My Final Thoughts On The Hyndman Hire

My Final Thoughts On The Hyndman Hire

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 18, 2008
  • Adrian Serioux, Artro Alvarez, Marcelo Saragosa, Schellas Hyndman

Alright, I figured tonight I would write up all the thoughts and opinions I have on the new FC Dallas head coach, Schellas Hyndman. After reading quote after quote and getting some views from some people in the media here in Dallas, I have a better understanding of some things here.

My overall feelings are still pretty much in tune to what they were a month or so ago when it was rumored that Hyndman would easily be the front-runner for the vacant spot after the dismissal of Steve Morrow. I’m not overly thrilled with the move, along with the hire of John Ellinger as the assistant. But the more I dig into this the more I get a sense of where this club could be headed here.

First off, there won’t be a technical director with this club, yet. Does that mean General Manager Michael Hitchcock stays on at the end of the year as GM? Maybe, but that more or less depends on the attendance from here out for the Hoops this season. That or Hitchcock is adimant about another designated player that turns out to be a bust like Denilson was last year. Most should recall it was a Hitchcock signing and not a Morrow signing.

Now saying that, I easily see Hyndman and Ellinger making some moves here from the start. Hyndman came off as a pretty serious dude in his press conference yesterday and most people gave me the sense that he is ready to tackle this coaching gig.

Hyndman had been offered this position as it has been reported three times by the Hunts and FC Dallas. He turned them down each time for various reason but for some reason he really wanted it this time around. That’s a good thing if you are a Dallas fan, because you obviously know your new coach is ready for once to make the jump. I did find it interesting that this wasn’t the first MLS club that Hyndman had turned down, back before the inaugural season in 1996, the Hunts offered him the head coaching spot in Columbus.

With the history aside in this there are reasons for and against Hyndman. I’ve stated the reasons against many times, and as have many others. The lack of experience, not winning the big one with SMU, the knock of lack of MLS products going through SMU, lack of European calibar players going through SMU, etc, etc.

There’s also the knock that his style won’t work with professional players. I don’t see that as the case with his transition into the pro level though. In his press conference in some other sound bites I’ve heard from yesterday, he basically stated that he knows the pro level is about the player and not the coach. If he genuenly feels that way he won’t have a problem connecting with the players on his new roster.

Getting away from the negative-town talk, there are some positives in this hire that I hadn’t seen yet until I listened to all the sides here.

From what people have told me and who have covered this club since its start in 1996, there has always been a level of miscommunication. Most of the people I talked to about this hire feel that Hyndman will be much better at the communication part than the past coaches. More so because of his connection with the owners and who knows maybe even to a degree he will have one with Hitchcock.

His coaching style breads communication with his players as well. Usually tough and strict coaches like Hyndman let their players know where they stand in the pecking order. Even if they don’t tell you directly where you stand, you pretty much know. This will come into the fitness of the club, along with fundamentals and pretty much everything else.

One thing that was brought up, was by Buzz Carrick in his thoughts earlier today. He made an excellent point that Hyndman has a better trust in the American players than the past two coaches (Colin Clarke and Morrow) had. That’s a good thing, seeing how this roster is full of young Americans that are ready to in the line up. You better believe all of those young Generation adidas players are getting excited about this move. They should know their time will be coming soon with Hyndman. Throw in how Ellinger is with developing young talent and this could end up being a really smart move by the Hunts.

There is something that Hyndman talked about. He was asked by Tobias Lopez of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram about formations. This year Dallas went to a 3-5-2 under Morrow and kept up with interim coach Marco Ferruzzi. Hyndman is an old school 4-4-2 man, with a diamond shaped mifield. It’s his bread and butter really. Plus the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea for this club. While the five in the midfield sort of worked at first for this club, the three in the back along with the two defensive midfielders weren’t controling the ball effectively enough and were giving up real cheap goals all season. A stronger midfield should help both cases out.

If you’ve ever seen Hyndman’s SMU teams you know how much they like to hold possession. That formation he runs is part of it. This pretty much tells me guys like Marcelo Saragosa (right) could be seeing their days in Dallas numbered. I never did like the midfield pairing of Saragosa and Pablo Ricchetti. They were too similar and really never feed off of one another well. Ricchetti was more effective in holding possession in my opinion so that is why I think Saragosa could be on the trading block.

Speaking of the trading block. Expect in the next couple of weeks for Hyndman to be making some moves. He talked about using the three open rosters spaces to do some work and I fully expect him to be trading within the league to unload players he doesn’t see fit his style or unload the ones who want out. I also expect him to bring people in on trial real soon to contend for those three spots as well. No real idea yet on what he wants to bring in, my guess is a center back, a flank player and a striker.

I look at the current roster and see a couple guys that could be on the move with this club. Saragosa isn’t the only one really. Some think Adrian Serioux could be moved, or even Artro Alvarez. I’m a little shocked to see some people mention Double A but it really wouldn’t shock me because Hyndman loves a two-way player and Alvarez doesn’t exactly have defense as his number one ability.

I wouldn’t be too shocked as well to see an international or two leave as well. I mentioned Serioux and Saragosa, but at the same time I think a guy like Ricardinho could be in the mix to leave as well. I don’t know what Hyndman’s opinion of him is at this point but you have to get a sense that players who haven’t seen a lot of action in recent weeks have to be on an alert of some sort.

Again, overall this move still seems a bit weird. I’m looking at it a couple different ways. One as an optimist and the other as a realist. I just don’t know which side of me is going to be right or wrong.