben Luna 55,000.00 74,500.00
Peri Marosevic 80,000.00 129,000.00
Richard Sanchez 32,600.00 33,600.00
Jonathan Top 32,600.00 32,600.00
Victor Ulloa 42,000.00 44,500.00
Bobby Warshaw 42,000.00 53,250.00
Andrew Wiedeman 75,000.00 118,000.00

Some thoughts and observations…

Castillo could be a developmental player based on his salary if not for the DP transfer status.

Kevin Hartman got a nice raise this year as last year he was on $75 K - $80 K. He’s more where he should be this season.

Underpaid based on PT/value? Marvin Chavez and George John. Maybe Andrew Jacobson at this rate.

Overpaid? Milton Rodriguez and Ricardo Villar. One might be tempted to add the GA players, but they are paid on a league standard.

Ricardo Villar makes the same base as Dax McCarty, which is surprising given salary as one of the reasons FCD let McCarty go… although I believe McCarty’s deal escalates the next few seasons.

I like seeing Leyva and Luna with the potential to make big jump with bonuses.

Depth chart analysis: goalkeepers

March, 18, 2011
Goalkeeper is probably the easiest position in the FCD system to break down. There isn't any doubt about the top two spots, leaving only some questions in the lower level of the position.

#1 on the list is #1 on the roster, Kevin Hartman. There is absolutely zero doubt that is the top choice at keeper having just pulled off the best statistical season in MLS history with a 0.62 goals against average. The only question is if he can do it again.

With the departure of Dario Sala there is a new keeper behind Hartman, Chris Seitz. Seitz was once the golden boy of US Youth soccer, the next Tim Howard if you will. He has perhaps not quite lived up to that billing, but is still a relatively young (for keepers) 24 and started 23 games for Philadelphia Union last season. Seitz is capable of starting in MLS, has some experience, and could be the keeper of the future here. He should be good enough to apply pressure on Hartman for the starting spot this season as well, something coach Schellas Hyndman likes.

Behind Seitz is gets a little murky. At #3 in theory is Josh Lambo. However we have yet to see any evidence that Hyndman either likes or trusts Lambo. The last few seasons, after joining MLS at 17, FCD has been trying to get Lambo playing time in games. The death of the reserve league (which is now back) coincided with, give or take, Lambo's arrival in MLS. Two loan seasons have followed, neither with nearly as much PT as hoped. Even this season Seitz may get the bulk of PT in reserve games. As a consequence Lambo has not progressed, it appears, as much as everyone would have hoped. Leaving him in a tough position of needing to play and not being able to play.

It may be time for Lambo to look for a new team, because FCD now has a 4th keeper Richard Sanchez. Sanchez, signed at 16 from the FCD Academy, is a bright young talent who plays for the Mexico U17 side. Hyndman has called him the best goal keeper he has ever seen at his age. And that's saying something. If Hyndman is that jazzed about Sanchez, over the next couple of seasons the club may push to get Sanchez more PT in the reserve league.

You have to wonder where that will leave Lambo, if forced to got to a third keeper would he or Sanchez get the nod? It's an interesting question one hopes FCD does't have to answer.

Goalkeeper Depth Chart
1. Kevin Hartman
2. Chris Seitz
3. Josh Lambo
4. Richard Sanchez

FC Dallas drop Arizona exhibition to Montreal Impact

March, 3, 2011
A team of reserves, trialists, and draft picks lost to the Montreal Impact 3-0 at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday after arriving from Florida earlier that day. Ali Gerba, Luke Kreamalmeyer and Idriss Ech Chergui scored for Montreal.

This game featured one of the first sightings of one of the newest FC Dallas home grown players, Jonathan Top, who came on the 66th minute. Josh Lambo got a rare bit of playing time, as did Peri Marosevic, Victor Ulloa, Andrew Wiedeman, and Bryan Leyva. Draftpick and potential striker/winger Charlie Campbell played 90 minutes at outside back.

Trialist Christian Arrieta got a 90 minute run, while Maykel Galindo and Kevin Gall each got a half.

Dallas remains in Phoenix through Tuesday, March 8. The defending Western Conference Champions' next match is scheduled for Saturday, March 5 against the Arizona Sahuaros.

