Lots of news, notes and observations on pre-season day 3.
While FCD officially opened camp on Monday, today was really the first day that I've been able to attend where the balls were out and the team actually played some organized stuff. It was just a beautiful morning and a good day for getting some early looks, though it should be said to take these with a huge grain of salt as three days ago we were in the off-season.
-Brek Shea was out at practice today and did a little bit of light on the ball work while also doing some fitness. In case you haven't seen, Stoke told BBC Radio that his transfer is off. As of this point, I expect Brek to stay in Dallas. It will be very interesting to see if he joins the team in Cancun. Brek chatted for awhile on the side today with Stephen Keel, who I've heard great things about.
-Peter Luccin and Raul Fernandez are still not here. Hyndman said after practice that Fernandez is expected in late this week and should be practicing by either Sunday or Monday. Luccin has his paperwork sorted out and it is currently being mailed to his home in Madrid. I would expect him in late next week. Don't get me started on how ridiculous it seems that Luccin, a player signed six weeks ago, doesn't have his paperwork sorted.
-Jonathan Top is back and Richard Sanchez is expected in tonight. Top looked good today as he should for a player who has been practicing at altitude in Mexico for the past couple weeks. More on Top in an article coming later
-Three of the supplemental picks are here, Cameron Brown, Kyle Zobeck and TJ Nelson. Brown looked quite a bit off the pace, but Nelson and Zobeck aren't well out of place. Zobeck is actually a pretty decent goalkeeper with good size and good communication. Wouldn't shock me to see him stick around for a little while.
-Just about everyone else that you would expect to be here is here.
After some small sided little training deals, the team broke into a 9v9 scrimmage on a small field. The teams were as follows
Orange bibs :
The first game, in which players were allowed just two touches, was fairly uneventful, ending 0-0.
The second game, with no restrictions and 6-minute halves, ended 1-1 with Acosta grabbing the goal for the orange and Pipico scoring for the yellow.
Remember it's basically day two. There's a long way to go
Pipico - This guy is an interesting case. I have to say he was very unimpressive in the scrimmage. Playing as the lone forward, he really was pretty inactive and looks a bit out of shape. But then after I had made these notes in my notebook, he went and had two of the nicest plays of the day. The Brazilian made a nice run off the ball before cracking a hard shot off the crossbar. Then he expertly received a good pass from Ferreira before left-shooting a shot past Zobeck. Let's see where he's at in a month, there's certainly something there.
Woodberry - He's not exactly an unknown for anyone who follows the academy guys in college, but Woodberry is a fairly lanky outside back who has surprisingly good passing skills. Perhaps his best strength is an ability to play great cross-field balls. He had one switch today that flew across the whole field straight to the foot of Cameron Brown streaking down the left side.
Acosta - He looks bigger this pre-season and he looks good. I don't want to hype the kid because we've seen how this ends in the pass, but for 17-years-old...wow. Today he played in central midfield and rarely turned the ball over while holding the ball well against players almost 10 years older than him. It will be very exciting to see if Kellyn can benefit from this new USL Pro news and possibly get some professional minutes this year.
Michel - A Brazilian left back with good size but he's not your typical bombing up and down the outside wing left back. He's a big guy who generally stays home and seems to be a good defender though it's still very early. He's a guy I'd love to see in an actual pre-season game, though they're not playing any in Dallas before leaving for Cancun next weekend.
Hyndman on today's practice:
We’re really focusing this week getting everybody together not really doing the normal pre-season work with speed work, sprint work and a lot of vertical training. We’re trying to do almost everything ball oriented with skills and getting the muscles more and more prepared for the hard work that’s coming. What I saw there was that they need a little bit of work on the fitness level. Most of them have been off for six weeks and then they need to just get to know each other and get sharper again.
That's about it for today, if you have questions about any players, ask them in the comments and don't forget that they're having a practice inside the stadium on Friday at 4:30pm for FCD Friends and Family night.