Boy is it nice to have a week in between games and be able to see an FCD practice where they're doing more than a little bit of jogging and some set piece work. Today was probably the crispest practice I've seen from Dallas all season. It really is amazing what a little bit of time off has to done rejuvenate this team.
After the regular stretching, they went into a 3/4 field scrimmage with two teams made up of a mix of starters and reserves. After multiple games, things remained scoreless and they moved to an 8 v 8 game that was infinitely more entertaining.
It was basically starters vs reserves, though Schellas wouldn't admit to that, with an interesting twist. Maykel Galindo, a player forgotten by many was given a run out with some of the starters paired up with Maicon Santos today and it actually looked great. Schellas comments on it later, but wow Galindo looked sharp out there today. It seems like every time he's gained fitness this season, he's gotten some unfortunate injury but I found it very interesting that he got some time up top in a 4-4-2 type setup.
Keep reading for more from the 8 v 8 scrimmage, injury report and Schellas press conference
The 8 v 8 game was split into three different periods. The first period scoring was opened with a nice combination from Galindo and Santos who basically tore right through the reserve defense with 1-2 passes finished off with a nice header from Maicon over Seitz. The reserves would tie things up on a defensive miscue from Jair Benitez who got caught in possession with Daniel Cruz on his back. Cruz was able to tap the ball away from Jair and past Hartman who was livid.
The second period saw the starters take the lead on a brilliant cross from Zach Loyd to Santos whose initial shot was well saved by Seitz but the rebound came right back to the Brazilian who easily tapped home. Loyd was fantastic throughout the scrimmage and looks like he's 100% recovered from any injuries.
In the third period, the starters added an insurance tally with Moises Hernandez taking down Galindo on a break away. Captain Hernandez stepped up to take the penalty kick which was converted bringing out golf clap applause from the rehabbers on the sidelines in a funny moment.
Injury report David Ferreira did rehab work on the sidelines with trainer Josh Watts and today for the first time I saw him kicking a soccer ball a little bit. He's still at least a few weeks away from even taking part in some drills but I think there's reason to think he could possibly play before the season is over. Fabian Castillo rode the bike today and it's tough to know exactly what's wrong with him, though I believe he is still out this weekend. Ugo and Jacobson stayed on the sidelines for most of training, but that is purely precautionary according to Schellas. Bruno Guarda came out towards the end of training, I wouldn't expect him to play this weekend.
You're big on compartmentalizing the season. This seems like a very clear breaking point...now you've got the sprint to the finish, is that how you see this?
Yeah, you might have seen my notes from this morning. We spent about 20 minutes going through exactly those type of things, what's left of September then what's in October and how the playoff picture would look if it happened today, but realizing that what we have is a strategy plan. What a strategy plan is something that you hope for.
The scoreboard says you're in third place in the Western Conference right now, that's what's happening. We know we have three games coming up in September with two of them at home, we know we've got four games in October with three of them on the road so what we want to do is show the players exactly what's going on, where the CONCACAF games are coming in and how important it is that we don't lose sight that for us[the goal] is to finish in the top three so we don't have to go into the wild card and have another game, that's what we want.
At the same time there are other teams that have a little bit of a lifeline and they're hoping to just get a playoff opportunity. We don't want to lose sight that that's our goal to be in the playoffs.
Thoughts on Brek Shea getting all the minutes for the national team
First of all, I think all the minutes is fantastic. The first game[against Mexico], he came off the bench and did ever so well to earn himself a starting position. As Klinsmann is looking for something special on his flanks, more of a player who can make things happen or at least have the confidence to take people on, I think Brek has shown that. In the first game against Costa Rica he gave two to three outstanding passes that could have led to goals, they didn't and the team ends up losing.
In the second game again he had some very good moments and he's fighting hard. I think it's different playing against a European team than a Central American team but I thought he did well enough in both of those games to still be in the picture....we expect him to fly into Boston directly and that will probably happen today.
Galindo got some time with the first team today, are you looking at giving him a shot?
Well you know that really wasn't the first team, that was a combination of players I'm looking to try and develop more of a rhythm and seeing what those players would look like together...I was very impressed with how well they kept the position and how well they followed through on the exercise.
That's what were trying to do with all our players to get them be a little more thinkers on the field instead of just workers, sprinters or athletes but just really keeping the ball moving and I thought we saw a little bit of that today.
To talk about Galindo, I think he's improving, I think from what he's telling me he's fit. We worked him really hard while he had those injuries the best we could and he's healthy. So I think he's now putting himself in the position of at least being talked about.
It's got to feel good to have a normal schedule now to be able to see how these players can fit together rather than just regeneration sessions every time.
In reality, I don't think we've had a good training session in two months and it was for either traveling, recovering or days off whenever we could. So as I was walking in, I mentioned to a couple of the players, gosh I'm tired.
These are the first back to back two hour training sessions we've had in months so we may have to get more games on our schedule.
What is the updated injury schedule on David Ferreira?
I don't know what the updated time schedule is on him but it is encouraging that he's doing more and more. Whether that time table is in three weeks, he'll be able to come out and do some drills with us or it could be five weeks.
Our goal is can we have him for some amount of time before we get into the playoffs and then where is it going to be, is he going to be match fit, is he mentally going to be strong enough and is he physically going to be strong enough to take the abuse that we all know he will take.
So there's going to be some precautions for the welfare of David Ferreira but there's also some excitement that if things work out the way we hope they will, he'll be a great addition to the team.
Where are Andrew Jacobson, Ugo, Guarda at with injury concerns?
With Bruno, he twisted his ankle against Tigres, he went in and jumped in on a tackle and got his foot twisted. With AJ, he's got a chronic injury with his knee that will probably need some treatment at the end of the season. Yesterday, was supposed to be a day off for him, there was a miscommunication between me, him and the trainers and all of a sudden he was in training and I think he paid the price a little bit today. So we wanted to pull him out because yesterday was a hard fitness day and a pretty demanding day.
Once you give a team so many days off, you've got to be able to switch the light back on and the way you do that is with energy. With Ugo, it's a little stomach strain that is much better now than it was over the weekend, but as you know he's not going to play against New England[due to yellow card suspension] so there is absolutely no rush to do anything. In fact, I'm discouraging any kind of workout at all, just more body workout time.
Zach Loyd got some playing time against Tigres, is he 100%?
I thought he was excellent and I don't use that word very often with players. I thought he was excellent and I think part of the reason is because for the 8 weeks prior, he's been playing with a hamstring strain or not 100%. It's just so nice to see him as close to 100% as we was in pre-season.
It was just so nice to see him have lively legs, sprinting ability and recovering. It's kind of a god send that we were able to keep him out. For him, he missed the national team callup, which was a bummer but I talked to Jurgen and he, in all fairness to him, said do you mind if I give Zach a call because I want to continue to let him know he's in our picture but I don't want to see him at 80% or 85 or 90% because the competition is too good. If he comes in at 80%, he may never get a callup again.
So we want to see him at his best and I think that call directly to Zach was very comforting because sometimes it's like "gosh he may not think of me again" so I think that was a needed call but also great timing.
The second half of the press conference coming up later including lots on the younger players, New England coming up and more