After a couple of days away from the Adidas Field, FC Dallas returned to practice today in preparation for their game Saturday night at RFK Field against DC United. Today seemed a little bit like a pre-season practice as there wasn't a whole lot of full field stuff. You could tell an emphasis on attack, especially the fast break type stuff that Dallas seemed to fail to link up with on the final pass against Los Angeles.
-Jair Benitez looks alright FCD has kind of changed their policy on reporting injuries as they're not just reporting what the MLS injury report says and is Jair is officially out for Saturday. However, he was walking without any noticeable limp and rode the exercise bike for most of practice. More on this in the chat with Schellas.
-Maykel Galindo has picked up a surprise injury The worst aspect of practice was a walking boot that has magically appeared on Galindo. Schellas explains his injury later, but he was walking with a noticeable limp, however he did ride on the bike. Not sure what the deal is on this one, but it's probably safe to say he's out for Saturday.
-David Ferreira had his surgery in the metroplex yesterday Schellas visited him in the hospital both yesterday night and this morning mentioning that he should be out around lunchtime today.
Keep reading for which player is on fire and a lengthy chat with Schellas
-Brek Shea is on fire Dude is absolutely killing the defenders out there right now. He unleashed another awesome goal right in front of the press corps today earning lots of oohs and aahs. Safe to say, if anyone offers odds of Brek Shea scoring a goal this weekend, I'd take the bet. More in the quotes on Shea moving to left mid
On the delay of Sunday's game
I think the delay helped us reorganize how we handled (Paolo) Cardozo because he was causing some problems in the middle. My word to the players was this is a good sign for us.
Was Bruce(Arena) asking to end the game?
No understand Bruce was asking to finish the game at the end and I said 'Whatever you want Bruce' because I knew that it wasn't our decision...There were two talks coming from the league, the first was that you'll play the game as long as there's curfew in the stadium, we could have played the game until 11 o'clock. The other comment from the league was that you have two hours to get the game in...the game would have been terminated and declared a tie.
How'd you feel Avila looked in his time on Sunday?
I think Avila was a really good game for him because I thought their midfield with Juninho and Beckham weren't those types of players that were really hard and physical so it was a good game for Avi to find spaces and not worry about getting hurt on hard tackles. I thought he was improving as the game was going on, the area that he needs to keep working on is those killer passes.
We were working on it today and showed it wasn't just Avi, but how many opportunities we had on the breakout because I think that's one of our strenghts, the counter attack play and that's where David made a world of difference because he was able to hold the ball then wait for the angles to open and give a killer pass and the perfect pass on the ground. I think we missed some of those opportunities.
Then when Villar came in, they changed their structure that's when Magee came out and Cardozo came in the middile, making it more difficult for Villar and it would have been more difficult for Avi. So we were trying to make those corrections and thank goodness the game was stopped because we were able to go through it on the board.
What are your thoughts on Brek's goal?
Great goal, we watched it again today. It was very, very obvious it wasn't a blind kick, he got the ball he looked up, he looked back at the ball and he looked up again. Now whether he was crossing it and it was mis-crossed into the goal or if it was a perfect chipped ball to the far post, I'll leave it to him to describe it.
Seems like you guys were due for some good luck
Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. I think a lot of things have gone against us...a red card on Brek, then Jair wasn't able to play the first game. Then we go to Columbus a red card on Jackson and then of course David getting injured...there's a lot of things that haven't kind of gone our way, the ball hasn't really bounced right but I thought in this game it was starting to bounce right.
I thought the game was officiated extremely well, I thought there was a lot of compassion, knowledge and composure on it by the whole crew. To give you an idea, I thought it was a bad night with a lot of rain, the ball was slipping and sliding, players were challenging on the ground and I think there was a total of 9 fouls called, whether it was on us or them and the other team had 8 fouls. Compare that to Vancouver where there was 22 fouls just on one team and that was a game with alot of physical contact and not under control.
