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Schellas XI: FC Dallas becoming blue-collar team

FRISCO, Texas — In our weekly column starring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity, including the team's new theme, speedy winger Marvin Chávez and players worthy of being called on for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

I-II. During FC Dallas’ postgame conference following the 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, “blue-collar” was twice used to describe the team.

"I’m trying to give the team a bit of identity. What we’ve kind of developed is the identity of playing without David Ferreira and finding the success. So when Ferreira comes back, we can just add him to what we’ve already built."

III. Chávez is one of those blue-collar players.

"Players like Chávez — who works so hard on both sides of the ball — he’s a pest. He’s like a mosquito. He can come back and defend, he can go up and attack and he causes people problems."

IV. Hyndman spoke more about the 27-year-old attacking midfielder/forward.

"He’s probably more fit now than he has since he’s been here. He’s playing a lot of exciting minutes for us and he plays both ways. He really has a strong will to help this team find success."

V. In the last 309 minutes, FC Dallas have kept a clean sheet. Do they have the best center backs in MLS?

"I would hope so. I think everyone knows their team better and there maybe some question marks on who has the best center backs, but right now I think we are the only team in the league that has gone undefeated in the last five games."

VI-VII. Even though the team is unbeaten in five, Hyndman isn’t celebrating.

"It’s interesting because last year, we had that great fun after our first 10 games. Now I think we are further ahead than where we were last year at this time, but also realizing that we have Real Salt Lake coming in, going to Seattle, going to Houston in a span of two weeks, so it's going to be tough."

VIII. Three Colombian players are out with injuries, including left back Jair Benítez.

"He was training [on Wednesday] with the team, so I think explosion-wise he is feeling more of a catch right now on his hamstring where that tendon connects, and I think we will have this week to evaluate and recover."

IX. Also, Ferreira is recovering from his successful ankle surgery.

"He’s been around here and there, but he’s going through quite a bit of pain right now. That was a pretty serious, painful surgery. I think he stays in touch with the players quite often. He calls Daniel Hernandez, texts players and so forth."

X. With national team coaches preparing to announce their Gold Cup squads for this summer’s regional tournament, Hyndman had his take on which FCD players belong in the mix.

"I think Marvin Chávez for Honduras would well-deserving. I think for the US you look at Brek Shea, what he has been doing, his recent games — it’s pretty exciting. I’ve always liked Ugo Ihemelu. I think as a center back, he would be outstanding. And then, of course, Kevin Hartman is another very good player."

XI. But US national team coach Bob Bradley has to make those decisions.

"Bob Bradley has a lot of players to choose from and, since we are hosting this event, it’s very, very serious and there’s a lot of pressure on him to bring in the best players he can."