Dallas Soccer: Ruben Luna

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...

Options are thin for FC Dallas at striker

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
10:03
AM CT
With Blas Perez suspended for Wednesday’s game with Seattle Sounders FC, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman has a decision to make as far as who’s going to replace “Super Raton” in the first 11 at striker or does he?

On one hand, Hyndman could go with the proven, veteran commodity in Scott Sealy. Sure, the native of Trinidad and Tobago hasn’t done all that well since returning, but he is a veteran presence who has the benefit of a strong and successful track record behind him.

“He’s done OK,” Hyndman said of Sealy’s performance to date. “He didn’t have much of a preseason. He’s a fighter. He’s out there because we need him out there. If Brek Shea was healthy and so forth, Scott would be a great guy to bring off the bench and building his way into the first team. He’s just kind of been thrown out there and I don’t think he’s at his best whether it’s game sharpness, match fitness or whatever it might be, he’ll tell you the same but hey, I’m awfully glad he’s here.”

Then again, the FCD gaffer could go with young homegrown striker Ruben Luna, who has yet to see any time with the first team this year. Luna has been playing well of late for the Dallas reserve team, but has he done enough to earn a shot, much less a starting role, even if it is only for one game?

“Maybe, I don’t know if I need to see more [from Luna],” Hyndman said. “I think what happens now is what are our options?”

FC devil's advocate: forget about it

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
2:04
AM CT
If there was ever a game for FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman and his players to stow away and to never be discussed again, it was Sunday night’s 2-0 loss to Colorado at FC Dallas Stadium, a game that was defined more by the two red cards issued to Dallas starters Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez than anything else.

Hyndman’s disappointment was clearly evident in his postgame remarks to the media and with FCD returning to the field in just two days’ time, he and his team need to forget this one more than ever. Here are several thoughts on that loss going forward:

A Complete Aberration---That’s the best way to sum up Sunday’s game. Sure, Colorado ended a four-game road losing streak and won for just the second time ever in Frisco and that victory counts three points like every other one, but this one should carry an asterisk for obvious reasons. Red cards are fairly rare in soccer and having two players sent off is pretty rare to say the least. In fact, Sunday night marked just the fourth time in FCD franchise history that the club had finished with nine men. Hyndman himself remarked in a misguided question to say the least that he couldn’t remember ever coaching a game where his team had two players sent off. So, put this one in File 13 and move on, that’s about all there is to say.

James Marcelin Might Have Something---Seeing the recently-signed midfielder James Marcelin make his Dallas debut after halftime has to rank as one of the few highlights of Sunday’s debacle. Marcelin has good size and did pretty well filling in at defensive mid after the ejection of Hernandez. And since the ex-FCD captain is out for Wednesday’s visit from Seattle, Marcelin looks like the obvious choice to fill in for the SMU product once again. A nice signing by Dallas in the wake of a surprising and disconcerting injury to Bobby Warshaw and who knows, if Marcelin does well in the interim, he could even stick here.

Kevin Hartman Is No Worse for Wear---Another big bright spot for FCD, one Hyndman discussed postgame was the seven-save performance from one Kevin Hartman. El Gato was making his first start after missing three straight matches due to back spasms and he was rock solid. The diving save he made on Jeff Larentowicz’s free kick in the 84th minute was one of several goal-saving plays he made. Had Dallas not had Big Kev between the posts, this game could have very easily been 4-0 or even 5-0. Hyndman said he’d like to give backup Chris Seitz one of these next two starts in goal, have a feeling that the ex-Terp will get the nod on Wednesday against Seattle.

It’s Crunch Time for Scott Sealy---By all accounts, Scott Sealy is a great guy and the story of how he made the Dallas roster during preseason was definitely a good one. But now that the hamstring issue that sidelined him for pretty much the first of the season is a thing of the past, it’s time to see what the native of Trindad and Tobago has. And it’s safe to say the initial returns have been fairly underwhelming. Maybe he’s still getting adjusted to his new teammates and to Hyndman’s system. But with Perez out for Wednesday, this figures to be another golden opportunity for Sealy... or does it? Ruben Luna has been playing well of late for the FCD reserves but as is often the case with young players, inconsistency is the issue. Could Hyndman throw caution to the wind and roll the dice with Luna against Seattle? It’s a possibility.


Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas played to a 2-2 draw in MLS Reserve League action Tuesday evening at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park, Kansas City. With the draw, FC Dallas Reserves move into first place in MLS Reserve League standings.

