It's an independence day edition of the practice report...you don't make it out to practice once in six weeks then you make it out to two straight practice...Only the reserves today as they trained before hopping on a plane to Chicago for an official MLS reserve game tomorrow. It will never cease to be weird to me that Reserve games aren't played concurrent with MLS games like they did in the past.
Not really a lot to talk about, just a light practice with a little scrimmage towards the end. You don't really learn anything from these, but then it's pretty relaxing to just sit and watch soccer in the shade with some Whataburger breakfast taquitos.
Trialists All the trialists(two Trinidadians and "Papa") are still here and there's a new guy. An Argentine forward in his early to mid 20's...wasn't really anything special in the scrimmage but then this was his first day I would presume so it's way too early to judge.
Galindo Maykel Galindo was out there today rehabbing on the side. Hopefully a couple more weeks for him.
How do you keep the team from getting complacent?
I don't think FC Dallas ever has to worry about having a team be complacent. I think we're a team that has the right character, works hard, stays focused. One thing we've been able to do is go small goals. I think that keeps you always focused on the next game.
If you talk about a full season as a goal, which you eventually end up doing, I think it's a lot easier to get complacent mentality but we go very small goals and our goals are month to month.
Does having that points barrier in the table help you focus on Champions League and Open Cup?
I think that's the mentality on paper but as you saw when we played our US Open Cup game we played with seven starters, not a lot of rotation there. Part of the reason is the depth, you need depth. You also hope that you don't wear players out and the unforgiven thing that you can't accept is injuries because that just takes your team down from one game to the next game or it could affect a month.
We've been aksed many times about the open transfer window are we going to be active? Yes we're very active but we need to be able to identify those players and then be able to get those players but I think right now we need a little bit more time to recover from these games that go back to back. It is what it is and we will try to rotate as much as we can
What do you feel like needs to get better on FC Dallas?
The one thing is you never stand still. You either move forward or you move backwards. The mentality is always moving forward so if you look at our team today compared to a month ago you say we get better.
We want to say that at the end of this month, we got better. Whether it's additions of players, players getting healthy like Galindo or a Chris Seitz, our second keeper, fighting for the first spot. So we have to get better in some manner.
We saw Andrew Wiedeman get his first MLS action on Saturday, does his rise up the depth chart at right back have much to do with Jackson excelling at right mid or just Andrew's solid play?
I think it's a combination of both. One is Andrew has worked extremely hard and is improving and he's done well in the reserve games. That's the testing ground, if you're not able to get into the first team games you've got to have something to be judged at. It's not fair to judge players in training because not everyone is going 100%.
Andrew has done well in the reserve games and then the other combination is position. Andrew has been training at right back as we move Jackson from right back to right midfield. Now we're look at ideally can we have a replacement at every position. Andrew can also go to right midfield so I think his value is becoming a little bit greater because of injuries and the way the team is structured.
Feel good to play well in front of a big crowd?
Absolutely, it's a pregame talking point. We work hard, our people upstairs, the ticket sales and the marketing. Those people behind the scenes work really hard to get us those big crowds. I would imagine the sale of tickets would be a lot easier if the team is finding success so we have to do our part to keep that big crowds coming and make the job easier for our administration.
Looking ahead with two games against RSL in the league and open cup is this kind of a defining moment of the season?
No, I wouldn't say it's a defining moment of the season, but I will say it's another moment in the season. The bigger thing that we're more concerned about is the number of games we're playing in the month of July. In the month of June we had 5 games, and now in July we have 8 games that's a big jump. A guy gets a banged up hamstring or ankle and he doesn't have that 5 or 6 days to recover.
The way you get through that is obviously playing well, staying away from injuires and playing home games. I think we have four home, four away. We have a pretty difficult trip from Toronto to New York to El Salvador. That's going to be taxing but what were going to do in the next couple of days is draw the month of July up on the board and we'll have a team meeting and go through it to talk about the importance of on the field and off the field training.
What are some of the keys to staying fit and healthy when you've got two games every week?
I think a big part of it is you have to have other players step up and have depth. You might put all your first team player out there, you might get through the first four games but the next four you might struggle.
Now is that managing the team right? So what you're trying to do is mix it up a little bit realizing you might not be putting your best team on the field every game but it's the price of success.