DALLAS WRAPS WITH SMU'S SAINTUS Hyndman reviews all five picks
SMU's Dane Saintus now gets a crack at the Dallas pro team after four years on the Hilltop at SMU. Saintus was Dallas' fourth-round MLS SuperDraft selection.
Photo by Michael Stephens
PHILADELPHIA, PA---FC Dallas finished out the 2010 MLS SuperDraft Thursday with three selections aimed with scoring in mind; drafting a forward (Jason Yeisley of Penn State University) with the 38th pick, and midfielders in the 44th pick (Eric Alexander from Indiana University) and local player Dane Saintus from SMU with the 54th pick. Those were added to FCD’s top two picks that included defender/midfielder Zach Loyd of UNC with the fifth pick and U Cal-Berkeley senior forward Andrew Wiedeman.
Before the draft started, Dallas sold its rights to the sixth pick to expansion team Philadelphia Union for allocation money to be used on another player. With five Generation adidas players already on the roster, FCD did not have roster room to continue to dip into the youth ranks of the up and coming stars with guaranteed roster slots. Teams cannot have more than six Generation adidas players on the roster.
But Hyndman is always looking for quality players and talent for the team, so he made careful considerations before making each of his selections
“Well, I think when we came into the draft our purpose was to continue to find good character, good players that will continue to add to our team chemistry,” Schellas said. “Watching Zach (Loyd) play two or three times, we felt like he was one of the better players in the draft. He also was a little bit older not coming in with Generation adidas, and we’re really fortunate and happy to be able to get a person of his abilities, his character and his determination to be part of our team. He’s pretty versatile too. I think he’ll probably settle down into a right fullback position, but again he also played center back, defensive midfield. At the combine, he played two games on the flank, one on the right side, one on the left side. So I think we got a good one there.
“I think the other purpose was we tried to find some attacking players. Obviously Andrew (Wiedeman), from Cal, he played for Kevin Grimes who played for me, coached with me and we had a lot of good information about him. We were very happy to be able to pick him up. I think he will really compete for a position to be with the team, plus he’s Generation adidas, so he’s a player we can spend time developing. He’s a smart kid, a good kid. I think he’ll be around. The other thing we thought about too is we’ll probably graduate three generation adidas players next year, so this is a good pick up for us.
“Eric Alexander we liked a lot. We saw him at the combine. He played for a good team, Indiana. Eric was a player who made the all-Freshman team at Indiana, then his sophomore year he was first team. His junior and senior years he dropped to second team. But when we saw him at the combine, we saw a player that scored a couple of goals. Again, he's a player that’s a central midfielder and can come back and play holding midfield.
“Jason (Yeisley), is another attacking player and his college coach is a great coach in Barry Gorman at Penn State, who is a great teacher of the game, so you know when you get somebody from Penn State, he’s going to be a well educated player. He has good size, a striker, holds the ball quite well, a good finisher of the ball, and I think he’ll be able to add to what we have already. One of the things I said we wanted was attacking players and he definitely can do that and he’s also a pretty smart kid. He’s done well academically and will be a quick learner.
“Dane Saintus is a local player out of Dallas. He played for me at SMU for two years… I think he was the leading scorer of the team this year. The team just didn’t find the success to give him the recognition, but a very good player, an intelligent player with tremendous athleticism. Like I said, he scored quite a few goals for SMU and because I knew about him, we wanted to give him an opportunity as well.”
Saintus was named First Team All-C-USA in 2009 after registering eight goals and five assists on the season. Saintus concluded his SMU career with 14 goals and 15 assists in 69 total games. On September 30, 2009, Saintus scored a hat trick against Centenary, the first for SMU since Duke Hashimoto performed the feat against Yale on September 24, 2004.
He rejoins former SMU coach Schellas Hyndman, and becomes the fourth SMU player on FC Dallas. Midfielder Daniel Hernandez, Midfielder Bruno Guarda, and Defender Ugo Ihemelu all attended SMU.
FC Dallas entered this year’s draft process in much stronger shape than last season and the head coach recognized that, realizing that earning a spot on the team is just getting more and more difficult.
“What you’re finding is it’s a little bit more difficult because we have such a good team right now. It’s a little bit more difficult to say hey I need that player because he can be a starter, a striker, for me, you know, it’d be tough for someone to come in and say I’m going to put Jeff Cunningham out. But, I think of all the players we got, it was a good recruiting class. Our roster is so strong. We have so many young players. When you think about our team, we probably have five players sitting at home who are Generation adidas players, including Kyle Davies and you think those five players probably would have gone in the first round. So we have a lot of good players, and as our team continues to get better and better, not only will we have good players, we want good character and I think we found that.