Sporting KC rookie Dom Dwyer netted a goal in the 87th minute that negated a go-ahead strike from Ruben Luna in the 51st minute. Luna scored both of Dallas’ goals. His first came in the 39th minute on a pass from fellow FC Dallas Academy product Danny Garcia. Luna scored 10 goals to lead the MLS Reserve League in scoring last season.

Tuesday’s match began with Sporting Kansas City taking a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute after earning a corner kick. Soony Saad played the set piece short to Luke Sassano, who played a one-touch pass back to Saad. The Michigan native sent the ball into the mix, with Michael Thomas in prime position in front of FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez to give Sporting Kansas City the 1-0 lead.

In the 39th minute, Luna capitalized on his chance at redemption as he received a heavily-weighted pass from FC Dallas Academy player Danny Garcia, who had just finished an aggressive run down the left sideline. Luna took a touch and buried his shot into the top of the Sporting Kansas City net despite Kempin getting a hand on the close-range attempt.

Starting the second half tied 1-1, it wasn’t long before Luna struck again. In the 51st minute, Luna combined with Scott Sealy and calmly finished to the near post. The goal marked Luna's sixth goal in his past two Reserve League matches against Sporting Kansas City after scoring four in the teams’ previous meeting in 2011.

In the 87th minute, it was Korede Aiyegbusi's run up the left sideline that led to the game's final goal. Aiyegbusi beat his defender to the endline before sending a cross to the middle of the area. Dwyer, Sporting Kansas City's first round pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, beat Sanchez to the right side for the late equalizer and his second goal in the Reserve League this season.

With the draw, FC Dallas Reserves (3-1-1, 10 points) move into first place of the Central/Mountain Division and the MLS Reserve League overall standings. Sporting Kansas City (1-2-2) picked up its fifth point at the half-way point of the 10-game season. FC Dallas Reserves next match is set for Saturday, June 16 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The FC Dallas Reserves will face the Houston Dynamo Reserves at 6:30 p.m. CT. The match will follow the teams’ MLS match, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. CT

Goals by Period 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (1-2-2) 1 1 2
FC Dallas (3-1-1) 1 1 2

Scoring Summary:
KC – Michael Thomas (Saad) 16
DAL – Ruben Luna (Danny Garcia) 39
DAL – Ruben Luna (Scott Sealy) 51
KC – Dom Dwyer (Korede Aiyegbusi) 87

Disciplinary Summary:
DAL – Alex Lee (Caution; Reckless Foul) 34
DAL – Moises Hernandez (Caution; Dissent) 92

FC Dallas Reserves – Richard Sanchez; Alex Lee, Matt Hedges, Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez; Jonathon Top (Bryan Leyva 85); Bobby Warshaw, James Marcelin* (Aaron Guillen** 69), Danny Garcia** (Michael Ambrose** 46), Scott Sealy, Ruben Luna.

Subs not used: Eduardo Cortez**

Sporting KC Reserves – Jon Kempin; Korede Aiyegbusi, Konrad Warzycha, Lawrence Olum, Kevin Ellis; Luke Sassano, Michael Thomas, Peterson Joseph (Leo Gibson*66); Jacob Peterson (Kyle Miller* 66), Soony Saad (David Leichty**), Dom Dwyer (Teal Bunbury 88).

Subs not used: Jacole Turner**, Erik Palmer-Brown**

*Guest trialist
**Juniors Academy player

Who will start in Perez's place up top tonight?

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
1:38
PM CT
With FC Dallas forward Blas Perez out for tonight’s game with Real Salt Lake due to a one-game suspension he received for an elbow thrown in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Vancouver, the big question is who will head coach Schellas Hyndman decide to start in his place?

Here are several possibilities:

Fabian Castillo

One scenario that could play out sees Castillo moving from a flank midfield role to forward. Of course, were Hyndman to employ this scenario, it would require other moves. If Castillo were to move up, then it looks like Carlos Rodriguez could fill in at left mid. With Jair Benitez now over left knee tendonitis and available for selection, it’s likely he returns to the first 11 at left back tonight, especially since Hyndman was concerned about the lack of getting forward when he had Rodriguez and Pertuz, two guys not considered attacking players, manning the left side, meaning FCD was basically attacking from only the right and middle.

