Schellas XI: A draw in CCL, big games coming up for FCD

Schellas Hyndman

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FRISCO, Texas — In the weekly series featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity, including the CONCACAF Champions League draw with Tauro FC, the upcoming CCL match against Pumas UNAM, and the team’s weekend matchup with the New York Red Bulls.

I-II. In the third game of CCL group play on Wednesday, FC Dallas tied Tauro FC of Panama 1-1 in their first home game of the group stage.

“I thought it was a hard contest by both teams. Both teams went at it very well and I think it was probably more physical than it needed to be.

“At the same time, I thought down at the end they had a chance to score on that header that hit the crossbar, so as I said to the boys, I was very proud with the way they competed.”

III. After previously watching video, FC Dallas felt Tauro’s goalkeeping was one of their weaknesses, but Álvaro Anzola impressed at Pizza Hut Park with eight saves.

“One of the areas that I thought they would have trouble with was the goalkeeping. After the last game, the goalkeeping was a little erratic but it doesn’t always work out.”

IV. The relatively unknown Tauro squad moved the ball well and gave the FC Dallas defense trouble throughout the 90 minutes.

“They seem to have a good structure down when they attack with a lot of services, and I thought they worked awfully hard.”

V. After a rigorous stretch of games dating back early July, Hyndman has become accustomed to answering questions about team fatigue, and Wednesday night was no different.

“I think it was a lot easier for [the media] during this game than it was for them. I think it was very humid and I think the boys were a little fatigued and both teams were tired.”

VI. With several attacking players injured, the starting XI was a mix-and-match of players.

“One of the things that would help us a lot would be if we didn’t have the injuries that we’ve had because that way we could maybe rotate players a little bit. But again, this is the first time we’ve had our defense together for maybe a month.”

VII-VIII. With the tie, FC Dallas remain atop the Group C standings halfway through the group stage.

“We’re very pleased with the fact that we were able to get our first win on the road against Pumas and winning the second game on the road against Toronto. … We’ve won two games and we’re able to get a point here, which is not why we play. We play to win, so that was disappointing.”

IX. Next up in CCL play is Mexican side Pumas, as they seek to tie FC Dallas atop the Group C standings next Wednesday night.

“I think it was going to be a good game if we had nine [points] or whether we had six. I think it’s going to be a very good game as we all expected it would be.”

X. Before the Pumas match, however, is Saturday’s league game vs. the New York Red Bulls.

“We’re very, very anxious to play New York. I think they’re an extremely talented team. They haven’t really lived up to their own expectations or other people’s expectations.”

XI. But similar to last Saturday’s opponent, the New England Revolution, the Red Bulls have not been in the finest form of late, worrying the FC Dallas head coach.

“Anytime you have a wounded animal or you’re fighting for pride and character is on the line, I think what you see is some of the best soccer players and I would expect that from New York.”

Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.