Scoring Summary:
MON - Ali Gerba (Luke Kreamalmeyer) 21
MON - Kreamalmeyer 53
MON - Idriss Ech Chergui 76

Misconduct Summary:
Antonio Ribeiro (caution) 4
Hassoun Camara (caution) 44
Bruno Guarda (caution) 44
Richard Pelletier (caution) 79

FC Dallas - Chris Seitz (Josh Lambo 46), Moises Hernandez, Christian Arrieta, Scott Gordon, Charlie Campbell, Bobby Warshaw (Jonathan Top 66), Eric Avila (Victor Ulloa 46), Andrew Jacobson (Peri Marosevic 46), Bruno Guarda, Maykel Galindo (Kevin Gall 46), Andrew Wiedeman (Bryan Leyva 46).

Montreal Impact - Bill Gaudette (Evan Bush 62), Philippe Billy (Bonheur Aubey 81), Hassoun Camara (Kevin Cossette 87), Leonardo Di Lorenzo, Ali Gerba (Idriss Ech Chergui 64), Kevin Hatchi (Felix Cardin 88), Luke Kreamalmeyer, Pierre-Roudolph Mayard, Nevio Pizzolitto, Antonio Ribeiro (Simon Gatti 68), Zurab Tsiskaridze (Nevio Pelletier 66).

And then there were three

February, 5, 2011

Four little Indians going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

It was recently pointed out by Brek Shea to a colleague of mine, who then shared it with me, that only three players remain on the FC Dallas squad from the 2008 season: Brek Shea, Josh Lambo and Eric Avila.

All three are from the 2008 SuperDraft, the last one conducted by Steve Morrow, that must at this point be graded a success. But that's a side point.

The greater point is the roster clearing that Schellas Hyndman has undertaken since he got here. This current FCD squad is now clearly his team. Of the three remaining players, only Shea is a starter. Avila may have a shot to win a starting spot this year but most likley will continue his roll off the bench. Lambo is still in project mode looking for playing time to improve his skill set.

If FCD carries a 30 man roster this season, 27 of the 30 players will have been drafted, signed, or traded for by Hyndman.

Jeff Cunningham (brought in my Hyndman in 2008) and Dario Sala were the last two holdovers from 2008 to depart when they were let go this winter.

FC Dallas trades for Chris Seitz

December, 15, 2010
In a move that likely means the end of the road for Dario Sala in Dallas, or perhaps Josh Lambo, FC Dallas today made a move to acquire well traveled goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

FC Dallas still has Josh Lambo on it's roster, and with the club not picking up Dario Sala's option it seems likely the veteran goalkeeper could be done in Dallas. Sala is a free agent and could be re-signed, but that would most likely mean FCD would need to trade Lambo. Given Seitz's MLS experience, Sala looks like the odd man out.

FC Dallas acquires goalkeeper Chris Seitz from Seattle Sounders FC

FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 15, 2010) – FC Dallas acquired goalkeeper Chris Seitz from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for a 2012 FC Dallas fourth round SuperDraft selection, the team announced today.

Seattle selected Seitz ninth overall in the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Process Wednesday afternoon. Seitz spent the 2010 season with the expansion Philadelphia Union, starting 22 games and posting a 1.80 goals against average. The 23-year-old California native went 5-12-6 between the posts.

Real Salt Lake drafted Seitz third overall in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, but the young keeper was never able to wrest the starting job from Nick Rimando. During his three seasons with RSL, Seitz made seven starts and recorded a 1.86 goals against average to go with a 1-4-2 record.

Seitz helped the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team qualify for the 2008 Olympics and served as the squad’s back-up to Brad Guzan for the Summer Games in Beijing that August. Last November Real Salt Lake traded the young prospect to Philadelphia for allocation money.

As the reigning Western Conference Champions, FC Dallas earned its first trip to the MLS Cup in 2010 following a record-setting year that saw the club set MLS marks for its 19-game unbeaten streak and its 12-game road unbeaten streak. The Dallas side also tied the MLS mark for fewest losses in an MLS season with four, while the Dallas defense allowed the fewest goals against in club history with only 28 through 30 games.

