Soccer sensei q&a - July 6, 2011

Caught up with the gaffer just after the end of Wednesday’s training, so here it is.

How does it feel to be the first team in MLS to reach 10 wins?

Hyndman: Somebody brought it to my attention. I didn’t even think about it. Once I heard it, I liked it. I like that we’re the first team that has 10 teams. Last year, we had a total of 12 or 14 wins. We’re close already. I think that’s an important thing for any team-find wins. It’s why we play, to win games. So to be the first one there, I think that’s great. I’d like to be the first one to 15.

Have you guys started thinking about the Supporter’s Shield?

Hyndman: We don’t talk about the Supporter’s Shield but now all of a sudden, it becomes a topic because we’re what, two points behind and two games in hand. I think that’s right, two games in hand. Now it becomes a possibility.

The thing you do is when you put too much pressure on players, you find that some people are just unable to handle it. So what we’re trying to do is keep focus on the playoffs. Let’s get to the playoffs. Let’s be one of those top three teams. Now, once we get to the playoffs, let’s win an MLS Cup. That’s what we did last year.

The Supporter’s Shield was part of our conversation last year at the end of the year when we were doing so well. If we have these 17 games like our first 17 games and we’re at 31 points. Now we double that and we’re at 62 points, I think we’ll be in great position for the Supporter’s Shield but it’s not something that we talk about but I will tell you we spent half an hour today talking about the month of July, the eight games. And I got it on our calendar in there, on our board, the eight games, how many games we’re traveling and how many days do we have for practice and how many days do we have off? And then I went into the whole motivational side on plan of action. We’ve got to have quality training. We’ve got to have quality performances. We have to have player rotation. We have to be emotionally intelligent. We can’t afford to lose players on cards, cards accumulation, red cards because now it just continues to hurt the number of players that can help us.

One of our issues is depth, so put eight games in the month and again, two games the first week of August, so it’s a tough time for us right now. The Supporter’s Shield will be a target for us if we can continue on this road but right now, I think we’re talking a little bit too early on it.

Eric Avila was back on the practice field today, what’s his status as far as possibly heading to Mexico on loan?

Hyndman: I think his trip down there was wonderful. I think he has family down there. I’m not aware of all the circumstances but I don’t think every ‘I’ was dotted and ‘t’ was crossed. So, he’s back. I don’t know about that but we’ve kept him out for three games for this move to keep him healthy, sharp and everything. From my point of view, I think breakdown in communication.

What’s the latest on Ferreira?

Hyndman: When he got hurt, the initial conversation with me was he’d be out for about three months. He’s just now getting out of a boot. He had a meeting this morning I think it was with the doctor, kind of getting a little bit of progress. Can we get you out of the boot? And if we can, at what point in time can we get you in to do some type of activity. I haven’t gotten that report yet. I have no idea.

Villar got some minutes in the win over Columbus. Was that a reward for his stellar performance in the Open Cup last week?

Hyndman: I think it was his performance in the US Open Cup because I thought he did a good job with that. We’ve never, ever questioned his ability on the ball. We’ve never questioned his intelligence. There was just an adjustment to the league, the speed of play and the physical part of it. We did not find we had anybody on our team who had the luxury of switching on and switching off, switching on when we had the ball and switching off when we don’t. David doesn’t do that. If David doesn’t do that, we can’t accept that from anyone else. So, for him, it was a reward on his US Open Cup performance but at the same time, it was adjusting to what we want him to do.

Is there any news on Fabian Castillo and how things are going in Colombia?

Hyndman: I meant to ask Oscar [Pareja] about it yesterday and he wasn’t here yesterday. Right now, they’re just going through training and then the coach will decide his roster. I think the reason that he’s there is he brings something they don’t have, just like why he’s here. We brought him here because he brings something we don’t have. I’d rather have him on my team than not have him on my team.