FC Dallas boosted by possible returns of Shea, Castillo
FC Dallas will add some extra offensive fire power when the team welcomes back Brek Shea against D.C. United on Friday (7:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, LIVE CHAT on MLSsoccer.com).
Add to that the possible return of Fabián Castillo and Dallas hope to throw plenty of attacking verve at winless United. However, head coach Schellas Hyndman is cautious about overusing his star midfielder following the US’ disappointing Olympic exit earlier this week.
“Brek will definitely be an option," Hyndman told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday. "He’s healthy. He just came back. What he’s going through right now is a lot of mental frustrations and disappointments, and we’ve got to be aware of that and not let that affect his emotions. Fabián had his best day of training today. He went a good 40 minutes with the first team, and we’re going to continue to evaluate him.”
Both players have missed the last two games, a loss to Sporting Kansas City and a tie against the Portland Timbers. Castillo is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the home opener against New York, but has been looking strong in practice this week.
Shea is fresh off a strong performance with the US Olympic team, albeit in a 3-3 draw with El Salvador that cost the squad a chance to play in the London Games. A fact that is still lingering in the back of Shea’s mind. FC Dallas’ defense will also be bolstered by the return of defender Carlos Rodríguez, who was with the Panama U-23 national team at the Olympic qualifying tournament.
Another player facing a week off is Ricardo Villar, who leads the team with two goals, and was shaken up after a collision against Sporting KC. Villar did not play in the second half and was not present at practice on Monday. However, Hyndman is optimistic that Villar will give it a go on Friday.
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“Villar is one of our toughest players. Mentally, I think the boy has been with injuries that most people would be sidelined with,” Hyndman said. “I would have a favorable outlook on him that he’ll find a way to be there.”
Either way, it appears as if FC Dallas is finally getting back to full strength on both sides of the ball. Last week’s makeshift backline gave up two crucial goals, but with Jair Benítez sliding back to left back, the defense should only be stronger.
“It worked a little bit different [against Sporting KC], but it was also a transition of trying to put you best players out on the field,” Hyndman said. “I think George [John] is an experienced player that has worked his way into match fitness. We also had Jair on the field at the same time. I think it worked out as well it could’ve.”
With the defense intact, Hyndman hopes to shut down 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario, who poses a considerable attacking threat. Even though the 11-year MLS stalwart has yet to score a goal this season, Dallas will their best to make sure De Rosario’s campaign isn’t kick started against this week.
“The key player for them is Dwayne De Rosario,” Hyndman said. “He was really a difference maker last year. He can play up front. He can play attacking midfield. He’s a player that if you let him do what he wants to do, he’ll hurt you.”