Player: Chris Seitz
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 236 lbs.
Born: March 12, 1987
Place of Birth: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Hometown: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: Seattle Sounders FC

How Acquired: Via Trade with Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 in exchange for a 2012 FC Dallas fourth round SuperDraft selection

Practice report: October 12th, 2010

October, 12, 2010
It’s been pointed out before by more knowledgeable folks than me that the first session back on the training field after a game is a strange beast, in that you’ll see coaches trying a lot of things that they wouldn’t do closer to game time. I’ve been told that coaches past, such as Colin Clarke, were already at least 90% sure of the next game’s starting eleven as soon as the previous 90 minutes were over. It’s becoming pretty clear that, with the versatility that so many players on this squad show, Schellas Hyndman is so much more open to a player stepping up and proving that they deserve consideration, whether in their preferred spot or somewhere else they are potentially suited to.

Sunday’s reserve game against Colorado, for example, saw a backline of Ugo Ihemelu, Andrew Wiedeman and Jason Yeisley – two young forwards and a guy who’s barely back from a concussion, and was therefore kept out of the box when defending set pieces. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, yet not only did FCD win, they also kept a clean sheet. Obviously Wiedeman and Yeisley are doing whatever it takes to fight for a roster spot next season, which can only be a good thing, but it also reflects well on a coaching staff that is willing to think outside of the box.

And so we come back to the strangeness of today’s session’s scrimmage on Field 7, in which the team of mostly “starters” had David Ferreira playing left back.

Yep, you read that right, not center mid or striker, not even left mid. Left back. Of course we can’t read a whole lot into this; Ferreira’s no more likely to play left back at Rio Tinto this weekend than I am, but it did show something that you don’t always get to see from him at his usual attacking mid/withdrawn forward role – a surprising adeptness at defense. Here is a player whose soccer IQ is high enough that you can drop him anywhere on the field and he can read the game well enough to know where he needs to be in order to make the play, whether on the attacking side of the ball or defending.

It all comes down to the “defense-first” mentality that Coach Hyndman has instilled in the team. It’s not really a secret that, in this league at least, a good offense can win you a game, but a good defense can win you a championship. There’s a reason that the top-scoring LA Galaxy in 2008 and FCD in 2009 did not make the playoffs – the Goals Against column.

The second half of last year, the team was exciting to watch – you knew you were going to get goals, but unfortunately you also knew you were going to see at least one defensive brainfart that would mean some of those goals would be for the opposition. This year, there’s still the occasional mistake, but it feels like any player on the field has the ability to cover and ensure that any chances those mistake create are at least difficult ones. I still feel like there’s a piece or two missing that can turn some of those 14 ties into wins, but in my short time as an FCD fan, this is the closest I’ve ever seen to a championship-winning team.

Of course, I doubt Ferreira’s insertion into the backline was entirely planned ahead – several players were kept out of the main training session today for one reason or another.

I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that all three of George John, Ugo Ihemelu and Daniel Hernandez not only came through training unscathed, but looked solid out there. John in particular was making some excellent defensive plays, and Hernandez ripped a shot from the halfway line on the shortened pitch that rattled Josh Lambo’s crossbar. With Tampa Bay’s season over, Lambo is back training with the team, but does not have a roster spot. He and Chris Sharpe traded places in net throughout the session.

Kevin Hartman continues to be sidelined, but he is showing progress, joining the team for the warm-up drills, before working with Drew Keeshan in the net on Field 4. I highly doubt he’ll be ready for Salt Lake this weekend, but with some luck and hard work, he may be back in time for LA. Time will tell.

The other players kept out today, besides Pearce and Shea with the national team, were:

- Kyle Davies, who took a knock to the head during the reserve game. No word yet on whether he has a concussion or (hopefully) something less serious, we’ll just have to watch for FCD’s injury report. He was working on the stationary bike and stretching with the trainer.

- Edson Edward, who has been suffering from some tightness in his left thigh. He too was working on the bike and stretching.

- Atiba Harris, who also looked to be carrying a left leg problem. He did warm up with the team before moving to the bike, so I’m thinking he was just kept out as a precaution after experiencing some soreness during the warmup

- Moises Hernandez. I didn’t get the scoop on his injury, but he was mostly working on some stretching and ball drills with a trainer.

After starting with some passing drills, the team scrimmaged for the rest of the session, with the focus, as it often is, on quick one- and two-touch passing. As well as the regular goals patrolled by the keepers, each team also had a small (I would guess slightly larger than hockey-sized) goal to attack/defend at each corner – any shots aimed at these goals had to be kept low or they didn’t count. I believe at certain points between stoppages, players could only pass to a player wearing a different color (red and blue “mostly starters” played white and green “mostly reserves”), but I wasn’t always keeping good enough track to be sure of that. I lost count of the number of goals, but I believe the red/blue team ended up the winners.

