FRISCO, Texas — While Brek Shea’s left foot was instrumental to the success of FC Dallas in 2011, one of the more memorable moments for the team came off the head of rookie Bobby Warshaw.
On Aug. 27 at Sporting Kansas City, Dallas overcame a 2-0 second half deficit to tie the score in the 89th minute off a header by forward Maicon Santos. But Dallas were not finished, as Shea whipped a curling cross from the left side to the back post in stoppage time for Warshaw – the team’s first round selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft – to power his header past the ‘keeper for the improbable 3-2 win.
“The guys give me a hard time about the celebration because I look like I don’t know what’s going on,” Warshaw told MLSsoccer.com after practice on Tuesday. “The truth is, I didn’t. I couldn’t tell you what happened before the goal. I couldn’t tell you what happened when I did it. All I know is I had a rush of emotions and just wanted to stand there holding the goal post.”
Warshaw, a three-time All-Pac-10 first team honoree at Stanford, appeared in 17 games this season for FCD, collecting a goal and assist in the process. But the highly-touted rookie was unable to secure a regular spot with the club, starting in only four games and playing behind Daniel Hernandez for much of the season.
With the team holding an option on Hernandez’s contract, Warshaw might be asked to assume a larger role next season. But to do so, manager Schellas Hyndman believes the rookie needs to adjust to a higher standard of play on an everyday basis.
“He’s got to get away from having a college mentality to having more of a professional mentality,” Hyndman said following Tuesday’s training session. “That is just being sharper in training.
“The other phase for Bobby is the speed of the game,” the coach added. “Can he keep up with the speed? He’s worked awfully hard to increase his first couple of steps and his speed of play as well.”
Warshaw routinely stays after practice to refine his game and work on his footwork as he continues to transition from college to the pros. The soccer comes naturally, but the other responsibilities that arise when leaving college have been challenging.
“The level of play is obviously tougher, but you can figure out the soccer,” Warshaw said. “I think figuring out the life, and being on your own, and having soccer actually be your profession … it’s those adjustments to your everyday life that are tougher.”
When asked about the personal goals he has set for himself heading into 2012, Warshaw declined to talk about himself.
“One thing I think I have learned is that if you set goals for yourself, you can drive yourself crazy,” said Warshaw. “To me, the only goal that you can have is for your team to win.”
Season Ends, Training Continues
Though the season ended on Oct. 26, Hyndman has made the decision to prolong training sessions until Nov. 14 or 15, providing two solid weeks of training heading into the offseason.
“This is the first time in over three months that we’ve had two training sessions back-to-back,” the coach said on Tuesday.
Hyndman and his coaching staff have developed specific objectives to help the team focus and improve during the extended training period. First, the manager hopes to improve his team’s ability to possess and maintain the ball. A second emphasis is being placed on developing flank play in the attack.
Hyndman clearly stated that the session will not be used to evaluate his roster.
“All players have already been evaluated,” said Hyndman. “When you’re playing for nine months, you didn’t need one more week to decide what they can do.”