Likelihood: Very Possible

Ruben Luna

Some are clamoring to see homegrown striker Ruben Luna get a start, but it was just last week that Hyndman said he wanted to see the guy who led the Reserve League with 10 goals in 2011 deliver better results in reserve games. He has played better lately, but is it enough? Here is what the gaffer had to say about Luna last week:

“Ruben’s a player that has kind of been off and on. I think he’s a player that came in and got an injury in preseason. Because we’ve been working so hard, he’s been trying to catch up. I think for him to get on the field and be of help to us, he’s got to be a little bit more productive in reserve games. So we’ve been watching him very closely. All players, especially young players, have peaks and dips. Right now I think he’s working his way back up to develop self-confidence.”

Likelihood: Remote

Scott Sealy

Besides the Castillo scenario, seeing Scott Sealy make his first start for FCD appears to be the most likely of choices for Hyndman. The Dallas gaffer loves the experience and savvy that the striker from Trinidad and Tobago brings up top and now that Sealy is healthy, how better to get an accurate read of how he can contribute to this thing than in a game where Perez is unavailable?

Hyndman had the following to say about Sealy, who made his FCD debut as a second-half sub against Vancouver, earlier in the week:

“It’s good to see him there. He brings a lot of experience in the league and he’s awfully fit. He works extremely hard. He’s a player that can deal with the physical play from the league and I thought he did fine.”

Likelihood: Very Possible

Brek Shea

Others think one possibility is moving Brek Shea from his customary flank midfielder role to forward. But anyone who knows Hyndman at all and how he thinks realizes this scenario might result in too many moving parts when it comes to making out the first 11, something the FCD gaffer isn’t a big fan of. Had Jackson already arrived in Frisco and were the versatile Brazilian available for tonight’s game, then this could be more of a realistic possibility. But were Shea to move up, Hyndman could very well go with Rodriguez and Castillo as his flank midfielders, but think the gaffer’s pretty happy with where he’s had Shea for the last few seasons and it’s unlikely he’d move him even if it were for one game.

Likelihood: Remote

Jonathan Top

If there is a wildcard in all this talk about who will fill in for Super Raton, it could be Jonathan Top. He has been tearing it up in the reserve league so far this year and was on Hyndman’s 18-man gameday roster for the Vancouver game, but is he ready to start with the first team? Some might be quick to say that the Dallas gaffer has never been one to throw young players in there to see what they had, but that argument is quickly diffused when mentioning the time Bryan Leyva saw with the first team earlier this season. Top would be an intriguing possibility and while it wouldn’t be a shock to see Hyndman start him, the more likely scenario sees him on the bench for the Salt Lake game, possibly as Hyndman’s primary option should he need to see something different up top in the second half.

Likelihood: Moderate yet Intriguing

Schellas Hyndman: we need to see more from Ruben Luna in reserve games

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
6:35
PM CT
One player who has yet to be heard from this season for FC Dallas is 20-year-old forward Ruben Luna. The homegrown striker comes off a season where he played in 15 games with the first team and scored one goal. Luna also led the MLS Reserve League with 10 goals. However, he has yet to earn any minutes with the first team so far this year and FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman offered a simple explanation about why that has been the case thus far.

“Ruben’s a player that has kind of been off and on. I think he’s a player that came in and got an injury in preseason. Because we’ve been working so hard, he’s been trying to catch up. I think for him to get on the field and be of help to us, he’s got to be a little bit more productive in reserve games,” Hyndman said. “’So we’ve been watching him very closely. All players, especially young players, have peaks and dips. Right now I think he’s working his way back up to develop self-confidence.”

Luis Perea situation just didn't work out

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
3:04
AM CT
Most observers were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that FC Dallas had agreed to a mutual parting of the ways with forward Luis Perea. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman was asked about the situation after a closed practice Wednesday on the FC Dallas Stadium field, and here’s what he had to say:

“Luis Perea came in and he was a player we were looking for special things from and it didn’t take us very long to find that it wasn’t a very good fit for us,” Hyndman said. “Now through mutual consent with Perea and FC Dallas, we felt like the best thing for both parties was to terminate the contract.”

And it wasn’t like FCD didn’t try to make this thing work with Perea.

“We tried to work with him, counsel him, do some of the things we needed done and he tried but I think at some point in time we just both mutually agreed that this wasn’t the best place for him,” Hyndman said.

Maybe we should have all seen this coming. After all, the matter-of-fact gaffer said several weeks back when asked about Perea that he was already having fitness issues and that he was concerned about how quickly he’d be able to adjust to MLS.

Hyndman also brought into question his newest striker’s work ethic, which is never a good thing for a player new to an organization to hear from his head coach. So, maybe Perea came here with the intention of killing some time until a better opportunity opened up or maybe it was something else but we may never know the truth.

