Friday was probably the most bizarre practice of the season as FCD trained at 3:30pm due to a team jersey event with AdvoCare in Fort Worth this evening. The practice got started late and what was 100 degree temperatures turned into a 30 minute practice in very steady rain.
The big story, as most know by now, was the absence of Brek Shea. It's discussed in the fanshot I posted, though due to the limits on word count and such I figured it would be good to get the full transcript(minus the part in the MLS story) of Schellas speaking to the media this afternoon. He touches on Brek and the Portland Timbers, coming to town tomorrow night. Enjoy
Have you and Brek talked yet?
We haven’t talked, I think enough was said at that time so what I wanted to do, and I think sometimes when you get into a verbal confrontation, it takes two to have a verbal confrontation and I understand the frustrations he’s going through and I didn’t want to get into a situation where I’m coming across discipline oriented and scolding him like you would a boy. What I wanted to do was give a little bit of time and space but I also believe in the philosophy that silence can be the loudest noise in the world. Nobody knows what you’re thinking, so it’s like you figure things out then we’ll get together.
Is this incident extra disappointing considering what happened in Columbus?
The three games he missed on the lack of control of his emotions led to the suspension. The thing that you always want to do is see improvements and so I think he just kind of slipped a little bit but I’m sure we’ll get it back on track.
Has it been mental or physical with Brek?
We’re talking a lot about Brek and it’s funny because ten days ago he and I talked with me saying to him what can I do to help you? I think the level of play maybe is not where we want it to be, the quick anger or frustrations and disappointments probably goes all the way back to qualifying for the Olympics, who knows? My words to him were “I’m here for you” I think it’s a mental thing and one of the best things I’ve found when things aren’t goint well for you is you’ve got to build your confidence by working harder. You’ve got to do the things you can do without mentally thinking about it. And then also keeping it a littlee bit simple and when you do things better and better it continues to build your confidence so we talked a little bit about that and I just left it with if you need me I’m here.
Is it a blessing and a curse to have a player as passionate as Brek is, where he leaves it on the field when some may only vent their frustrations behind closed doors?
I don’t know how it could be a blessing. Because I think your emotions are what carries you in the game but there’s that line that you cross when you become destructive with your emotions whether you’re doing something silly, you may be hurting somebody because you’re overly emotion trying to get the ball or saying something to the referee or a teammate. You want that emotions but you’ve got to keep it under control.
Have past instances in your coaching career helped you work through something like this?
I’ve always dealt with younger players at the collegiate level and I think I came across as much more of a mentor and father image because they’re away from their parents for the first time and it may not even be something that’s a discipline oriented. Maybe they did something that brought in the police or something where a guy might just be missing classes or his off the field issues are greater than his on field issues and I think what it does it reinforces to them that there’s a standard both morally and team rules that we expect people to be at.
At the professional level I think you have players that are 18 and close to 40. You have a greater diversity. I think this may be taken care of a lot by senior players and it may never have to get to the coach.
Coming off the SJ match are you encouraging by the late rally or discouraged because the rally fell short and you have another close game that you lose?
I talked to the players and made my emotional observations and now that I’ve seen the video my comments to the team were that you took this game as far as you could and we got to a point of being down 2-0 on the road to the best team in the league and we brought it all the way down to a PK. How different would this locker room be if that ball had gone in. They had a PK that we blocked too so it’s key moments in the game but you know I selected Jair to take it because I wanted somebody with experience, somebody who’s practiced it, that has the maturity and normally he does a good job with it. It wasn’t that long ago, 94 world cup, Italy missed a PK and it cost them the world cup so it’s important to recognize that we played a pretty good game, we out shot them, we had more services and we’re playing on the road. I thought that the first five minutes we could’ve been up 3-0 and you haven’t seen that kind of explosion out of us in quite awhile and that’s doing it all without a striker.
Looking ahead to Portland is this a must win match to your playoff hopes?
I think I’ve probably said it’s a must win match the last five matches so for us whether it’s a run to the playoffs or just finding our groove and playing better soccer, we’re playing right now the weakest team in the league as far as points. I think the two of us are tied. We just played the best team in the league and I thought we had a heck of a game. At the same time, W’ere missing Castillo but I know we’ve got George back so that’s a good sing and we’ll go into this game giving everything like we have all year and that’s our best.
How is George?
Good. I can’t say that he’s ready to go but the thing I said to him today is that I know you’ve been cleared and they tested you but for me the bigger thing is do you have the confidence in yourself. He assured me he did but for three weeks I think George has been training for us every day but the difference has been he didn’t put his head on the ball.
How do you think de Guzman played?
I thought he did well, it’s never easy for a player to come into a new team and I thought he did well. I thought he was a good holding midfielder for us. I thought his distributions were sharp, two footed player, and sometimes you may undervalued a player but you don’t recognize how much he’s helping other players. I thought AJ had probably his best game of the year, he won everything in the air, was a connector and got forward and created opportunities. I don’t know that AJ has had that freedom to do that before. It gave us a chance and a great opportunity to rest Daniel. He’s been a warrior as we all know and probably one of the most dependable players that I’ev ever had. Sometimes though the body can’t go that extra step because you’re recovering from two days ago.
How do you keep Kris Boyd in check?
Boyd is a very good player who has scored a ton of goals. He knows where the goal is all the time he’s a great finisher, an aggressive box striker, anything that comes in the box he’s going to be at. If he’s going to be called for a foul then so be it but he’s going to be first to the ball if he can. He’s really a handful and I think for us what makes us comfortable is Matt and Hernan are playing their best soccer right now.
Portland hasn’t scored a ton of goals on the road, why do you think that is?
I don’t know and that could all change tomorrow. I think it’s a combination of a couple things, I think that their home field is such an advantage. They’ve got wonderful small field turf where they can play a very athletic fast pace. They have wonderful weather, it’s never 100 degress and they probably have one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever seen at the MLS level game in and game out. So you have all that positive and now you lose it and go into grass surface, bigger field, weather and then you’re on the road. But I think every team in ours and Portland and Toronto’s situation have as much pride as the top teams whether it’s DC or san jose because professionalism brings character and pride and when you’re not doing well you really have only one way to go. What you have to do is show up and give your best every day.