- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 9, 2010
- 0 Comments
- Andrew Wiedeman, Anthony Wallace, Atiba Harris, Aziz Ansah, Brek Shea, Bruno Guarda, Dario Sala, David Ferreira, Dax McCarty, Eric Avila, George John, Heath Pearce, Jair Benitez, Jeff Cunningham, Josh Lambo, Marvin ChŠvez, Peri Marosevic, Schellas Hyndman, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd
After a couple days away from this series we are back, today with my hometown team FC Dallas. So far we’ve looked at Chicago, Colorado, Chivas, Columbus, DC and Philadelphia in this pre-season look in on how each club is looking as they gear towards the new season.
FC Dallas comes into pre-season camp looking pretty good after a solid finish to the 2009 campaign. Schellas Hyndman has made a couple moves and could be prepared to do a couple more before the season starts. Right now there are a few trailists on the pre-season roster but that doesn’t always mean they’ll be there on opening day.
Let’s take a look in now and see what Dallas had done and what else they need to take care of before the new season.
Who they have: Dario Sala and Josh Lambo.
Notes: Right away you can see the depth is an issue in this department. Word has it they are after another 30-something keeper named Ora Nikolov. Honestly I don’t like them going after another old keeper, they already have one in Sala. Honestly I want to see more Lambo and his development here. If they can get a solid back up to Sala they will be fine but you have to figure that they’ll need someone for at least a half dozen games or so because we know Sala is bound to pick up an injury at some point in the season, he always does.
Who they have: Daniel Hern√°ndez, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Ben√≠tez, Heath Pearce, Aziz Ansah, George John, Anthony Wallace, and Kyle Davies.
Notes: Honestly this is probably the best bunch of defenders Dallas has seen in a number of years. Defense has always been some sort of an issue with this club in the past but the solid collection of young and veteran players in the back that should be solid enough for the season.
More than likely from the way things seem at camp right now Pearce and Hernandez will be in the midfield rather than in the back four. Bringing Ansah in this winter helped make the move for Pearce possible and one that I am very curious to see.
Dallas probably could still go after another center back as right now their options are fairly young with John, Davies, and the slightly older Ihemelu. Right now one of those open spots could go to Steve Purdy who is in camp and fighting for a roster spot. I’d honestly rather see another option there but at this point if it isn’t a foreign trialist or someone on loan then the pickings are slim.
Who they have: Dax McCarty, Bruno Guarda, Eric Avila, Marvin Ch√°vez, Zach Loyd, and Bryan Leyva.
Notes: On paper this is a very young midfield. Chavez is the oldest at 26. Still with guys like Pearce and Hernandez¬†likely to be in the midfield this season it balances things out a good bit. Hyndman loves players who play¬†multiple¬†positions so that will also explain why there are only a few midfielders actually listed here. Forwards like Atiba Harris and David Ferreira also can play in the midfield too.
For me this group is the make or break part of this team. With no Dave van den Burgh this year (or at least it is looking that way for now) it seems like McCarty will be called to do a lot of the grunt work in creating offense while Harris, Pearce, and Hernandez will be called to hold things on the wings and in defense. This time last year I was on the camp that wanted McCarty out of Dallas but after his play last year I fully want him there. He’s turning into a very solid player and one that is highly underrated.
This group could still use some depth though going forward,¬†particularly¬†on the wings and I’m not entirely sure if I like Hernandez as the defensive midfielder going into the start of the year yet.
Who they have: Jeff Cunningham, Andrew Wiedeman, Brek Shea, Atiba Harris, David Ferreira, and Peri Marosevic.
Notes: If Cunningham is as productive as he was in the second half of last year then there is really no need to make a lot of notes on this group. Honestly this group, even as young as it is right now is probably one of the more underrated forward groups in the league. Ferreira turned out to be one heck of a signing last year for Dallas once he (finally) got use to the style of play in MLS.
I do hope to see more of Shea and Marosevic¬†this year, and to a lesser extent Wiedeman. Their development is so vital to the future of this club and I do worry some that they may not be getting enough playing time right now. Hopefully that thought will go away this year with more time on the field.
One thing is clear right now, the types of players Hyndman is going after (other than old SMU players) are¬†versatile. He wants guys that can play all over the field to cover any depth issues that the club may have. Not a bad move on his part because it does create a lot of competition between the players for certain spots.
Right now though there are a couple areas that need patched up like the center back and on the wings in the midfield. Both are more in terms of depth right now than actually finding new starters. It will be curious to see if they do find a trade partner for van den Burgh’s player rights or if that will just fizz away here before the season. Also finding a solid backup keeper will be key as well.
Dallas has a shot to be really good this year if all the pieces fall in line like they were towards the end of last year. Though another slow start could make people question Hyndman’s tactics even more. Should be fun to watch though.