FRISCO, Texas — In our weekly series starring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity, including Tuesday night’s win over Real Salt Lake in the US Open Cup, the superb midfield play, missing Daniel Hernandez and the performance of Bruno Guarda.
I-II. After losing in Sandy, Utah, over the weekend, FC Dallas turned the tables on Real Salt Lake Tuesday night, beating their Western Conference rival 2-0 in the US Open Cup quarterfinals.
“[It was] a disappointing result losing in Salt Lake the other day. Many times you want to play the next game as quick as you can to get that one behind you. I thought our guys stepped up tonight.”
III-IV. In the loss to Real Salt Lake in Utah, FC Dallas came out flat in their attack and team organization, causing the coaching staff to sit the team down ahead of Tuesday’s fixture.
“We showed them a little video of some of the areas we were concerned about against RSL. [We] told them that they will probably come out with their best team and [we need] to be ready to shut them down.”
V. The FCD midfield of Eric Alexander, Ricardo Villar, Bobby Warshaw and Eric Avila, improved drastically, helping link the team and get forward in the attack.
“I thought that our midfield played extremely well, which we were missing the other day. We put some pressure on the ball.”
VI-VII. Hyndman continued his praise of the midfield despite the fact that two key cogs — Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson — are recovering from leg injuries and did not play Tuesday.
“When you have Daniel Hernandez missing, it’s a big vacuum. You throw [Warshaw] out there for his first start. [He’s] nervous, [Jacobson] gets hurt immediately in the first 10 minutes and, all of a sudden, you have disorganization in the midfield. Today the guys themselves picked it up.”
VIII. Overall, the game was a drastic improvement from Saturday night’s performance.
“I thought we did a good job rotating players. I thought our players came out with a lot of character and we did things Salt Lake didn’t like for us to do.”
IX. RSL-FC Dallas has become a rivalry in the past year, with the two sides meeting five times over that span, and Tuesday’s match featured a rivalry-like five yellow cards.
“A chippy game was the other day. This was a calm game. But I also thought that we came out and fought a little bit which we didn’t do the other day.”
X. Jámison Olave, one of the league’s premier center backs, could not duplicate his dominating performance from Saturday’s match after an early call from the referee.
“I thought by Olave getting a yellow card it settled him down a little bit as far as being aggressive. He was MVP of the league last year — defensive MVP.”
XI. Midfielder and SMU product Bruno Guarda received the start in midfield for FC Dallas and played the full 90 minutes, connecting on one-two passes and getting the team forward.
“I thought he did well. We had a talk after the last reserve game when we lost 5-0 [at the Chicago Fire] and I told him I expected more leadership from him. I thought tonight he came out there and did everything we asked him to do.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy