One of Schellas Hyndman’s buzzwords since he was hired to coach FC Dallas back in June 2008 has been emotional intelligence. That phrase got quite the workout last year in reference to one Jackson Goncalves, who had several issues whether it was a red card early in the season or his decision to miss a game in the middle of the year to get married back in his native Brazil.
Starting left back Jair Benitez is another player who has been referred to in a similar vein, as in his seeming lack of that trait in certain games. Benitez’s composure deserted him yet again in Friday’s 4-1 road loss to D.C. United at RFK Stadium and sure, Danny Cruz sold the apparent elbow Benitez delivered and the one-game suspension Jair got for that infraction on Tuesday is more than a bit iffy, but the point is he shouldn’t have been in such a position in a first place. Then again, he should have had more composure than to just elbow a guy like he apparently did to Cruz.
Benitez won’t be the only starter Dallas will be missing on Thursday night against New England. Ex-captain Daniel Hernandez will also be suspended after being ejected from the D.C. game after earning a pair of yellow cards in the loss.
Who replaces Hernandez at defensive mid is a much bigger question than who replaces Benitez at left back as that will likely be Hernan Pertuz, but these two suspensions, which come at a time when FCD’s depth is still more than a bit suspect, does bring up the point that emotional intelligence has already been an issue for Hyndman’s club this season.
Of course, Benitez was well on his way to yellow card purgatory after earning a caution in each first two matches, a streak that ended in the loss at Kansas City, but composure has always been an issue with him and Hernandez has been suspended on several occasions during his career for yellow card accumulation.
So maybe not having Benitez and Hernandez has a somewhat unexpected silver lining for the Revolution game? Maybe it allows Hyndman to roll out a 4-4-2 formation for the first time this year or maybe it gives Pertuz and maybe even Bobby Warshaw or Bruno Guarda a chance to shine in the ex-captain’s place.
Hopefully Benitez and Hernandez will spend plenty of time contemplating how and why they are suspended this week because like it or not, the starting left back and d-mid are two players who are both pretty crucial to any success FCD hopes to have in 2011. If they can regain their composure and show some emotional intelligence, then it will be to the better of the entire club but if this becomes a trend, it could have far-reaching effects to say the least.