Here is the post practice chat between me, my boy Steve Hunt and Schellas Hyndman. Enjoy...
You've got DC United coming up this weekend, talk about them a little bit
Yeah, you know what, they're a team right now that hasn't won yet and that's always a dangerous team to play because their focus is so much on that first win. Then you put on the fact that you just lost your last game which is really disappointing and you have a short week of training. Now you've got to go on the road.
What they bring is a whole lot of emotion right now, trying to get that first win, they bring a very good strikeforce with two good forwards. Maicon Santos and then the other boy Salihi, he's a very good player, Albanian player. We don't know much about him, but he's obviously a box striker. Then you've got Pontius and Danny Cruz on the right side.
The key player for them is Dwayne DeRosario, the golden boot winner last year. He can play up front or attacking midfield but he's a player that if you let him do what he wants to do, he'll hurt you. Their defense is playing with experience, we feel that both fullbacks, Russell and Woolard, are strong players.
They may not overlap as much as we see from Kansas City, they get Kitchen back [maybe] Hamid back, I don't know if he'll be starting. I think they have a very good strikeforce and they're emotionally very attached to getting the first win.
Fabian Castillo and Brek Shea returned to practice today are they both options for the weekend?
Brek definitely will be because he's healthy, he just came back. What he's going through right now is just a lot of mental frustrations and dissapointments and we've got to continue to be aware of that and not let that affect his emotions. Fabian had his best day of training today, he went 40 good minutes with the first team and so we'll continue to evaluate him.
Is it bittersweet to have Brek back for pretty much the whole season now? Obviously a little earlier than you expected.
Yeah, if we just talk about him, it's all bitter. This is what he's been focusing on, what he's been wanting to do, playing for your country and going to the Olympics. Not just him, but everyone on the team including their coaches.
For the country, it's a huge dissapointment, we always have high expectations for our athletes in every sport. So to not qualify has been a disapoitment that we've got to now evaluate why and those will be greater minds than mine who will make those decisions.
For us, it is sweet because now we get a player that we didn't expect back that we need on our team to add to our strikeforce and bring the penetration and he's the leading scorer last year. But we also want him back at his best and we'll just let it kind of play out from there to kind of see how it responds.
I saw you talking to him individually for a bit out there, as a coach how do you get a player's mind right after a situation like this?
I think this is the point where my comments is, I don't have a vocabulary big enough to express your disappointments and your frustrations, so I won't but I'm here just understand I feel for you and I'm here if you ever need to have somebody to talk to.
Ricardo Villar took a big hit on Sunday, how is his availability looking for Friday?
Villar may be one of our toughest players, mentally I htink the boy has been able to go out there with injuries that most people would be put on the sideline so I would always have a favorable outlook on him that he'll find a way to be there.
The backline was a little different with Pertuz at left back on Sunday, how do you think that went and are you looking to move Jair to left back?
It was a little bit different but it was also trying to make a transition of putting your best players on the field.. I think it worked out as well as we thought it would. Defensively I thought we were solid, I think where you lose a little bit is the offensive phase. Hernan was not getting forward the way we're used to seeing our fullbacks get forward. That's not part of his game but defensively I thought he was solid.
You're in the middle of a run where you're playing four games against Eastern Conference teams. You've talked in the past about how much more important games against Western Conference teams are with the unbalanced schedule. Is there any different mentality in these games?
No, not really. I think you get it done by competing in your conference. You want to be one of the top five, obviously three points is three points whether you beat an Eastern Conference team or a Western Conference team.
The value of beating a Western Conference team is while you gain three points, they don't have a chance to gain three points while beating an Eastern Conference team, your opponents in the West can still get three points. But at the end of the day it's all about getting as many points as you can.
With all the injuries and the international absences, are you feeling pretty good about four points through the first three games?
It's all about reality. The reality is that we were beating Portland at home, we'd have liked to have gotten three points and we didn't. The reality is we go on the road and play Kansas City winning 1-0. Probably because we were really trying to protect it we should have walked away with a point. Gave up a goal late in the first half and late in the second half and give credit to Kansas City, they put their foot on it and kept on coming at us and we broke down.
I don't think we would make some of those same mistakes if we were two to three weeks in the future. Tactically we made a couple of mistakes that we paid the price for and so I think we're going to get better not only because our guys are getting better with each other but we're getting guys back.
And then you've got to feel good that some of the starters against Kansas City would really be impact subs in most games, you've got to feel a little better about your depth
That's again reality. To be up 1-0 on the road against a team that hasn't been scored on, at their home, a very intense team, very physical team, a team that plays with three front runners to be up 1-0, the reality of how many players played in that game that might not have started or played but if the US Olympics team made it, we would lose Brek for three more weeks with the competition and Olympics.
We're going to get there. Carlos Rodriguez is on his way back to Dallas, he'll be training tomorrow, so that's another player. Fabian is another player. David is another player. We're playing teams that aren't missing anyone.