I caught up with FC Dallas head coach after Thursday’s evening session at the FC Dallas Stadium complex and here’s what he had to say about a wide array of subjects.
Will there be a scrimmage on Saturday?
Hyndman: No, our numbers (won’t allow it). We’ve got five in the training room right now and those are five being [Daniel] Cruz, Daniel Hernandez, Ugo [Ihemelu], AJ [Andrew Jacobson] and David [Ferreira]. So that’s five and then we’ve got 8-v-8 on the field. So we’ve got 21 players and we don’t have enough for even a scrimmage. The 8-v-8 is not enough. We brought in Ian Kalis, a boy we drafted who came in today for the first day and then we have another boy that we drafted, Walter Hines out of St. John’s, he’s going through his physical and hopefully we’ll have him out here sometimes tomorrow.
So with Kalis and Hines already here, what is the status of your top pick in the Supplemental Draft, Alex Lee, the defender from Maryland?
Hyndman: Alex hurt himself, so he didn’t go to the combine. He hurt himself during the season, more of a quadriceps. He’s just making sure he can recover, so we’re hoping he’ll be here on Wednesday.
Right now you’ve got the likes of Cruz, Ferreira, Hernandez, Ihemelu and Jacobson on the sidelines. Who do you expect to return first and why?
Hyndman: I think probably the one that’s going to be the first one to go will be AJ. He had his surgery maybe two to three weeks before Daniel. I’m asking him how he’s doing and he’s saying man coach, I feel good. I wish I felt like this at the end of last year but he went four months with a meniscus tear. What it did, that I didn’t realize because I’m always saying play with the pain and all that, was that the muscle was shutting down. That was the thing that surprised me and that was my own fault. Same thing with Daniel, by the time we needed them the most, they were done. That’s where Daniel Cruz was expected to come through and that didn’t go the way we had hoped it would.
Which of the homegrown players are you expecting to break out in 2012?
Hyndman: Ruben Luna looks stronger, fitter and then Bryan Leyva looks more focused, stronger. Victor [Ulloa] looked much better. Victor won our two-mile run in something like 11:20. I think after one year with us, these guys are starting to add something more to their bodies. They’re maturing.
We hope that Ruben will [break out this year] because he plays at a position where we really need but it wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out to be Victor. He’s just a solid player. The thing that hurts Victor is he’s coming along extremely well but what kind of hurts Victor sometimes is he just makes bonehead decisions and you don’t want your center midfielder to be giving the ball away or trying to dribble out of trouble. But he’s hard, he’s aggressive, his body’s turning into a man. I think the green light might be good for him.
And how has 2012 top pick Matt Hedges looked so far?
Hyndman: Like I said to him today, every day you’re impressing us more. He’s a solid defender. He’s got the size. He reminds all of us a little bit of George John. George came in from the combine coming off a meniscus surgery so he wasn’t at his best. But it took George about a third of the season before we got him on the field. Hedges is a player that may be a step ahead but we don’t know if he’ll have that reach in his first year.