GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates with teammatee Brandon Jacobs #27 after defeating the Green Bay Packers during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Back on the grid after way too much time spent working out at that Rangers winterfest this weekend...so much news to get to with FCD pre-season ramping up in the morning and national team camp taking place in California ahead of their big friendly with Venezuela this Saturday night. Let's get started...
The draft reviews are in and Travis Clark has FC Dallas as one of his winners from the day.
It's hard to end up in this position with only a single draft pick, but thanks to the teams in front of them, FC Dallas landed a possible replacement for George John in defender Matt Hedges (North Carolina). A decent enough athlete with good size, if John's loan move to West Ham turns into a full transfer later this year, Schellas Hyndman will already have a ready-made replacement in place in Hedges.
Schellas Hyndman has to deal with the inevitable departure of George John, so Dallas had to be overjoyed at grabbing the best center back prospect in the draft in Hedges, a big and skilled defender who could step in and start right away.
Pre-season starts today and Scott Sealy will be among the trialists. If Sealy makes the squad at forward, I think we need to be worried about the FC Dallas offense.
"Then we’ve got a boy coming out of Canada who has U.S. citizenship, his last name is Horton. And then we have the boy we put on our Discovery List and has been with us, . I can’t pronounce his last name," the FCD head coach admitted. "We’ve got a couple more that we will be able to look at to see if they are going Chris Ispienzato be able to contribute to our roster."
Keep reading for much more including video of Brek Shea and Zach Loyd in action during the US scrimmage against the U-23s
Brek Shea is looking up to fellow Texan Clint Dempsey for inspiration in camp.
"Look at Clint Dempsey – he just scored a hat trick [last weekend]," Shea told reporters after a recent USMNT training session at the Reach 11 complex in northern Phoenix. "I don't think he lets the hype get to him. I think he's a big role model to everyone on the national team and the US. He just stays humble and plays for his family and the country. Learning from him is a big help."
Shea and Loyd were in action against an U23 squad with Loyd and Shea linking up well for the fourth goal. Check out the highlights
MNT vs. U-23 MNT: Scrimmage Highlights - Jan. 13, 2012 (via ussoccerdotcom)
Speaking of friendlies, a huge one is coming to Dallas this summer as Mexico and Brazil will reportedly face off at Cowboys Stadium. That will be a fun one.
The Brazilian Football Confederation said Thursday the five-time World Cup champions will face the U.S. on May 30 or 31 in either Boston or Washington, Mexico on June 3 in Dallas and Argentina on June 9 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
One of FCD's most promising academy talents is center back Mark Ashby who is headed to Harvard in the fall. The Denton Record Chronicle has an excellent interest piece on Ashby that's definitely worth reading.
“It’s just been a roller coaster,” Ashby said. “It’s been wild. I never really expected I’d be going to the northeast, to Harvard, but I’m happy about it.”
If there’s something more impressive than Ashby’s performance on the pitch, it’s the way he succeeds academically. Ashby says he’s never gotten a B in a class.
On the SAT, Ashby scored 2140 out of 2400. According to The College Board, Ashby’s score ranks in the 97th percentile among college-bound seniors in 2011. And we’re not even talking about his ACT score (he earned a 30 of 36).
Ashby and the FC Dallas U18 Academy lost their first game of the season on Saturday afternoon in their first game without Oscar Pareja at the helm. Dallas Texans came from behind to top FCD 2-1.
And finally, for those wondering what Big Bob Mina is up to these days, he's headed to a new club in Ecuador.