Fresh off a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy on a rainy and lightning-filled Sunday night, FC Dallas returned to the training field on Wednesday morning. It looks like Eric Avila will again be filling in reigning league MVP David Ferreira at that ever-so-critical No. 10 spot.
Jair Benitez was among those players on the sideline. More on his condition later but joining him on the side was forward Maykel Galindo, who was in a walking boot. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman elaborates on that late in his remarks to the assembled media. So, without further delay, here are his remarks.
On Sunday’s win over LA
“I’ll say this, I think the delay of the game helped us reorganize how we were handling Pegroso because he was causing some problems in the middle. So, my word to the players was this was a good sign for us.”
On if he and Bruce Arena were both asking to finish the game at the end
“No, understand Bruce was asking to finish the game at the end and I said, whatever you want Bruce because I knew that it wasn’t our decision.”
On what would have happened if the game wouldn’t have been completed before the curfew
“There were two talks coming from the league. The first thing was you will play the game as long as there’s curfew in the stadium and that was 11 o’clock. We found out that we could have played the game up to 11 o’clock. The other comment we got from the league was you have two hours to get the game in. One came from the officials, the 11 o’clock curfew. The other one came from the league-you have two hours and hopefully that window of opportunity will be there for you to come out.”
On what would have happened if they didn’t make the curfew
“The game would have been terminated as a tie.”
On how Avila fared before he came off for Villar
”It was a really good game for him because I thought their midfield with Juninho and Beckham weren’t those types of players that are real hard and physical. So it was a good game for Avi to find spaces and not worry about getting hurt or hard tackles on him. I thought he was improving as the game was going on. The area that he needs to keep working on is those killer passes."
"We looked at it again today and it wasn’t just Avi. How many opportunities did we have on the breakout? That can be one of our strengths, the counterattack and transition play. That’s where David made a world of difference for us because he was able to hold the ball, wait for the angles to open and then give a killer pass. But it was the perfect pass. It was on the ground and perfectly timed and players could run into it. I think we missed some of those opportunities.”
On how Villar fared after he came on for Avila
“When Villar came in, they changed their structure. That’s when Magee came out. Cordoza came in the middle and that made it more difficult for Villar. It would have made it more difficult for Avi. So, we were trying to make those corrections and thank goodness the game was stopped and we were able to go through it on the board.”
On Brek Shea’s goal
“Great goal. We watched it again today. It was very obvious it wasn’t a blind kick. He got the ball. He looked up. He looked back at the ball and looked up again. Whether he was crossing it and it was miscrossed into the goal or it was a perfect chip ball to the far post, I’ll leave it with him to describe it.”
On if the team was due for some good luck
“Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. I think a lot of things have gone against us. If you want to talk about the first game, a red card on Brek and Jair wasn’t able to play the first game. Then we go to Columbus, a red card on Jackson and then of course, David getting injured and now Jair’s injured. It just seemed like things haven’t gone our way. The ball hasn’t really bounced our way but I thought in this game, they’re starting to bounce right."
"I thought the game was officiated extremely well. I thought there was a lot of compassion, a lot of knowledge and composure on it and by the whole officiating crew. To give you an idea, it was a bad night. There was a lot of rain. The ball was slipping and sliding and players were challenging on the ground. I think there was a total of nine fouls called on us or them and the other team had eight fouls. At Vancouver, there were 22 fouls called and that was just on one team. That’s a game where there was a lot of physical contact and it wasn’t under control. I thought the officiating helped us. At least it got the game into a game.”
On Benitez’s status
“I think the MRI’s already been done. We’re very aggressive in trying to identify the injuries and trying to get information. There is nothing structurally that we understand that is wrong but it’s strain on the ligaments [on the lateral side]. So there’s some strain there. There’s going to be a little time to recover and rehab and then some mobility. We have no idea what that prognosis is going to be. I asked him if we needed to put up a tent when he’s out here to be cooler and he said by the time you get the tent up, I’ll be back out practicing again. So, that’s good.”
On Ferreira’s status
“I went yesterday to the hospital. He had his surgery at Carroll Clinic. Dr. Curry was the person that he interviewed and chose to do his surgery. Dr. Curry is the Cowboys’ doctor. I think he was really concerned if he had it done here or went back to Colombia and had it done. I think he was really concerned about being back 100 percent and not only 55 percent but 100 percent. So, we let him interview the doctors and this is the one he chose. So, I went yesterday as soon as he came out of surgery. I saw him and of course, he was not all there mentally. They had him spend the night, pretty painful and then I stopped by this morning to see him. I think I went by about eight o’clock in the morning. He was going to get out between 10 and 11. The doctor was supposed to come. From all indications that we have and this was coming from the doctor, that it was a very good surgery.”
