Some of these are a bit belated as I haven't had the time to get this all out on (digital) paper yet, but I've had some great chats while in Portland with some of the major pieces of the FCD squad. Here's some of the quote dumps from chats with Schellas Hyndman, George John, David Ferreira and Eric Hassli...also, if you haven't already, be sure to check out my myriad of pieces on MLSsoccer.com this week from Portland.
Schellas Hyndman (Post-Portland game)
What did you think about tonight's game?
I think the players Sunday were still a little bit new as far as playing a higher level of game. The thing we missed was just good competition so the other day was really our first good competition. I think they recognized it's got to get better and so we got better.
On moving Ferreira out to the wing
The game is the best teacher. What happened the other day against AIK is we gave up 27 counterattack opportunities which meant that we didn't have enough in the center of the field. We talk about a diamond and it all looks great on the whiteboard but once it gets on the field in moving parts it doesn't always look the same. We felt like we needed more ball winners and of course we've got to keep David on the field. Either we go back with one striker or we try to find a way to keep him oon the field and still add something in the center. The decision was to put him on the left for Fabian and to give him some freedom so he can still be a playmaker for us.
Do you feel like it worked well?
It's the first time we've played it but soccer players know the game and just because you're playing a position doesn't mean that you don't understand the principles of the game. I thought bobby and AJ did very well they were ball winners and aggressive, they worked off each other. This is a difficult team to play on their field and I thought that our new player we picked up, Watson, he adds into what were looking for. We need a little bit of bit and ball winning and now we can get the balls to the strikers
Thoughts on Blas' game
I thought he did well. He had another shot from about 25 yards out that just missed the post as well. I thought we created some nice attacking flow but couldn't get on the end of some of the balls. Then we were able to put in our second team and the pressure started coming because they had nothing to lose. It's a work in progress but they feel good about themselves because they feel hard and got the result.
Bringing in Je-Vaughn Watson (where Schellas goes on a tangent)
He's a good player. IT's not easy playing quality soccer on a field like that, it's wet and turf. It's made for the home team, the home team gets very good at it while the visiting team just wants to get through it and move on.
Two shutouts in a row has to be a major positive from the tournament...
The defense is an experienced defense. You've got Matt and George who played a lot together last year and then you've got Jair and Zach who have played for quite a few years. We've got other guys coming in like Michel and how well he's done on the left side. Stephen, London it's starting to look like a team that's working on both sides of the ball.
Do you feel like on paper this could be your best defense since you got here?
I think it has the potential, lets put it that way. It has the potential to be one of our better defenses and I think we have the depth. A player like London Woodberry was just playing college soccer recently and now he's out there playing, not that he's ready to be a starter in the league but he's a player that will grow into being a starter in the league.
George John (Post-Portland game)
Two shutouts in a row how does it feel?
It feels nice, we modified the formation tonight and things were a lot more calm and I think it showed in how well we defended and attacked as a team.
Do you feel like you held the midfield better tonight with Jacobson and Warshaw in there?
Absolutely. Warshaw did a trememndous job winning a lot of headers and battling as did AJ, they both had a very good first half and Bobby had a good second half as well.
How does it feel for you *knock on wood* going through the whole pre-season without any injuries looking healthy for opening day?
IT's good, everything's gone according to play. Skylar Richards has done a great job, our strength coach Jonny has done a great job as well as Paul Lombardo. The goal is to be healthy and ready to go on March 2 and we're on track to hit that goal.
Obviously results aren't tops in preseason but getting positive results in Portland has to be important for the team
Yeah, before the game Schellas told us we've just got to get better. Better communicating, everything's got to be better tonight and I thought we took a couple strides towards that goal getting better using preseason for what it is and getting more comfortable with each other on the field.
Do you feel like the team is really starting to come together?
Yeah, definitely. Team chemistry is a big part of any sports team you're on and I think we've done a good job of that this preseason, the guys genuinely enjoy each other on and off the field.
David Ferreira (post Portland game)
The team was better than we were the other day, we played a very good game. We tried to do exactly what the coaches told us before the game and little by little the team is trying to find the right level to start the season.
On the wing
I don't feel strange at the position because I've played it before but little by little we've changed the way we've played this week. It's going to take me a little bit but I'm very comfortable with that position too.
Did you feel like tonight's performance was better?
It was very difficult to maintain possession in our match against AIK. It was our first difficult game playing in a new system. The coach is trying to find what's best for the team and realized it didn't work very well last game but this game was better, we possessed the ball well and hopefully we
I don't know if this is the way we will play in the first game but it's getting more comfortable for everybody.
How important is it to keep winning these preseason games?
The most important part is the team, we won, we played well and we scored. Winning is a habit and we have to keep doing it
Does it matter to you whether you play out left or in the middle?
I have always said the most important part is the team, whatever the coach decides I'll do whatever it takes to help the team.
Eric Hassli (Post Thursday Practice)
How does it feel to be moved to Dallas?
How can I explain? I'm just so f***ing happy. My family and I are really excited and happy, glad, whatever you want to be in Dallas.
How have you been received to the team?
I feel really welcome in this team, the coach and everyone relaly wanted me so it's a pleasure. I can't wait to start the season, I feel great in this team.
How exciting is it to be on a team loaded with so many offensive weapons where in previous teams maybe you were one of two or three options?
It's a very offensive team and the last two years we didn't play so well with Vancouver or Toronto. We didn't keep the ball and here we have the quality. The coach wants us to keep the ball and play.
I've heard you've already bought a ranch in Dallas, what's that about?
[My wife] can do whatever she wants, she's the boss. So she chooses and I agree, that's it.
You have no idea how happy she is. She's a cowgirl, she rides horses since she was 3 years old so she's just happy to be in Dallas for the horses and all that. It's also in a really great place to raise the kids.
Do you feel like this team has a good shot at the playoffs and what would getting there for the first time in your MLS career mean?
Last two years I said I wanted to do the playoffs so bad but this year I just want to shut my mouth, work and we'll see by the last game if we get there. We're going to do everything and work really hard to get into the playoffs.