FC Dallas Notebook: Player absences take their toll
FRISCO, Texas — All the injuries and suspensions are proving too steep an obstacle for FC Dallas to overcome of late.
In Wednesday night’s 2-0 home loss to the Seattle Sounders, FCD manager Schellas Hyndman was forced to do without seven starters: Ugo Ihemelu (concussion-like symptoms), Blas Pérez (suspension), Daniel Hernandez (suspension), Ricardo Villar (right foot strain), Carlos Rodríguez (left elbow dislocation), David Ferreira (right foot surgery) and Brek Shea (turf toe).
Shea was the only player on the infirmary list to feature in the 18-man roster against Seattle. He only came on for 20 minutes, but was unable to prevent a depleted Dallas side from extending its winless run to five matches.
WATCH: Hyndman postgame presser
“I don’t want to emphasize the players that we’re missing, but there is a reason why we’re missing them,” Hyndman said after Wednesday’s match. “I thought what we had on the field today was very good. I thought the players played hard and determined. They had a very difficult game on Sunday [a 2-0 loss vs. Colorado] that took a lot of energy out of them.”
Up next for FC Dallas is a Saturday night matchup against the struggling Columbus Crew (7:30 p.m. ET, watch LIVE online), who are also on a five-game winless skid.
Take a bow, rookie
Despite allowing two goals for the second straight match, FC Dallas received some solid play from rookie central defender Matt Hedges, who made his first career MLS start in place of Ihemelu.
“[He did] very good," Hyndman said. "Very good. We were winning every air battle. That’s George [John] and Hedges. They were dominating everything in the air.”
The 22-year-old out of North Carolina was originally drafted as a replacement for John, who was on loan at English club West Ham. When John returned, Hedges took a back seat, but took full advantage of his opportunity on Wednesday night.
“We were very happy with getting Matt some playing time,” Hyndman said. “We drafted him because we never expected George to return, so we almost have to many people in the center back position and not enough people that can score goals. Matt did very well for the first game.”
Best of the bunch
With all the injuries and suspensions, Jair Benítez was forced from his usual left back position to left midfield against Seattle. The 33-year-old Colombian handled the move in stride, but could not help prevent defeat.
“I really think Jair had one of his best games this year,” Hyndman said. “We’re again playing players out of position. I thought he did a very good job on the left side. He got forward, he served early services, he gave good balls, he took our corner kicks, our free kicks. I thought he was very active.”