Wednesday FC Dallas Practice Notes & Quotes

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 5: The FC Dallas starting eleven pose before MLS match against Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field on August 5, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dipaola/Getty Images)

With the game on Sunday, Monday as a big travel day and Tuesday as a day off, today was the first training session of the week as the team prepares for Colorado. It was actually a very different training session than I've seen in awhile, though this session is usually a Tuesday session which I hardly ever make it out to, so it could be normal.

It wasn't too strenuous of a session, though with rain in the area it was not sunny at all and really fairly pleasant, though a bit muggy. The initial part of practice I saw was focusing on quick passing between players, nothing too fancy.

The second part was much more entertaining and was a crossing and finishing drill that was meant to aim the crosses at the far post. People are going to chuckle at hearing this, but the most impressive finishers in the drill were Ruben Luna and Jon Top. Both finished extremely impressive shots on the full volley that the keeper had no chance on. The kind of shot a confident forward hits.

M*A*S*H Update No sign of Blas, which is obviously a very bad thing. There's obviously something wrong here and I'm not sure Schellas knows exactly what it is. Would it be crazy of me to think he doesn't play again this year? If there's five games left and you're out of playoff contention, wouldn't you play Luna and Top? What a disaster.

Jackson is still out with concussion symptoms, though he was at practice which was good to see and Jacobson didn't fully participate, though I'm sure that's just a precaution.

Not a whole lot else from practice, there wasn't really any tactics worked on or much like that. At this point in the season, you're not working too hard on that and I think the team is actually playing pretty well right now.

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My main focus after practice was talking to Schellas and JDG on a story posted earlier today relating to de Guzman's long-term status.

For me, this is the most interesting part...when I asked him if he would like to re-sign here

It’s actually been an eye opener since I’ve been here. It’s hard to tell what happens but to be honest, if we work things, I can definitely imagine myself being here and being happy.

That makes me think that when he moved here, he was pretty much dead set on going back to Europe at the end of his contract, but has been impressed with an MLS team after getting out of the cesspool that was Toronto(which has improved under Paul Mariner).

Does he re-sign here? I find it pretty doubtful, he's going to get a huge paycut but from $2million to a number that Dallas would be willing to pay? I can't think FCD would do more than $250-$300k and even that is a little high so I don't see him coming back. Still, it's great to see what he says about the club and it certainly spreads around the league and even around the world that if you go to Dallas, they're a team that likes to play football(even if it hasn't seemed that way lately.)

A few extra things from Schellas that won't be in my Thursday notebook and the full Q&A with Julian de Guzman, who is a great interview and seems like a standup guy.

Schellas

After seeing the video are you pleased with the performance in Portland?

Yeah, Difficult environment, probably one of the best soccer environments in the league. Field turf that was hot, it was probably 95 degrees and a team that really had revenge on their minds so they wanted to come out hard physical and determined to beat us, a lot of pride there. I thought we did fairly well.

Second half we scored a nice goal and then we picked up a silly second yellow that affected the outcome of the game. We went probably 40+ minutes down a man on the road in a tough environment. Hernan had picked up an illness so we were not able to use him so we were trying to save Daniel being on the turf so it turned into a game that we got a point, the disappointing part is we think we could’ve got three.

On De Guzman's performance

I thought he was good. He’s a good passer of the ball. He’s got good tactical sense. It seems like he and David combine and read each other a little bit. He seems to open up spaces with mobility. If you remember in the second half he had a chance to hit a shot from 6 yards out, it looked like a deflection but it wasn’t called but Here he is a holding midfielder in the goal box, so I thought he did well.

Getting as much as you thought you would out of him or right on track?

I think he’s right on track. We knew he was a good player, a tactical player. I think he fits a little bit better with us, the way we play, than with Toronto. It’s still a co-ordination between teammates.

Are you hoping to bring him back?

That’s the idea, but those are going to be longer discussions than this. It all depends on what he’s got planned, what his options are. He’s played quite a few years in Euorpe, he might want to go back to Europe, we don’t know. We’ve not had a word with him about it.

Were you please to see how Brek and David combined?

It’s a combination of both players. I think David is looking for Brek to make the runs and Brek is making those runs. I think Brek had a livelier game than some of the other games he’s had and he also go through on a great ball that David gave him where he was able to turn the defender and hit it off the near post.

He put himself in dangerous positions and the one thing I’ve been saying to him is that he’s got to get productive. And productive is not just getting the ball and blowing by people, productive is getting points whether it’s a goal or an assist and I thought he was doing that.

How do you evaluate Hedges at this stage of the season?

The evaluation of Matt is that we’re sure glad we drafted him. We picked up players in the past that we weren’t really sure about, sometimes you get a good one and sometimes you don’t. It’s a different level and different environment. Matt, much like Scott Sealy, was given an opportunity through injuries. I’ll tell you what, he’s really stepped up.

He’s a player that continues to get better each week. He plays with more and more confidence. He impresses the coaches every game. I don’t know if he had a good game against LA, I don’t know how many people did, but I thought against Portland he and George were very very good and very difficult to beat. The way we play with our fullbacks going up does leave a transition wide which means players get wide and cross balls and right now we have two of the stronger players in the box.

When you look at other players in the league, I don’t know if you have a team that has two players as strong as those two guys. I think George and matt are becoming a good team and speaking of Matt, we’re really pleased with him.

He’s played the fourth most minutes of any rookie, is that a case of injuries or that he’s earned it?

I think it’s a comination of two things. The first thing is injuries. The injuries gave him a chance to play. With the chance to play, if you remember he scored goals. People didn’t know him so all of a sudden the scouting report was watch for Matt Hedges, he’s good with his head. The other thing is that you’ve got to remember, when we drafted him we didn’t expect George John back.

We didn’t expect George to be back, he was at West Ham on loan or trial or whatever you want to call it but we didn’t expect him. That’s why we picked Matt up. Our mentality was that he’s going to back up George then Ugo gets the concussion and George gets the concussion and he comes back a little bit out of shape so there wre a couple circumstances that really propelled Matt out there earlier than we anticipated.

Julian de Guzman

How did the game go on Sunday?

I felt pretty comfortable. It was good to get a start and get used to the guys again. I thought I did my part in being able to hold the defensive role in the midifled and then I got to push up a bit more in the second half. Things changed around once the red card happened and that’s when I eventually came off. I felt good after the game too and most importantly now is that we need toget results so we’ll use this time to recover and get ready for Colorado.

How do you feel you're combining and building chemistry with David Ferreira?

Having guys like that makes it a lot easier for you to fight and perform with guys like David and all the rest of the guys. The style of football is a lot different than it was in Toronto. To be honest, being here reminds me of the times I played in Spain where they enjoy playing football and that’s what they look to do. It’s a pleasure being a part of this once again after three years in Toronto which was a bit different. There was a point where they wanted to play like this but the difference is the quality of players.

Do you feel like your role changed a lot in Toronto?

Yeah, I mean it was almost game to game where I’d find myself with a new role or trying to adjust. It reminds you that this is a team over the years that they’ve had hundreds of guys under contract so there was never any stability in the team or any core. It got to a point where they brought in Winter who wanted to play football but the problem was quality of players that they had involved we didn’t get to see that succeed. Here, now you can see the guys like to play football and that’s a great thing to see and be a part of.

Are you liking Dallas as a city?

Yeah, the heat is always present but I think playing in these types of climates you have to use your head a lot more than just physicality. You can see the guys on the pitch do have a lot of brains and that helps in the games as well. Overall the city and the people have been very friendly. It’s very laid back, something I kind of enjoy, it’s a big difference from Toronto where everything is fast paced and there’s no quiet, hustle and bustle so here I really appreciate that after you put in some hard work you just want to relax.

Looking ahead do you think you would want to re-sign with Dallas?

It’s actually been an eye opener since I’ve been here. It’s hard to tell what happens but to be honest, if we work things, I can definitely imagine myself being here and being happy.

If things don't work out here is it back to Europe?

If it doesn’t work out, Europe is definitely on my agenda. I have two kids that I’ve been away from for a long period of time that are living in Germany and that’s probably one of the main reasons I would return to Europe. To be closer to them, coming here in MLS has been tough seeing them. I only see them at Christmas time and in the summer so that’s another challenge I have to deal with. Who knows what will happen maybe they could end up moving here.

It's really just looking for stability at this point in your career?

That’s pretty much the case. Any player looks for that and it would also bring out the best in a player too to have that comfort in the back of their mind. There’s still some games to prove myself and I’m fighting for that opportunity.

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