Perhaps, it’s better to cut him loose and find another forward because they are definitely out there. With the beating Blas Perez has been taking thus far in his MLS career and the fact that it looks like FCD has little faith in young striker Ruben Luna at the current time, combined with the fact that preseason addition Scott Sealy can’t make his way back from injury, adding some more depth up top is now definitely at the top of Dallas’ list of priorities right now.

That and adding some more depth in the midfield.

Ex-Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo was brought in as Dallas’ new technical director for a reason. Now it’s time for him to work his magic.

Schellas Hyndman weighs in on homegrown players

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
2:23
AM CT
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman weighed in on five of the club’s six homegrown players after practice on Friday and here’s what he had to say.

D Moises Hernandez

“I think Moises has made some big strides from a year ago and I think he’s getting better and better. He’s a real hard, he’s a very aggressive, great left-foot defender. The thing we’re trying to do is just get him into just thinking things through a little bit quicker. Not every tackle has to be a ball-winning tackle. Not every confrontation has to be a confrontation. Just figure things out. Put himself more into a controlled environment and I think he can develop into a pretty good player.”

M Bryan Leyva

“I think for me, he seems to be really enjoying training. This was an area I don’t think he was enjoying a lot and it might have been because we were putting such high demands on him and he wasn’t prepared to meet them. Right now I think he’s enjoying training. I think he looks forward to it. I think he works awfully hard at it. He’s still got to do a little bit better job taking care of himself but the thing is he gets it, so he’s working on it.”

F Ruben Luna

“That [his injury during preseason] really pulled him back. I think he was just trying to wait until he was completely healthy. Well, before you know it preseason’s over and you’re forgotten. So he’s brought himself back. Within the last week or so, he’s really worked hard.”

GK Richard Sanchez

“Yeah, he’s playing his best. He’s very confident. Every time we see him, we like him more and more. He just turned 18 and that’s a very young age to be thrown into MLS soccer but I think he’s going to have a good future with us.”

F Jonathan Top

“I see great improvements, wonderful improvements, wonderful young man, really an active player, good finishing. Just still a little naďve and a little young... really transformed his body, I think he must have lost like 20 pounds. I think his body fat was 17 percent. Now it’s like eight. So he’s really taken care of himself and working hard. We’re happy he’s playing with the academy and helping the academy find the success they’re used to.”

Four trouble spots that could derail the FC Dallas season

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
4:07
PM CT
The FC Dallas season is around the corner and there are reasons to be optimistic. Former MLS MVP David Ferreira is back, short of his current ankle hang up, and there is a new striker in town... just to name two.

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.

Depth

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 Schellas Hyndman make a trade this week?

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
12:58
PM CT
After talking to FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman last week, one thing was readily apparent - he’s not terribly happy with the depth his club has as is currently constructed. So, that brings the question: Will Hyndman make a trade this week? Here’s a look at why he might make a deal this week to bolster his roster:

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.

Schellas Hyndman discusses current injuries

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
11:30
AM CT
In addition to talking about trialists, I also got updates from Schellas Hyndman about players who have been recently injured. Here is that exchange:

Daniel Hernandez

Hyndman: "No issue right now [with his knee]. Haven’t heard anything from him, so he must be doing better. I think it was a little bit of scar tissue."

Ruben Luna

Hyndman: "Ruben played the other day against the Under-20s. Again, he’s been out for a good three-plus weeks. So the expectation for Ruben is always high because he’s been with us but there’s always the reality of coming off an injury."

Victor Ulloa

Hyndman: "Victor got hurt right after he did the testing. He’s been out about four weeks. He’s just coming back now. We brought him on this trip. He had a bottom of the foot injury, so he was unable to go in training. He’s just recently come back. I think he’s got a real good upside. In one year, you could start to see a boy and his body turning into a man. He’s strong. He’s filling out a little bit. Now what we need to do is get the brain to catch up with the body."

Ricardo Villar

Hyndman: "Yeah, he got on the field yesterday [Tuesday]. This was the first time he had been on since he picked up a little bit of a knock. He looks fine. Again, you lose that chemistry or that coordination between other players because we’ve still got people here that are on trial and everything’s still trying to flow into one mind."


A FC Dallas side made up of reserve and home grown players fell to Toronto FC by a 3-0 scoreline in the 3rd game of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Thursday night.

The defeat pushed FCD down to second in the group with four points, three points above both BK Hacken and Orlando City, who face off in the second match of the night. Though Dallas maintain a three- and five-goal advantage, respectively, over their group foes, they must still await the result to find out if they'll play the Houston Dynamo in the consolation match at 5 pm CT, also on March 3.

