Gray skies have finally cleared up

LA MANGA, Spain --
TRAINING REPORT: The coaching staff originally slated Thursday for a gym workout in the morning and training at the fields in the afternoon. However, the team woke up to a beautiful, blue-skied La Manga, and the coaches quickly altered their plans deciding to head to the field in the morning and do some fitness training. The training consisted mainly of push-ups, pull-ups, wheel barrels and such.

In the afternoon, the team went back to ball work, mainly concentrating on moving the ball from the backline to front. Assistant coach Steve Morrow chipped the ball into the defensive end where defenders moved the ball to the midfield, and the midfielders then swung the ball outside to a defender who would make a run. The defenders then centered the ball to the middle of the box. It was a drill to practice ball movement and allow the players to be creative on the field.

SURVIVOR UPDATE: After taking Wednesday off from the "Survivor" competition, the team was back at it on Thursday with a "crossbar" challenge and a "juggling" challenge. During the "crossbar" challenge, the players for both teams lined up in two lines and one at a time struck the ball in an attempt to hit the crossbar. The first team to hit the bar 10 times would win the first part of the challenge.

Today, David Wagenfuhr was the captain for Team A and Carey Talley was the leader of Team B. With the score 9-4 in favor of Team B, Team A came all the way back to win 10-9 after captain Wagenfuhr nailed the crossbar. The second phase of the challenge saw each captain pick the best seven crossbar strikers; after those players were selected, the coaches then went with the remaining four players from each team who were not picked. The team with the player who did not hit the bar would lose the challenge. Clarence Goodson, who is a strong candidate for MVP of the FC Dallas "Survivor-Apprentice" event, hit the crossbar to clinch the victory for Team A. Carey Talley then picked Eric Quill and Philip Salyer to go to the board room with him. The committee "fired" Quill.

In the second challenge, Ronnie O'Brien and Chris Gbandi were the team captains. The teams formed two lines, with the task requiring each player to go 20 yards juggling the ball into the box. Once in the box, the player dropped the ball on the ground and chipped it back to his teammate. If the ball hit the ground at any point, the player had to go back to his starting position. O'Brien's team was victorious, and Gbandi then chose Aaron Pitchkolan, Mario Torres and Chris Gomez to the board room as two players got "fired" tonight (they wanted to even the team out). The committee decided to fire both Gbandi and Gomez.

After the competition in both the morning and afternoon, the pink cowboy hat and dress were back up for grabs. Each team's captain selected three players, and of those six players, the entire team voted on who should wear the hat and dress at lunch and dinner today. After the morning session, David Wagenfuhr picked himself, Clarence Goodson and Aaron Pitchkolan, while Carey Talley selected Ronnie O'Brien, Philip Salyer and Simo Valakari. O'Brien had the most votes and was forced to wear the pink hat and dress.

PLAYER NEWS: Trailists Patrice Abanda and Paulo Nibra were sent home from Spain on Thursday. Aaron Black was in training today with the team after arriving last night. Bobby Rhine was back at forward and Aaron Pitchkolan, whom Colin Clarke praised yesterday for his play in the scrimmage, rotated from center back to midfield.


• Clarke on choosing to take the players to the field on Thursday instead of the scheduled gym workout - "We woke up this morning and it was a beautiful day so we wanted to get the boys out on the field. It was more of a recovery day from the scrimmage last night and some fitness. We did some core-work and strength."

• Clarke on tomorrow's lineup vs. Fredrikstad FK of Norway - "We're still trying to figure out the exact lineup for tomorrow, but it will probably be the guys that did not play yesterday. They'll go 90 minutes or close to that mark tomorrow."

Cornell Glen (Ankle Sprain) - Out (Still with the team in Spain; will be evaluated next week)
Eric Quill (Calf Strain) - Day-to-Day (ran several times around the pitch and felt good; also appeared in the crossbar competition)
Steve Jolley (Arthroscopic Knee Surgery) - Out 2-3 Weeks (is not with team in Spain)
Abe Thompson (Fractured Cheek Bone) - Out 4-6 Weeks (is not with team in Spain)

"My Survivor teammates were for me, but when it swung around to the other team, they were all out to get me." - FC Dallas Midfielder Ronnie O'Brien after being voted by his teammates to wear the pink cowboy hat and dress at lunch Thursday.

FRIDAY: 12 p.m. Exhibition vs. Fredrikstad FK


Date Opponent Result Goalscorers 'Keeper
Feb. 28 Molde W, 2-1 Woolfolk 48', Torres 57' Cassar (Garlick 45')
March 2 Bodo Glimt L, 0-3 Garlick
March 4 Fredrikstad FK @ 12 p.m. (Spain Time - 7 hrs. ahead of Dallas)
March 8 Aalesund @ 6:30 p.m. (Spain Time)

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