On if Ferreira will do his rehab here
On how he feels the defense played vs. LA
“I think our defense is getting better and I think part of that reason of getting better is we’re getting the players back on the field healthy. Saying that, Jair gets hurt. That was a really good goal that Donovan scored. We made a couple of mistakes-not enough pressure on the ball, we let Magee free on the header that he flicked on and these things can be fixed. But I think our defense is really playing well, in particular, I think George and Ugo are doing extremely well."
"You’re looking at some pretty good attacking players coming at you. Angel has always been a player that caused a lot of problems for FC Dallas and I don’t think he had one scoring chance. But then when you take a step back, I think Kevin Hartman had a really good game. So, I think it’s guys are just coming together. Where we seem to have most of our problems is when we give the ball away in the back and that’s something we keep talking about.”
On Castillo’s adjustment to the team and to MLS
“Yeah, I think he really likes it here. He likes the teammates. I think he loves the environment. I think his family, mother and grandmother, are going to be coming up pretty soon. Hopefully the month of May or maybe June and I think he’s really excited about getting back with them."
"We’ve been really fortunate that he’s been living with Oscar Pareja, who has been helping him, mentoring him and having a safe place to go. But I think he is extremely happy to be here and we all saw the celebration. He wanted to make a point with David to be remembered. The guy’s only 18, so he’s got a huge future in front of him.”
On his first career goal
“I don’t know if the word I’d use is finally but let’s say it a different way. He scored his first goal.”
On Zach Loyd being able to step in
“I think on a lot of teams, Zach would be starting, We picked him up and there’s continuing growth that we see in him. He’s a very, very good defender. He’s courageous and he works extremely hard. He’s probably the most fit player on the team. So, there’s a lot of positive things going for him and he’s coachable and well-liked by the coaching staff and teammates."
"The area that he just need to continue improving on is decision making and that’s going to take a little bit of time. Sometimes he just takes a little bit too much time in making a decision and then it gets shut down. He makes the pass but the guy who receives it is now under a lot of pressure. He’s got to be able to identify the difference between making a pass to somebody to someone who is under extreme pressure or maybe making a pass to somebody else. It’s just going to take time.”
On if Shea’s move back to the midfield is permanent
“I’m very grateful and thankful that Brek was so courteous and wanting to help this team by playing center back and playing left back. But when you look at Ugo out, when you look at George John out, we needed somebody who could go in there with some experience and he stepped in there and did a very good job for us."
"Now, what we don’t want to do is keep moving him from wing midfield to defense. But I really thought Brek had a very good game the other day. I thought he had some very good moments. I don’t know if we have anybody on the team who can do what Brek does in that midfield role. If we had a ton of talent on our team, we probably would move Brek to left back. That’s a great place for him. But right now, he’s just doing so much for us, I think we need to keep looking at him in that position.”
On if Castillo and Luna are going to the World Cup
“I think Fabian’s going. I don’t know about Ruben because we haven’t heard from the Mexican federation.”
On the next game against DC United
“They’re a team that they just lost a DP the other night as well, again a tackle from behind, a physical play and ACL tear. From my understanding, the players already have two doctors telling them it’s an ACL tear. He wants a third opinion, so we’ll see. But the point is they’re struggling a little bit. But much like when we struggle, you put an animal in the corner. They don’t care if they’ve got a tiger coming at them. They fight, claw, bite, chew and do whatever they can. Sometimes when a team is in that corner, they come back with that fighting spirit and that mentality because they know they’re one game away from turning it. The game they’re away from turning it could be the game they’re playing that night. So, what we have to do is not say they’re having a difficult year. At any second, they can turn that. I know that they’re going to be putting more out than what we saw against LA. LA’s having a good year. They’re playing good soccer. They’re doing what they do well but you didn’t see the physical play and the bite in them. I think sometimes when you’re doing well you have a tendency to just be in a little bit more of a comfort zone. I expect DC to give us everything they have.”
On Galindo being on crutches and in a boot
“It’s a goofy thing. He twisted his ankle indoors the other day, which he said he has no problem, I’ll tape it. Then, yesterday he stepped in some type of way I think it’s the plantar fascitis, there’s a soreness there. So, we’ve done the X-ray. He had nothing showing but we’ll do an MRI probably today. The boot is probably precautionary.”