There were a couple of notable plays to report on, all of them involving Eric Avila, who was playing for blue/red. After winning a tackle on Wiedeman, Avila laid the ball off to Ferreira, who first-timed a pass for Avila to run on to. It looked like he’d played the ball too long, yet somehow Avila kept the ball in play with a first-timed low cross across the box, perfectly weighted for Yeisley to slam the ball home past Dario Sala. Another Yeisley goal, this time into the near corner goal, was started by Avila, who chipped a loose ball over Peri Marosevic’s head to Yeisley, who then slotted a header between Peri and Wiedeman to Milton Rodriguez. Rodriguez, following Avila’s lead, again chipped Peri, and Yeisley hit a nice volley in between the corner posts from a good distance. Four touches, including Avila’s initial play, leading to a goal without the ball ever touching the ground.

It wasn’t all sunshine for Avila though, as a couple of times he failed to spot an easy outlet (usually Ferreira) and was closed down and stripped of the ball with relative ease. For every moment of brilliance there’s a moment that shows why he hasn’t been able to lock down a starting role on this team.

From this session, it’s difficult to predict a lineup for Saturday’s game. With a few key players missing one way or another, and a few others returning from injury, what I saw today was never going to be reflective of what we’ll see face Salt Lake. Whatever happens, Hyndman has some difficult decisions to make this week. How important is continuing the push for the slim hopes of the Supporters’ Shield and at least ensuring home field advantage in the playoffs compared to resting certain players? Is the risk to reinsert formerly injured players into the lineup in order to get them match fit one that he’s willing to take? If so, what happens to players like Loyd, Jackson and Alexander who’ve all shown something during other players’ absences?

If it were me, I’d say John is ready to play comfortably for at least 70 minutes and can probably go the full 90 if needed to. I know I’ve said this before, but he looked strong out there today, and the defense looked better with him in the lineup against Colorado. I’d probably leave Ugo on the bench, perhaps introducing him in place of John late on, but Hernandez is a tougher call – as the oldest of the three, his recovery time is likely longer and potential to reinjure is higher, but he looked good out there, and there’s no question about the qualities his leadership brings to the team – something that’s been somewhat lacking since he and Hartman were sidelined. There’s also a question mark over Atiba Harris’ head – I do believe it was just a precaution today, but it’s possible that Hyndman could rest him to make sure he’s ready for the playoff games.

My best guess at the formation we’ll see isn’t a very good one, I’m afraid. I’d be able to make a better stab at it later in the week, but for now, assuming Pearce and Shea both play for the US this week, I think Hyndman will go for this:
Chavez McCarty Harris
Benitez Loyd John Jackson

I’m not completely convinced that he’ll rest Pearce, though I do believe Chavez will start over Shea again. I also question whether Alexander has moved ahead of McCarty on the depth chart. Of course, if Harris is kept out, then he’ll play on the wing and McCarty will retain his linking position.

As I said, this early in the week, and with so many absences, it’s just a guessing game. That doesn’t make it any less fun to play though.

FC Dallas related twitters

August, 21, 2010
Twitter is all the rage these days, I have one of course (@3rdDegreeNet), as do some FCD related people that I thought I would share. If you know some I missed please feel free to post them at the bottom.

The only FCD player who is active and interesting, is Heath Pearce (@HeathPearce4). There are other players who have accounts, like Jason Yeisley (@jyeisley) for example, but Pearce if the only one I know of that is active. Josh Lambo (@JoshuaLambo), currently on loan with Tampa Bay Rowdies is fairly prolific.

Perhaps equally as fun as Pearce could be Pearce's mustache (@HeathsStache), which just started it's own twitter. Likely even more controversial and edgy than Pearce's mustache is the fake Schellas Hyndman (@schellasisagod).

Also of note is the official FCD Web twitter (@FCDallasWeb), FCD PR head Leigh Anne Gullett (@LAGullett), and the effervescent Bobby Rhine (@BobbyRhine). FCD Youth (@FCDallasYouth) also has a twitter. The Inferno (@Inferno_FCD), the FCD supporters group, has a twitter as well.

And last, but not least, with an FCD connection is former FCD player Jamie Watson (@jamiewatson22) who was tearing it up for the Austin Aztex until his injury. Watson is both a frequent and interesting twitterer.

Is twitterer even a word?