Four points from two home games in one week. Normally I wouldn't take that as I feel you should always win your home games no matter what. But for FC Dallas, given the injuries this club took in the past couple games, the four points seems like a relief.
FC Dallas got three points last night against D.C. United, in a game that saw Schellas Hyndman start five regular bench guys and at one point he even subbed in two more.
The kids are alright. One thing you can say about FC Dallas at this point, and Hyndman was certainly quick to do so is talk about the amount of depth that this club actually has. Sure, they are missing some players in key spots still but to be able to throw out a rookie Homegrown player in London Woodberry in the center of the defense for two and a half games and not add any losses to the loss column is a big deal.
Late in the game Hyndman even brought on SuperDraft pick Walker Zimmerman for his debut. It is hard to tell what we got out of him for three minutes of action but the fact that he is able to make such a change is pretty sweet to see. I wouldn't be shocked if we begin to see more of him, especially if George John comes back soon and then has to leave for the Gold Cup.
And speaking of the Gold Cup and other national team games. We'll see more of that depth come into play in the coming weeks with national team games coming up. This was a great game for Hyndman to risk those young players and get them those minutes. Down the road they won't be as nervous about playing big minutes while key guys are out again with their national teams.
Why Seitz you say? Probably one of the bigger questions was why did Chris Seitz start last night? It was a pretty simple and wise decision by Hyndman if you ask me. The gaffer explained that shortly after the Portland game, the Peruvian keeper tweaked his ankle a little bit and pretty much at that point, he thought it would be wise to rest him and let Seitz get a game. He said he had been wanting to get Seitz more minutes and with Raul Fernandez set to be with Peru here soon, this was a good game to get him back into the swing of things before he really has to be out there for a couple games straight later this summer. It also doesn't hurt that Seitz got another win under his belt on the season, that's a nice confidence boost.
4-4-2 looked dangerous...at times. We really got to see a 4-4-2 for the first time in a long while this season last night. Hyndman explained afterwards that he started Jackson and Fabian Castillo on the wings in a way to really give D.C.'s back four fits with their speed. United had been bad about giving away the ball in the back and he felt the speed of those two would do a lot of damage. For 15 minutes or so in the first half it worked. They looked good along with Blas Perez and Eric Hassli up front. Je-Vaughn Watson and Michel were working hard in the middle of the park to allow them space and the attack paid off with the early goal by Jackson.
The thing was, from about the 17th minute on until the halftime whistle, it was pretty much all downhill for FC Dallas. The speed was neutralized with United's possession and from there it can be hard to get balls wide to your speed when that happens.
Its a trap! If anything this was a trap game for FC Dallas. United have been completely down on their luck, losing six straight before Saturday night. They had been outscored left and right along the way. I have to give some credit to Ben Olsen for making some changes to his lineup. Joe Willis had a big game in goal and I'm even willing to bet that had Bill Hamid (their regular starting keeper) been in goal, the scoreline would have been four or five to one. United had about 25 minutes or so in this one that they looked like the better club. Thankfully without the usual starters and some younger players involved, this trap game was avoided in some sense. Dallas easily could have been looking forward to next weekend when they head to Seattle to face the Sounders, who are red hot and are coming off a big 4-0 blowout over San Jose.
At the end of it all, Dallas remains on top of the league standings for another week with 24 points. A good seven points of second place Real Salt Lake in the Western conference (with a game in hand on RSL to boot).
Watson a hero. I know we've been down on Watson a lot this season but honestly, he looked a lot better on Saturday. He was good in spots where he needed to be and he and Michel played off one another a little better than what we had seen in the past. Hyndman also alluded in his press conference that it is tough for a player to be traded right before the season like Watson had been. He's been with the club for a couple months now and according to Hydnman, they are starting to see him smile a lot more in the locker room and that is a good sign. You could tell he was confident in this one as well. He even told Hyndman before the game that he would score and in Hyndman's word, it's good that he delivered on his prediction.
I may go more into it tomorrow or Tuesday on how exactly he did in this one. But overall I was pretty pleased to see him put in a good effort and help the team out more than the other way around.