A day after their 1-0 win over Portland, FC Dallas returned to Jeld-Wen for what was a light training session. With cool, cloudy conditions but thankfully no rain, the squad warmed up a bit, but with the setup on the field, the point of this practice was clear: soccer tennis.
The group broke into teams of three and started off their matches. From the off, it was clear there were a few stacked teams that would certainly be meeting in the final and the team of Fernando Clavijo, Andrew Jacobson and Bobby Warshaw was certainly one of them. If there was a soccer tennis league, Clavijo would probably be the MVP. They ran through the team of Bradlee Baladez, London Woodberry and TJ Nelson as well as Kenny Cooper, Eric Hassli and George John on their way to the final. On the other side, it was the team of Blas Perez, David Ferreira and Fabian Castillo who easily dispatched of the Jair Benitez, Victor Ulloa and Jonathan Top trio as well as another team I missed.
A closely fought final went to Perez, Ferreira and Castillo sparking wild celebrations at the Portland stadium and protests from the beaten finalists.
A few notes from the practice:
-Hassli did some extra training afterwards with assistant coach Marco Ferruzzi, but is not fit to start yet. At this point, it's going to be very interesting to see who starts next to Kenny Cooper on opening day because it doesn't look like Hassli will be an option and Blas Perez is, of course, suspended.
-Je-Vaughn Watson picked up a minor knock towards the end of Wednesday's game and didn't practice. I'm not sure that we'll see him on Saturday, but it's nothing serious.
Now what you've all been waiting for: The highlights from Soccer Tennis 2013