FC Dallas scattershooting: Castillo back, 4-4-2 switch?

FC Dallas returns to the field at FC Dallas Stadium on Thursday night against New England. Dallas gaffer Schellas Hyndman was asked about a wide array of subject matter on Tuesday afternoon and here’s what he had to say.

How rusty did you feel Carlos Rodriguez and Brek Shea were in the 4-1 loss at D.C. United on Friday?

Hyndman: I think Carlos was probably a little bit more ready to go. Brek, we talked about it, I think he had a lot more mental frustration because U.S. was expected to go through where I don’t think anybody expected Panama to go through. So I think there was a little bit anguish in there and frustration. As far as fatigue, I think it showed more in Brek than in Carlos.

With Daniel Hernandez suspended for the New England game, do you go with either Bruno Guarda or Bobby Warshaw in his place or do you have other options at d-mid?

Hyndman: I think those are good options. Going to a 4-4-2 is another option. Whether it’s Pertuz, George John or somebody else that can go in there, I think we need a ball winner there because that what Daniel Hernandez does. We’ve been trying different things in training and we’ll finish it up tomorrow.

Fabian Castillo looked like his old self in training on Monday. Is he ready to return?

Hyndman: Yeah, I think he’s an important piece of the strike force. He’s a player that we’re counting on to help us on one of the flanks. Whether it’s the speed that he brings, the quickness that he brings, the speed from the flank, I think what it does is it helps us with a lone striker to have another two players that are attacking from the flanks whether it’s Brek [Shea] or it’s Fabian. I think he’s important for Blas to play better and our strike force to play better. I thought he looked a lot better as far as coming off that injury.

You put your guys through the vaunted tunnel of love drill on Monday. Was that done as a way to punish them or did you feel they needed some extra fitness work?

Hyndman: I never use punishment to motivate. I think there’s a lot better ways of motivating players than punishing. I’m not sure how much you get out of it if you’ve got everybody upset. Nobody wants to be punished, especially adults. That was purely a fitness thing. There was a game coming up on Thursday. I think there has been some characteristics that have been repeating-late in the game getting scored on, second half struggling, end of the first half struggling. I think we’ve done a really good job in preseason but if you look at our schedule, a lot of teams have had breaks, off weeks and very few teams have had so many games back-to-back. We played late on a Sunday but then we turn around on the road on a Friday. Then you come home. There’s not a lot of rest time, so there’s not a lot of recovery time or opportunities to do a little bit more work. So I took that opportunity to work us a little bit. We’ll go through some physical testing on Friday for the guys who didn’t play on Thursday. Then we’ll go through physical testing on Monday for the guys who did play on Thursday. So I think we need to know where we are on fitness level.