Schellas XI: "El Gato" rides to the rescue
FRISCO, Texas — In MLSsoccer.com's weekly installment featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity including the scoreless draw against D.C. United, Jackson’s injury and his relationship with captain Daniel Hernandez.
I. Starting with the draw at RFK stadium against D.C. United, Hyndman admitted that his team struggled and the upcoming stretch of games may be beneficial.
“Having numerous games gives us that opportunity to get that little bit more team chemistry, team unity, and maybe not being as disjointed as I thought we were with D.C. United. It was very hard to find players.”
II. Once again, goalkeeper Kevin Hartman saved the day for FC Dallas, preserving the tie in the 88th minute.
“I think Kevin’s outstanding. We saw him last year up to his injury, he was probably the goalkeeper of the year. Missed six games, came back not at his best but still came back and still was very effective.”
III. Making his MLS debut was rookie Bobby Warshaw, who had family and friends in attendance at RFK.
“The objective was to get him on a little bit earlier. There was a point in time where we said, 'Let’s not give up a goal in the latter part of the game.’”
IV-V. Missing the game was utility man Jackson Gonçalves, who suffered an injury right before leaving for Washington.
“We had had a good training on Thursday and he got tangled up with Marvin [Chávez] and pulled himself out of training. The next day he didn’t feel like he could contribute. The next day was Friday — the day we were leaving so it turned into a little bit of a problem for us.
“Jackson will be ready to go [Wednesday against Toronto FC]. I don’t know if he’s perfectly fine but he will be ready to go.”
VI. Saturday’s game was the first road game without David Ferreira.
“It always seems to be everybody’s topic, but what we are trying to do is move on. When you look at the calmness on the ball, we didn’t have that. We were a little bit anxious.”
VII. Also missing the game was first-choice left back Jair Benítez.
“The nice thing with Jair is he is a seasoned pro and he knows what he needs to do, and he also knows that the team is depending on him. So he will be back as soon as he can contribute.”
VIII. Homegrown product Victor Ulloa received an invite to travel with the US Under-20s to France next week, eliciting praise from Hyndman.
“I think it’s fantastic. Just talking about him today with the coaches, he’s probably one of our Home Grown players that we can look at and say he’s made great improvements. I think Victor has improved every day.”
IX-X. Hyndman spoke about his relationship with FCD captain Daniel Hernandez, which extends back to their years together at SMU.
“We talk all the time. We know each other so well, and we trust each other so that I can always say, ‘What do you think?’ I respect him enough to get his opinion. He’s in the trenches, he’s on the field and he’s fighting every minute.
“He knows when players are performing well, he knows when players are hiding and he knows players that he can go to battle with and players he’s not real sure about.”
XI. Finally, Hyndman addressed the midweek games in MLS and how they affect FC Dallas.
“We all have to go through it. When you play the midweek game, you’re dealing with potential injuries, bang-ups and then you are also dealing with player’s recovery.”