Schellas XI: Wilting in the heat vs. United
FRISCO, Texas — In our weekly series featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity including Saturday’s scoreless draw against D.C. United, fatigue in the scorching north Texas weather, the return of Daniel Hernandez and United’s new acquisitions.
I. On a day where game time temperatures reached 100 degrees, FC Dallas played D.C. United to a scoreless draw at Pizza Hut Park Saturday night.
“[It was] a very difficult game for both teams. The conditions were quite difficult. I thought both teams did everything they could to keep the other team from scoring.”
II. FC Dallas nearly got goals from Marvin Chávez and Jackson in the second half but could not capitalize on their opportunities.
“We had 14 shots to their four. I think we dominated probably a little bit better on the scoring opportunities but you would expect that being the home team.”
III-IV. After FCD struggled to connect against Real Salt Lake the previous weekend, DC blocked passing lanes and made it difficult once again for Hyndman’s group to move the ball out of the back.
“I think it got a little bit difficult in the midfield because they were basically playing a counter attacking type of game where when they won the ball in the midfield they could come out and put pressure on us.
“Our midfielders had to work awfully hard trying to support our attack and then they had to come back and get into shape and help Daniel.”
V. Two substitutions were made in the midfield, with Ricardo Villar and Eric Alexander coming off for Bruno Guarda and Eric Avila, respectively.
“I thought it was more of just going through fatigue and I thought it was necessary to get some fresh legs on the field as they did.”
VI-VII. After playing the previous two games without their captain and defensive midfielder, FC Dallas welcomed back Hernandez to the starting lineup.
“I thought he was solid. He hasn’t trained for a couple of weeks. We didn’t if he needed to go in for surgery. He’s really still waiting to see how his knee responds, but I thought he was solid and he helped the defense.”
VIII. Several players on both teams appeared gassed from the heat that reached triple digits at kickoff.
“They say fatigue makes cowards out of all of us and I think fatigue also gives you — at times — bad decisions [and a] bad first touch.”
IX-X. Hyndman credited new-look United for making things difficult on the evening.
“If you look at their attack, they have two very quick guys up front that kept the defense stretched. Then [Chris] Pontius did a very good job of flicking balls into the air and then [Dwayne] De Rosario was coming through in the midfield.
“They’ve improved their team since the last time we played them with [Brandon] McDonald and De Rosario. I think those two have helped them become a better team.
XI. While Saturday’s draw may leave a sour taste for some, Hyndman tried to put the game in perspective.
“We had a similar result against Kansas City. We didn’t do the things we wanted to do and we end up losing that game pretty badly. This wasn’t one of those games where I thought we played badly.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy