Mar 30, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; DC United forward Hamdi Salihi (9) and FC Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu (3) fight for possession during the first half at RFK Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE
Schellas Hyndman and FC Dallas closed practice to the public and media for the first time this season ahead of tomorrow's clash with New England. I would imagine this has as much to do with trying to conceal his plan of attack without Daniel Hernandez and Jair Benitez as much as it does anything else. I was able to chat with him for a few minutes after practice on a number of topics that should shed some light on the state of FCD at the moment. Enjoy!
You closed practice for the first time today, can you talk about that?
I think there’s a lot of people around and more than normal just because of Dallas Cup. There’s a lot of people that want to come watch training and obviously we’re trying to focus for a game and we don’t need cheering or a young team there or whatever. And no offense to anyone, we’ve just got to focus for a really important game.
You’ve got some red cards, can you give some options for the guys that are out to take their spots?
We have a situation where Daniel Hernandez received two yellows which was a red and then the surprise for us was Jair Benitez, we weren’t expecting that. I’ve been probably one of the guys that’s the biggest advocate for calling fouls and protecting players and anything off the camera should still be penalized, I just want to make sure it’s consistent.
It’s one thing to say, hey you’re losing one of your top 11 because he did this and you say ok, but it’s got to be consistent across the league and I’m sure it will be. So one of the things we want is to make sure players are given opportunities to play and Daniel has opened an opportunity for someone else and we’ll make that decision tomorrow.
Does it seem a little bizarre to have Jair suspended for a play where another player was fined for diving?
For me when I look at the whole thing, it was a yard away from the linesman. Danny Cruz was trying to get the ball and he kept on bumping Jair and it went on for about eight to fifteen seconds and so Jair, how many times can you keep getting bumped and banged into and then he threw an elbow which is an immediate suspension, but I also think if the foul call was made earlier, it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t affect either FC Dallas or DC United. Danny goes down, he was hit on the arm or the shoulder and he grabs his face so he got fined. Nobody came out ahead on this, just call the fouls and call them early.
Can you talk about the Luis Perea situation and what happened with that?
It was a situation, 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. Now through mutual consent with Parea and FC Dallas, we felt like the best thing for both parties, for FC Dallas and for him, was to terminate the contract.
So there wasn’t any sort of pre-existing thing where his club came back into playing he would go back?
No, no not really, nothing that I know about. I think it was just a situation where it wasn’t a good fit and 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.
New England is a team that raised a lot of eyebrows with the win over Los Angeles, Lee Nyguen, a guy you’re familiar with, talk about him and the team
Yeah, Lee Nguyen is doing well and Ryan Guy is another player who was here that we really liked a lot but I think what is happening is they’re starting toplay with some urgency, they’re playing with a purpose. Early in the year and you’re not getting a good start so you’ve got to do something and I think they’re playing with a lot of intensity, a lot of purpose.
They’ve got some outstanding players, Reis in goal, Shalrie Joseph is one of the best in the league and has been. They’ve got the boy Sene up front, a big striker who’s been scoring goals. They just work awfully hard and if you’re not prepared to work with them, I think that’s what you saw in the LA game. The problems that LA ran into was just players running off the ball and not working with them and not tracking them. Hopefully we will do that tomorrow.
Carlos and Brek both looked pretty exhausted last Friday in DC, how have they looked in practice to you this week?
Good, you know what, it’s a long season but we sure got a lot of games in a very short time. WE played a later game on Sunday then we come back traveling on Thursday and Friday we’re playing in DC, then back in Dallas on Thursday so it doesn’t give you a lot of recovery time. Every team in the league is going to encounter that at some point in time and we’ve had to monitor the workouts, how hard do we go, because we’ve got to have our legs in the games.
Obviously it’s way too early to call any game a must-win but are you feeling like this is one you really need to get after three poor results?
I think if you look at the history of FC Dallas, I think this is pretty much a normal start for us, a slow start. I think we’re a team that starts slow but when we pick it up we really start going well and I think a big part of it is we know it’s a long season. We’ve had some injuries, some cards, some callups so we’ve had a few issues that we’ve not been able to put the same team on the field. As far as a must win, I don’t know if we want to call it a must win but I think every game should be a must win. It’s not this game, it can be the next game and the 15th game. I think if you have a purpose of competing and competing for a playoff spot and a championship, all games are must win.
On the NBC broadcast on Friday, Arlo White said you told him you thought the team was 6 weeks away from playing their best, do you still feel that way?
Yeah I think it takes time to get everyone on the same page and it takes time to get everybody match fit as far as whatever the game demands. If it’s a fast paced game, look at Kansas City that was a back and forth game, you have to have the match fitness to be able to do that and withstand that pressure. Portland came back and scored a goal on us, but they also came back and put pressure on us late in the half. New York put pressure on us late in the half, late in the game and those are tendencies so you wonder why is it happening.
Could it be fatigue, could it be coordination, are we giving balls away too much under pressure? So it just takes time to get that into place and we’re a team that makes changes. We have Blas here, Pertuz here, Carlos here, all of a sudden there’s three guys that are starting in places that you never know.
Fabian is looking good to start tomorrow?
I would hope so, he’s had about four weeks of recovery and each week he looks much better. He’s a competitor, he brings special things to this team, speed explosion. I think he’ll be out there at some point in time.
With Perea gone, that leaves a hole at forward without much time to bring someone in, are you going to be looking around to bring someone in quick?
We hope to, we have a roster spot, we know we’re going to be without David 6-8 weeks and then we’re also trying to find a player that can help us there. We also have a couple injuries Scott Sealy who is a forward, unfortunately he’s had two hamstring pulls in a short amount of time so we really want to give him the opportunity to recover 100%.
Talking about Ferreira, with his injury you’re hoping with this surgery it’s not something that will linger, this surgery gets him back on the field?
From all of my understanding, the surgery was very successful. As I mentioned before, we were not getting the response we wanted from the treatment and the time off which was very frustrating. It wasn’t just frustrating because of this injury, it was frustrating from a year of injury and I think it was working with him mentally. Right now, David’s surgery was successful, he interviewed two doctors and went back to the doctor that did the original surgery even though it was a completely different type of injury he’s still a foot specialist and he’s got some excitement now.
He’s excited, we’ve identified the issue, they’ve taken out a wire that was in there to help with the growth of the calcium in his foot, they shaved some of the bone spurs away that was causing a problem. This was going to be something that he was going to do at the end of the season, now we’re able to get it all done. He’s in good spirits and everyone knows how important he is to this team.
You must be looking forward to the calendar hitting July and August
Is that 6-8 weeks away?