FCD coaches feel they've found the best spot for Warshaw

FC Dallas midfielder Bobby Warshaw

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FRISCO, Texas — Since returning from a broken foot suffered back in early May, Bobby Warshaw has struggled to find any playing time in a packed FC Dallas midfield.

During the last month, the FCD coaching staff has tried a little something different during four Reserve League matches: moving Warshaw from defensive midfield to center back, which Schellas Hyndman thinks may fit the second-year player a little bit better.

“We saw Bobby as a holding midfielder at Stanford and we liked him,” Hyndman said after Wednesday's Reserve League match vs. Chicago. “Then later that year we saw him at the Combine as a center back. We put him into the midfield and he does a lot of nice things, but Fernando [Clavijo, FCD's technical director] and I were talking today and he may be a better center back in this league, so we’ll continue to look at him there.”

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Warshaw has started the last four Reserve League games at central defender with solid results. FCD are 3-0-1 in those matches with just three goals allowed. The 17th overall pick from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft can be heard throughout the matches barking out instructions to the players around him.

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“To a certain degree, center back plays to my intangible strengths a little more with passing out of the back and the organization and leadership,” Warshaw said. “I think those are things I can do well and center back is more conducive to that.”

It’s not as if it’s a huge transition, however. Warshaw noted that under Hyndman’s system, his responsibilities haven’t changed that much with the move to the backline.

“I think on this team with the way coach wants it, it’s not that different,” Warshaw said about central midfield and central defense at FC Dallas. “The positions are similar. Obviously the specific roles are different, but for the most part the mentality is the same.”

At the end of the day for Warshaw, however, it’s all about finding his way onto the pitch, wherever that may be.

“It’s fun,” Warshaw said. “I’m doing whatever gets me on the field, but especially when you’re winning, it’s fun. If I’m going to play, I’m happy.”

Daniel Robertson covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.