FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman had a tough decision on his hands when starting central attacking midfielder Ricardo Villar went down late in the first half of FCD's last game with an injury. Hyndman had summoned both Bruno Guarda and Bobby Warshaw from the bench to warm up as it was unknown whether or not Villar would be able to play on.
The gritty veteran was able to return for the rest of the opening frame, but couldn’t return to the field after the break. That was when Hyndman brought on Warshaw, a smart, physical yet more defensive-minded player, instead of Guarda, who is considered more of an attacking player.
Hyndman had starting linking mid Andrew Jacobson move to the No. 10 role, with mixed results, while Warshaw filled in for AJ at the linking spot. As the FCD coach looks back, he realizes what a tough decision it was to make but from the sounds of it, it’s one he’d make all over again.
“Well there’s always hindsight, isn’t it? You make your decisions. I think at that time, it was 1-1. I didn’t take Villar out until second half because when we got in [to the locker room], he couldn’t go. But he was out. Villar was getting attention while I was having those two warming up and when Villar couldn’t go, our decision was made that let’s go out there and make sure that we try to get a win or at least get a tie,” Hyndman said.
He added: “So that was the decision, [they] pick up a quick PK against us like seven minutes in and what a great save from Kevin [Hartman]. It was outstanding. And then it just looked like we were losing the attacking midfielder. We tried to move Andrew Jacobson up and he was unable to do the things-hold the ball, penetrate. Saying that, he almost got on the end of Jair’s ball. So we felt that we needed a little bit more strength in there as physical as they were so that’s why I went with that decision.”
And since it was such a tough and physical game, the FCD coach admits it was hard to evaluate the performances of many of his players given how chippy things were out there.
“I think it was a hard game to come in. What they were doing was they were occupying the central midfield with those three and those three that they had were pretty active. Espinoza and Zusi, they were really active on diagonal runs and penetration and then they were changing the point of attack with the passes going out to the right side to Kamara or to Myers, who was holding balls or running,” Hyndman said. “It was hard for Bobby [Warshaw] to catch into the rhythm. Again, it’s a tough time to be put into a game.”