What's going through the gaffer's mind? - Tom Pennington
With the Portland Tournament under their belt, it's time to see the team's stock report!
If the formation FCD rolled out in their final preseason tuneups is any indication, "El Capitan" has a new position in the team. Why is this good for David Ferreira? Playing on the wings will allow David to set up the three big men (Hassli, Coop, and Blas) with crosses and through balls. Ferreira would have a free role cutting into the attacking and having a go at goal. Also, not playing as centrally as he is used to might cut down the number of fouls he will suffer this season. As long as DF10 does not disappear (and I have been told by tactical experts that he will not) then this seems to be a good move for the team.
Easily the biggest pest of the Portland preseason tournament for FC Dallas, Jackson has been showing the flashes of brilliance he displayed towards the end of last season. His hustle is immeasurable and he never seems to give up on the ball, no matter what the circumstances are. He seemed to be the most dynamic player of the preseason for me on the wings, but, with the change in formation, would he be better suited playing centrally? It comes down to whether or not the two central midfielders can provide both offense and defense and Jax scares me a little bit in the middle of the park. Assuming he plays on the wings (and he improves his crossing a little bit), I believe Jackson is in for a solid number of assists.
Many of us (or maybe just me?) have criticized Schellas over the last couple of seasons for refusing to tamper with his beloved 4-5-1 (4-4-1-1?). However, in Portland, FCD has been rolling out an experimental flat 4-4-2 with David Ferreira on the left wing (see above). It seems to me that Coach Hyndman is finding a way to cover for the lack of wing depth on this team while keeping David Ferreira in a very effective position. Time will tell if this works out for FC Dallas or not, but (for now) I applaud Hyndman's effort!
Eric Hassli- not match fit, but seems happy to be here.
Raul Fernandez- monster save to preserve the draw against AIK.
Bobby Warshaw- started against Portland and played well.
Before you eat me alive on this one, let me explain. From the two matches I have seen so far in this preseason, Zach has gotten beaten to balls more times than he had all last season. I believe Loyd is capable of much better defense and ball control than what we saw in the Portland tournament. Sure, it is only preseason, but I expect a lot more from one of our most consistent players year in and year out. Constantly over dribbling and turning the ball over just will not cut it for a right back trying to make his way back into the USMNT picture. His crossing was not very good either. London Woodberry had a better crossing afternoon than Zach did. It is still early and I have hope, so maybe the turf threw him off his game a little bit?
Food For Thought:
1. Will David Ferreira thrive in the new 4-4-2 or will his skills be wasted?
2. Do you want Jackson to play centrally with AJ and see Castillo on the wings?
3. Am I being too harsh on Zach Loyd?
4. Which HG and non-HG player impressed you the most this preseason?
I am always open to thoughtful, healthy debate if you disagree with me. There is a comments section for a reason, so answer my questions and let's talk! I am not afraid to admit defeat and a change in opinion if you prove me wrong, so you have nothing to lose. :)