A lot of the passes just looked barely off do you think that's a matter of getting someone new in that spot and work together more?
I think that's a part of it, but it also comes down to your decision making and accuracy. I can make a pass to Denise(one of the reporters), right where she wants it or I can still make a pass to Denise right at her kneecap. It's hard for those players to handle those type of balls and I think our players must continue maybe don't be in such a rush to make that killer pass, wait until it's on and then make that killer pass, but it does take time.
When is Jair scheduled for an MRI?
*turns to trainer Josh Watts* I think that an MRI has already been done...yeah I think we're very aggresive in identifying the injuries. There is nothing structurally, I understand, is wrong but it's a strain on the lateral part of the knee so there's going to be some time to recover and rehab and then some mobility. So we have no idea what that prognosis is going to be.
How about David?
I went yesterday to the hospital where he had his surgery in Carrollton, Dr. (Eugene) Curry is the person he identified to do his surgery. Dr. Curry's the Cowboys doctor and I think he was very concerned whether he has it done here or go back to Colombia and I think he was very concerned about, I want to be back 100%, so we let him interview the doctors and this is the one he chose.
I went yesterday as soon as he came out of the surgery and of course he was not all there mentally, but we had him spend the night, pretty painful. I stopped by this morning to see him about 8 in the morning and he was hoping to get out around 10 or 11. All indications that we have, and this is coming from the doctor, was that it was a very good surgery.
How do you feel the defense played on Sunday?
I think our defense is getting better and I think part of that reason is we're getting the players back on the field healthy. Saying that, Jair gets hurt....I think our defense is playing really well and in particular I think George and Ugo are doing exremely well. You're looking at some pretty good attacking players coming at you, Angel has always been a player that's caused us a lot of problems and I don't think he had one scoring chance.
You take a step back and I think Kevin Hartman had a really good game...where we seem to have the most problems is when we're giving the ball away in the back and I think that's something we're talking about
Fabian had his first goal and seems to be acclimating pretty well to the league and the team
Yeah I think he really likes it here, he likes the teammates and loves the environment. I know his mother and grandmother will be coming up here very soon, hopefully in May or June. I think he's really excited about getting back with them. We were really fortunate that he's been living with Oscar Pareja who's been helping him and mentoring him.
Since moving Brek Shea back to left mid the team is 2-0, does that look like it will be a permanent thing?
Again, I'm very thankful and grateful that Brek was so courteous in wanting to help this team by playing center back and playing left back, when you look at Ugo out and John out you want someone back there with some experience and he stepped in there and did a very good job for us. Now what you don't want to do is keep moving him around from wing midfield to defense.
I really thought Brek had a really good game the other day, he had some very good moments. I don't know if we have anyone on the team that can do what Brek does in that midfield role. If we had a ton of talent on our team, we'd probably move Brek to left back because that's a great place for him, but right now he's just doing so much for us we have to look at him in that position(left mid)
Talk about the nex tgame against DC
Well they're a team that just lost a DP the other night(Boskovic), another tackle from behind, physical play...from my understanding the player's already had two players that tell him it's an ACL tear and he wants a third opinion but the point is they're struggling a little bit but much like when we struggle. You put an animal in the corner and they fight, they don't care whether they've got a tiger coming at them, they fight they claw they do whatever they can. Sometimes when a team is in that corner they come back with that fighting mentality because they know they're one game away from turning it around.
So what we have to do is not say they have a difficult year because at any second they can turn that. I know that they're going to put out more than we saw against LA because LA is having a good year they're playing good soccer but you didn't see the physical play and bite in them.
What happened to Maykel Galindo?
It's a goofy thing, he twisted his ankle indoor the other day which he said was no problem, he'll tape it, then yesterday he stepped some type of way in the plantar fasciatis. We've done the x-ray and there's nothing showing but we'll do an MRI as well. He's wearing a boot today which is more for protection right now