FRISCO, Texas – In our weekly series featuring Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas head coach addresses 11 topics in brevity, including the team’s current losing streak, the departure of Brek Shea and Marvin Chávez for the FIFA international dates and the successes from earlier in 2011.
I-II. First, just days after the team’s fourth straight shutout loss, the FCD manager addressed the team’s current state of mind.
“I think the team is just anxious and I think they’re frustrated. The results haven’t gone our way and [the players are] disappointed, but that’s what we would expect. I would be really concerned if they were just happy-go-lucky right now.”
III. The team held its first full training session this week since before ex-Toronto FC forward Maicon Santos arrived two months ago, giving the Brazilian the opportunity to better mesh with teammates.
“In his mind, he has been doing the things that we want him to do. So we’re just [giving him] a little bit of clarity right now and then coordinating him with the other players.”
IV-V. Missing from the training equation, however, were US international Brek Shea and Honduras’ Chávez, who are in Miami ahead of the international friendly between the two national teams on Oct. 8. Hyndman expected their return to FC Dallas before Wednesday’s Oct. 12 game at the Chicago Fire.
“We understand that they both will be [unavailable], but there are always potential glitches in the plan depending on the injuries in the first game and how the coach will have to make some adjustments.”
VI-VII. While Shea and Chávez train with their respective national teams, FC Dallas have a four-day break to get their minds away from the game.
“We hope that they can just relax, spend time with their family, get away from soccer, and get their energy back – that’s why we’re giving them the time off.
“This time off will give some the opportunity to get their legs back and recover a little bit from their injuries.”
VIII-IX. Even with the four-game losing streak, FC Dallas can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win at Toyota Park next week.
“We’ve done very well to put ourselves in the position we are, but we don’t want give teams the chance to catch us or bypass us, so we have to be focused on winning and getting points.”
X. Given all of the team’s success earlier in the season, when FCD were the first to reach 10 wins, their recent struggles haven’t been lethal to their priority of reaching the playoffs.
“The reality is we are where we are because we’ve had a fantastic training in preparation and results to give us the 46 points.”
XI. With three games remaining to try and clinch a playoff berth for the second consecutive year, the FCD coaching staff does not want to overwhelm the players.
“The thing we have to be concerned with is putting so much pressure on the players so that they don’t perform. We need to finish the season off on a good note and compete for that playoff spot and then feel good about being in the playoffs.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.