MLS Training Camp Preview: FC Dallas

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By ADAM SERRANO

One win away.

That is how close FC Dallas came winning the franchise's first MLS Cup in 2010. Fresh off its crushing defeat to the Colorado Rapids in the final, FCD is ready to make a return run to the championship in 2011. Led by 2010 MVP David Ferriera in attack and backstopped by the talented Kevin Hartman in goal, Dallas once more looks to challenge for top honors.

After impressive seasons by youngsters Brek Shea, George John and Zach Loyd helped lead Dallas to the final, head coach Schellas Hyndman will need his young stars to put in equally impressive seasons in 2011; however, some questions remain. Who replaces the production of Dax McCarty, the midfielder that was so influential in the run to MLS Cup? Also, who will score the bulk of the goals after the departures of Atiba Harris and Jeff Cunningham? Some of those answers will be sorted out in the next few weeks.

Here's a closer look at the preseason plans of FC Dallas:

FC DALLAS

Training Schedule: Feb. 8-19 at Pizza Hut Park; Feb. 20-26 in Orlando; Feb. 27-28 at Pizza Hut Park; March 1-8 in Phoenix; March 9-13 at Pizza Hut Park.

Preseason Game Schedule: Feb. 8 vs. Houston Baptist, Feb. 12 vs. Houston Dynamo in Corpus Christi, Texas; Feb. 21 vs. Seattle Sounders; Feb. 23 vs. New England Revolution; March 1 vs. Montreal Impact in Phoenix; March 7 vs. New York Red Bulls in Phoenix; March 12 vs. Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park; March 13 vs. Central Arkansas.

Key Arrivals: GK – Chris Seitz; MF – Bobby Warshaw, Ricardo Villar.

Key Departures: MF- Dax McCarty; F – Atiba Harris, Jeff Cunningham; GK – Dario Sala.

What to Watch For: In order for FC Dallas to return to get back to the MLS Cup, it will need a suitable replacement for McCarty, the sparkplug for FCD on the field and a vocal leader for the team off of it. Eric Alexander and recent acquisition Ricardo Villar look like the most suitable players to play a similar role as the midfield engine for Dallas this season.

Perhaps just as vital to replacing McCarty is finding out who will score goals on this side. With Cunningham off to Columbus and Harris with Vancouver, the forward line looks thin. The task looks to fall to one of Dallas' young forwards like 2010 draft pick Andrew Wiedeman or FCD youth phenom, Ruben Luna. Luna is the most intriguing option, as the youth academy product looks to have a big role for the club going forward. To deal with this problem, the club is also taking a look at former Chivas USA star Maykel Galindo, who was recently released by the Rojiblancos.

Of Note: Four FC Dallas players (Shea, Alexander, Loyd, and Ugo Ihlemelu)  were rewarded for their success in 2010 with U.S. national team January call-ups…Luna is set to join the Mexican U-20s after being called up in late January…Brazilian midfielder Ricardo Villar signed with the club on Monday. He is a Penn State University product who formerly played in Germany's second division.

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16 Responses to MLS Training Camp Preview: FC Dallas

  1. nico says:

    expect Chavez to have a break out season…he really shook off the injury late last year…and gained more confidence at CA Cup last month.

  2. boosted335 says:

    FCD

    No excuse for sleeping on this team or its stars this year

  3. Clayton says:

    Let’s go Dallas! Back to the title game for some silverware this year. First time in Concacaf Champions League also, I believe.

    When did Sala leave? Is he playing somewhere else?

  4. Jan Koller Fan says:

    If the Hoops weren’t robbed by the refs we would be referring to them as the “World Champion FC Dallas.” Regardless, these are things that I’m excited for:

    When I look at the back line, I think the best four are Ugo and King George in the middle, with Jair and Zach Lloyd outside. I think Pearce is disgruntled and looking for a way out, and it will be forced by the karate kid himself, Zach Lloyd.

    David Ferreira. David Ferreira. David Ferreira.

    Brek Shea’s media emergence. He’s young, colorful, and he has majestic golden locks of hair. He should be all over the papers this year.

    Only having to play a few more times at Robertson. The downside is, we still have to venture to the land of fat rednecks in the future. Boo Houston.

    El Gato ready for another year with a fresh bleach job to boot.

    Schellas’ Marlboro Man jacket. Is there any doubt that he whenever he puts that on the mood strikes Mrs. Schellas?

    A potential jersey sponsor. I hope it’s something we can be proud of, like Dr Pepper or Audi.

    The debut of the first smile for George John. And Daniel Hernandez.

    In closing, this is our year! We’re deep, talented, experienced, fast, youthful, and we wear the colors of the American (and Texan) flag! It is our time to take what is rightfully ours, and show the world why we’re the second most-winningest franchise in MLS history!

  5. scott723 says:

    My only worry for FCD is a) they’ve already had a few injuries in camp so that’s never a good sign or way to start the year; and b) besides Milton Rodriguez, the lack of a proven forward up top. Rodriguez is 35/36 so I don’t see him holding up for the entire year, and I’m not sure Galindo is the answer as a backup. Maybe one of the young pups can step up and become a double digit scorer, that would be a big help.

    Despite his enigmatic ways, however, FCD may end up missing Cunningham more than they hope.

    O yea: I thought they were screwed by the refs in the Cup final as well.

  6. BenH says:

    We have the second most wins of any club? I had no idea, actually. Who is first? DC United maybe?

    Really hope we can win it all this year. I like the team and think we can if the injury bug doesn’t affect us as much as it did last year. Though early indication is that it is back.

  7. Sounders#1 says:

    FC Dallas is going to suck next year. You guys lost Jeff cunningham, the 2nd leading goal scorer in mls history. He’s pretty much the only reason your team was any good. I can’t wait until my Sounders get to play dallas

  8. FCD fan says:

    Are you just trolling or are you really that misinformed?

    Losing Cunningham hurts, but he was replaceable. He was great in 2009, but merely good in 2010. He spent the second half of the season coming of the bench. The offense runs through David Ferreira, you know the League MVP!

    So no, FCD won’t suck this year and yes, they have many more reasons than Jeff Cunningham that they were any good.

  9. boosted335 says:

    I dont mind the fact he was drunk tweeting before/during playoffs about getting on the field. I like the fact he wanted to play.

    However he is definitely overpaid AND/BECAUSE his 1v1 D is suspect.
    To his credit he racked up a lot of assists early last year but he does need to step it up as the rest of the backline and his “understudy” Loyd where much more impressive and they all work for much less (In the case of Loyd and John: MUCH MUCH less)
    I hope he steps it up in 2011 or gets off of FCD debit column…maybe trade him for a top striker in MLS if we cant secure an INTL ace this summer?

  10. boosted335 says:

    “The debut of the first smile for George John. And Daniel Hernandez”

    lol

    One MIGHT crack a smile; but aint a damn thing funny as they’re caught up in the dirt where their hands get muddy..

  11. boosted335 says:

    Sala is fishing.
    I’m not sure if its for another gig as he was looking pretty old/tired by the end of last year.

    I sat right behind him @ LA and he was a mess physically and mentally. I took a friend to his 1st MLS game and he even pointed that out. Also he was yelling to himself and no-one in particular all game…Other than setting up walls he didn’t communicate with anyone besides himself for the whole half.. Im glad we got Hartam back for playoffs or we never would’ve won.

  12. Sounders#1 says:

    Are you delusional or just a moron?

    Being ‘merely good’ doesn’t get you call ups from the USMNT. Also, you lost Dax McCarty, who captained the us team last month.

    So yes, FCD is going to suck this year. But hey I’ll be looking forward to the free wins for my sounders.

  13. Jan Koller Fan says:

    Sounders fan,

    You live a sad and miserable life if you believe your Sounders have a chance. Jeff spent his time brooding around, and the Ginger Ninja ran for 583895 miles a game without ever actually doing anything.

    Plus, Schellas has declared Eric Alexander his latest man-crush, which must mean he is some sort of local legend.

    This doesn’t even take into consideration Ricardo Villar, who comes from a long line of footballers.

    Sounders fan, go back to your crap city and listen to grunge music in the rain while sipping over-priced crappy coffee from Starbucks.

    The Sounders as overrated as Nirvana was.

  14. boosted335 says:

    Hey hey now. Seattle is great place with beatiful surroundings and half nekid barristas to serve that over priced coffee.

    Sounders fan(s) suck, not the city

  15. Sounders#1 says:

    Ha, if any city is garbage it has to be dallas (see super bowl). Also, it’d be nice if you fat rednecks could fill out your tiny stadium (appropriately sponsored by PIZZA HUT). Qwest makes that place look like a filthy meat grinder. Its going to be great when Freddy Montero rips george john a new one lol

  16. boosted335 says:

    Well hes had 3 games to rip John a new one…and all he got was shut down/out. Don’t be mad that Dallas drafted John before Seattle could.