FRISCO, Texas – The FC Dallas attack looked unfamiliar on Wednesday morning in a scrimmage against the US Under-23 national team. Forget that Dallas midfielder Brek Shea was playing against his current club, or that manager Schellas Hyndman is still in the process of integrating a number of new faces.
The real surprise was the appearance of 2010 MVP David Ferreira, who saw his first game action since fracturing his ankle early in the 2011 season.
“I’m still not 100 percent,” Ferreira said through a translator following the game. “But I am getting better, and I can’t wait to get back to my level.”
The Colombian entered in the 36th minute and saw little of the ball before the break. Surprisingly, Ferreira returned in the second half to get more experience with the starting group, logging 22 total minutes in his return.
“The bright spot was getting David on the field,” Hyndman said. “We had planned to play him 10 to 15 minutes, and then he wanted to go back in the second half.”
Ferreira showed flashes of his former self after the restart. In one sequence, he controlled the ball at midfield, made a quick move around a defender and played a perfectly timed ball to forward Fabián Castillo. Though Castillo was unable to convert the scoring chance, the play just reinforced the 32-year-old playmaker’s value to the team.
“Once he got on the field, there seemed to be a little bit of possession in the game,” Hyndman said. “There was a little bit of purpose in the game, and we got away from just trying to break them down with one pass – a through ball or a long ball or an individual play.”
While the team was excited to see Ferreira return, the game brought to light the fact that only 18 days remain before the squad kicks off their 2012 MLS campaign, and FCD remain a work in progress. Ferreira has had little time to work with the club at full speed, particularly with his new teammates.
“You can also see the coordination with [forward] Blas [Pérez] and David all of a sudden,” said Hyndman. “Blas is trying to figure out how to play with David. We’re behind in our preseason.”
The team leaves for Orlando on Friday to compete in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, where they will face a number of MLS teams in preparation for the season. Though Ferreira seems excited to see the field more often on the trip, it’s unclear how the team will manage his minutes in advance of the season opener.
“I hope to play a lot more minutes in Orlando,” Ferreira said. “We’ll see what happens and what the coach says.”