SCORING SUMMARY:
TOR -- Luis Silva, 35'
TOR -- Luis Silva, 40'
TOR -- Ryan Johnson, 82'

FC Dallas Lineup: Seitz, M. Hernandez, Ibeagha, Hedges, Ulloa, Warshaw, Tulasne, Guarda, Villar, Wiedeman, Luna.

FC Dallas 2012 Roster Dance (updated)

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
12:23
PM CT
Updated for status as we see it right before Florida camp.

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.

Other Players

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.

FC Dallas Friday notes

February, 17, 2012
2/17/12
6:56
PM CT
I caught up with FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman after Friday’s morning training session and here’s what he had to say on a wide variety of subjects.

Big Honor for Sanchez, Shea

Homegrown goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was recently called into the Under-20 National Team by Mexico, something Hyndman was definitely glad to hear. “For Richard, it’s a logical step up. They just won the Under-17 World Cup and now they need to continue to monitor his growth and see how he’s doing,” he said. “It’s very logical and we’re very supportive of that.”

And College Station native Brek Shea will be training with the United States Under-23 team later this week in Frisco, another big step for him. “Yeah, it is no big surprise. It’s something very important to Brek and it should be important to any player to get called into the Olympic team and have an opportunity for lifetime memories,” Hyndman said. “It’s quite an honor and I think he’ll do fine.’

Luna, Villar on the Mend

Two players who weren’t on the pitch in Wednesday’s preseason game at SMU and who also don’t figure to play on Saturday against Tulsa were both on the sidelines again on Friday morning-forward Ruben Luna and midfielder Ricardo Villar.

Hyndman offered the following explanation about Luna: “I think it’s the IT band that goes down his leg. I think what Ruben has to do is just get some time in the recovery but he’s probably got to do a little bit better job with pre-training warm-ups, post-training warm-ups, cool downs so that he doesn’t get stiffness.”

Villar’s ailment however isn’t quite as serious. “It’s just a hit in the calf and then it stretched to the hamstring, so he’s kind of frozen up on one side,” Hyndman said.

Latest News on Four Trialists

F Ange Pacome Dogba Gnagbo (Dogba): “[John] Ellinger calls him Dogman but his name’s Dogba. He’s very athletic, very quick, very hard, just constant energy, works extremely hard on both sides of the ball and continues to look better and better in each training session,” Hyndman said. “He came from South Africa [Ivory Coast].”

D Scott Gordon: “I think he’s done some good things but at the end of the day, we’ve only got so many spots,” Hyndman said. “We have our Academy players, the homegrown players they call them and they’re already in place. It is what it is with them.”

D Kleynar Mena: “I thought he did very well. I thought he did real well,” Hyndman said. “I thought he continued to improve and we just sent him back yesterday but we may be bringing him back down the road.”

M/F Scott Sealy: “Yeah, we’ll know very shortly [whether or not he makes the team],” Hyndman said.

2012 FC Dallas Roster Dance

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
1:20
PM CT
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: 2/9/12

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 Nicolás Gianni (I6) a.k.a. Nicolas Cridani. 29, F/M. (3/9/82) starting for Ferreira.
17 Scott Sealy T&T F. 30, Previously with KC and SJ. (6/4/81) green card.
18 Bruno Guarda 26, Brazil MF. (2/6/86). Green card

19 Daniel Cruz (I7) 30, Colombian, M. Injured. (5-3-81) May be in roster trouble…
20 Jack Stewart 28 year old US D. (5-29-1983) He gets John’s spot for now.

-- George John US CB. (3/20/87) Not currently on FCD roster, loan ends in March?
-- Rodolofo Espinoza (I9) 30 year old Mexican M, Chivas USA 10-11. (6-14-81)
-- Kleyner Bejarano (I10) a.k.a. Kleyner Bejarano Mena 22, Colombian D. (9/16/89)

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, ‘12 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, I8) 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 Scott Gordon 23 year old US D, 3rd round pick in 2011. (4-6-88)
30 Christian Ibeagha 22, US U17 from OK (born Nigeria). (1-10-90)

-- Alex Lee 2012 pick, D from Maryland. Just arrived in camp.
-- Ian Kalis 2012 Supplemental Draft pick from SMU. Injured?

Players occupying roster spots 25-30 will earn at least $32,600 in 2011.

Other Players

Anyone connected, rumored, tried out, waived, training invited, or signed as a short term player.
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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES