This question was posed to me Saturday night after the 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Should Schellas Hyndman take a game, like tomorrow's CONCACAF Champions League game with Toronto as a way to introduce some younger, fresher talent to the mix?
It is a tough call really as it can be high risk/high reward if done correctly.
(Read on for more thoughts on this)
Obvious, each game is very important as we know Hyndman wants to put his best club out there and do well in this tournament. Same can be said for the US Open Cup. And the same can be said for the league games. For right the CCL, it is definitely about getting the points in the group stage locked up. Playing a beatable opponent like Toronto FC means three points should come with your first team players.
My guess is Hyndman and company are hoping to get three more points on the road tomorrow night, bringing their tally to six in the group phase. Typically 10 points is the line you need to get to reach the knockout rounds. Being a little more than half way there with all three home games left in the group round makes sense to put your first team players out there for these early road games, no matter how easy they are.
But with the news of George John going to England, Zach Loyd being banged up, and the heavier legs we're seeing out of guys like Daniel Hernandez, it makes me think do you take that chance by resting these guys for Saturday's MLS clash with Sporting Kansas City or just go all in? The league slate is still as important and with the team stumbling a bit in their recent games, a win in the league on the road sounds almost as important as a win on the road in the CCL.
I looked into who FC Dallas is taking to Toronto to face the Reds tomorrow in the CCL group phase. Only one Home Grown player is on the travel roster, Ruben Luna. Just one. And as for reserves go, there are really only a few on the travel roster as well for this one.
Naturally this is likely to be the same group that is going to KC. I get that. Though I would argue it would be easier to rest a Hernandez at home tomorrow night and have him meet you in KC than have him travel for both. That may just be me.
My one hope is that Hyndman sees he has to use some fresher faces in these up coming matches. Loyd obviously won't be available for tomorrow and it wouldn't hurt at all to rest Hernandez in favor of Andrew Jacobson. The depth is there in the midfield, we know that. But why not bring in an Andrew Weideman or a Moises Hernandez? Hopefully by the time Toronto comes to town for the next CCL game we'll see some starters rested and some of the reserves out there.
So I ask you loyal readers, what do you all think about resting some starters in games like tomorrow's against Toronto?