FC Dallas was back out on the Adidas Field #1 Friday as Edgefest slowly makes their way into Pizza Hut Park for the annual concert. Dallas started the practice with a short field 11v11 game in which players wearing different colors that meant they could take a certain amount of touches on the ball. The game got pretty competitive before it was over with Chris Seitz's team winning the game.
From there it was a 10(starters) v 11(reserves) game where the starters worked on defensive shape and getting the ball forward from the back to the midfield. Schellas mixed things up a lot during the practice, but I'd be willing to bet we see the same formation on Sunday with Avila in Ferreira's role like I argued for earlier in the week. It makes sense with everything and goes in tune with what Schellas said after practice.
Kyle Davies back to full training I've been told it won't be every day, at least for another week or two, but Kyle Davies trained fully yesterday and didn't look bad at all. We all know what this guy can do when he's healthy and Davies can really contribute to this team in USOC and CCL so let's all hope he stays fit.
Keep reading for more notes and quotes from Schellas and Avila
Castillo trained fully but looked off He didn't train on Thursday, but yesterday Fabian participated in practice. He looked pretty poor and off the pace in the warmup game which leads me to believe he might start on the bench. Who will start in his place at forward? Really tough to say, I would give Luna the nod at home, but we'll just wait and see.
Jackson sharp It looks like the red card really woke up Jackson as he looked extremely solid yesterday cannoning a shot off the crossbar and scoring another time. A lot of credit has to go to the Brazilian's professionalism for stepping it up after his bonehead play.
Galindo shaping up Schellas talks about it later in the quotes, but Galindo is looking back to his old self. I'm not sure he has the touch left that got him double digit goals, however the Cuban is going to contribute this season. He looks miles ahead of where he was in February.
It's all about shape With Ferreira out, it really looks like FCD is going to focus hard on formation, keeping their shape, and everyone doing their jobs. A lot like the late 2009 season when the team had all their players in there but were still learning the roles of the 4-1-4-1. In my opinion, with Ferreira out it's going to be vitally important for the defense to get back to the level of last season. Dallas simply can't be allowing two goals to the opposition very often.
How do you shut down LA, the top team in the league right now?
There's a reason why they're the top team in the league. They seem to be running on all cylinders right now, I think them and RSL have really established a high level of playing. They've got quality players. Everybody would love a Landon Donovan or David Beckham, but not just that they've got other players doing well for them, Magee, Juninho scored great goals for them so they're a solid team with depth.
For us it's a great opportunity to play a good team and see players step up without David. Angel's doing well coming off the bench, if they put high pressure on us that may not be Angel's game but it's not bad having a DP player coming off the bench.
You went 10 v 11 during much of practice today, what's kind of the focus of that sort of thing?
What we're trying to do is we've watched a lot of games on LA, we know what their tendencies are so what we're trying to do is keep our shape. When you remove a player from your starting lineup, what you want to make sure is whoever moves into that position in the starting lineup understands their roles. It takes time to learn those roles but if you're going to learn something it's going to be more important to learn the defensive shape so that's where that comes in.
Do you see Eric Alexander as a possible solution to David's spot?
Absolutely, I think we have Eric Alexander, Eric Avila, Ricardo Villar I think they all bring certain qualities, the thing with David is he had all those qualities. You know a Bruno Guarda that's his type of position as well but we'll need more time to figure out who works in that position but we're moving into a game on Sunday.
Do you have a good idea of who will start on Sunday you have one more session(FCD practiced this morning)?
Yeah, when the coaches sit down, we'll toss this over. One more session is not really going to be a difference maker because we've seen the players since February. What we have to do is there's a lot of things that come into this, handling the pressure, taking the pressure off your team, not only does a player have to handle the pressure of playing at home in front of a sellout crowd but also what other players are going to help that player so we're asking a lot of all of our players.
Changing formations is something some coaches do pretty often, but you haven't been a guy that likes to do that, talk about the ramifications of changing formations
Yeah, there's a lot of teams that will switch formations and styles of play on the road going in trying to get a tie but our philosophy is let's take what we do well and do it at home and on the road. That's why a record was set last year with the unbeaten streak. I think everything has it's positives and negatives. Are you prepared to change the structure of the team and then have the negatives but do the positives outweigh the negatives?
With seven games coming up in this month are you going to be looking to rotate some guys in?
I hope so, this is one of the things that's very important to keep fresh legs on the field and it's also important to keep people biting and not in a comfort zone. Just because I've started every game doesn't mean I'm starting the next game and I think that prepares us for future potential injuries as well.
Where do you feel like your depth is right now, maybe a little less than last year?
I would agree with you I think Jeff(Cunningham) was big for us and we tried to get depth this year, Ricardo Villar, Maykel Galindo as so I think depth wise we're going to be ok. As far as compared to last year, I can't say that yet. Now as we go into the games in May, we're going to have an opportunity to see.
How is the fitness of Galindo looking now months into his training?
I think we're working with him, he's working and his body is starting to shape differntly. It's a hard thing to come in and change your conditioning level, your body fat, your diet there's a lot of things involved in that. I will say Maykel has worked awfully hard to put himself in this position.
Do you feel like Bryan Leyva is starting to come around?
I think it's early, played like Bryan we bring into the professional setup because he has so much quality and technical abilities, his vision, everything's offensive. For Bryan what we're trying to tdo is make him a complete player and incorporate the defensive side of the ball and the only way to do that is bring the fitness levels in. I think the rewards for him is playing better and getting on the field.
Right now he's working awfully hard at it, I think it's something he understands. For all players it's not just a fitness thing, it's body fat, it's recovery, it's strength and power, and a lot of that kind of stuff comes with focusing and dieting.
With Oscar Pareja now the head coach of the reserves, is that just a title in name only or how does the input work with that?
No no it's not just a name only, he's in charge of the reserve team. It's all through coaches meetings and we have meetings every day where we talk about how players did in the reserve games, given though he's coaching the team, the whole staff is out there watching making decisions.
I tell him who I want to see, but it's the idea of reserve games to get you ready for the first team where I can see them in a competitive environment now I can say I want to see this guy as a center back because I'm looking for a center back off the bench. I can see in the reserve league games if they're ready.
Kyle Davies back in training you've got to like that
Yeah, yeah he's been cleared he's ready to go, like always it's just a time of recovery getting his touch back and his focus back but it's good to see him back out here
This weekend you might get a chance not on the right or left but in the center. Talk about the excitement and roles of that position
It's exciting, its a big game vs LA. There will be a lot of people, unfortunately David Ferreira won't be there which is a disappointment but our team is ready. It's time for all of us to step up and for me hopefully if I get the nod or not I'm going to come out and help the team as much as possible
Talk about how playing in the middle might be a little different than the right or left
Yeah, it's more of a playmaker type role, go forward and connect with the forwards, then going at people. Left or right, I think getting the ball and going forward is all the same to me.
How are your defensive capabilites and tackling coming along?
It's going good, I get a lot of help from Daniel(Hernandez), he's the one that's always talking and putting me in great positions where I can help him out as well.