FRISCO, Texas – The date Dallas-area soccer fans have had circled on their calendars since it was announced is almost here. On Thursday, reigning UEFA Champions League titleholders Inter Milan will face FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park.
Those in attendance can expect to see a majority of FCD’s regular starters.
“I think what you’ll see is more 85 [percent of the starters],” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “I think we owe it to all our players. I think we owe it to our fans to put a team out there that we normally put out there. We want to have a good lifetime memory and experience. [But] there will be a couple of players that will be out there that you might not normally see.”
The FCD manager would also like to see a liberal policy on substitutions so both coaches can play as many players as they want.
“I want to see if we can put ourselves in the position where we can maybe open up a little bit on the substitutions so more players can maybe have the opportunity to play,” Hyndman said, who also wants to players to be fresh enough for the league game against Philadelphia on Sunday. “Because of the heat, it’s going to be difficult for any player to go 90 minutes the way they want to go. I’ll see if we can get more and more players on the field.”
Despite the title of “friendly,” Hyndman said his team is out to beat the European and Italian champs.
“It’s a friendly game, but [it also] really isn’t a friendly,” said the manager. “Once the ball starts [rolling], you protect yourself and you try to win.”
After practice on Tuesday, Hyndman said that Inter Milan team officials had asked for video from FCD’s last two matches. In two consecutive away games, Hyndman’s club tied Colorado 1-1 on Saturday and had a similar result at Toronto one week earlier.
Hyndman also said that his club is still trying to get footage from Inter’s 3-0 win over Manchester City last weekend in Baltimore.
Hyndman mum on Coach of the Year consideration
With FCD firmly in third place in the Western Conference standings and looking like a safe bet to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007, Hyndman’s name is beginning to come up in any discussions about candidates for 2010 MLS Coach of the Year.
“First of all, it’s taken a little bit longer than I thought it would,” said Hyndman about putting FCD back on track. “It’s a big ship in the ocean that you’re trying to turn. The things that we’re trying to turn are character, attitude and work ethic. Whether we get the result or [not], I hope [fans] can see that the guys are giving their best on every play.
“No one gets any success without somebody; a coach gets the success because the players are doing the job,” continued Hyndman. “It’s nice that the team is going in the right direction. If my job ends tomorrow, I will feel good that I put it in the right direction.”