DALLAS FLEXES OFFENSE Spins by Tulsa 7-1 in scrimmage
Brek Shea layed out three assists and drew some praise from FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman as the team starters powered a 7-1 scrimmage win over Tulsa on Saturday.
Photo by Michael Stephens
FC Dallas starters finally got a competitive opportunity Saturday and jumped on Tulsa University for a 7-1 scrimmage win twixt the piled up snow around the field at Pizza Hut Park.
FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman got his wish, as the Dallas starters finally flexed their offensive muscles, despite missing forward Jeff Cunningham and midfielder Dax McCarty to U.S. National Team duty, as well as defender Heath Pearce.
Brek Shea exhibited growth and maturity since last season, tacking on three assists and presenting a beefed up offensive presence on the flank, drawing praise from Hyndman.
But Shea wasn’t the only Red Stripe showing attacking prowess as Atiba Harris and David Ferreira both scoring a brace with single goals going to Bruno Guarda, Marvin Chavez and trialist Misho Fahim. Ferreira also contributed an assist. The FCD regulars did all of their damage in the first half, with the seventh marker notched by trialist and former SMU player Fahim in the 46th minute.
The opening score of the game came in the opening minute on a strong shot by Shea that Harris got a touch on. It seemed the ball could have gone in without Harris, according to the report from the FCD website. Chavez, a late signee last season, is getting into action early this year, scoring in the 17th minute after a through ball from Guarda.
After the two quick Dallas goals, Tulsa had hopes of making a game of it in the 19th minute as forward Ashley McInnes lobbed a shot over FCD goalie Dario Sala to tighten the tally to 2-1. But FCD remained comfortably in control for the remainder of the game, as defenders controlled the backside.
Ferreira showed he is ready to pick up where he left off last year, scoring the third Dallas goal after a pass from Shea. Ferreira was then set up for a penalty kick by Shea, who was taken down in the box. Before the half was over, Shea assisted Guarda on a goal and Ferreira dished off to Harris for his second goal. This was the first time Harris moved up to the front line since he signed on to the team in mid-season.
The Dallas defense showed stability with Jair Benitez on the left, Ugo Ihemelu and George John in the middle and Anthony Wallace on the right, in place of the absent Pearce. Wallace, however, did suffer a groin strain in the game, a condition that will bear steady watching. Defense from holding midfielder Daniel Hernandez was steady and strong in his first action this pre-season.
In the second half, Dallas primarily used rookies and trialists, but also put in Kyle Davies, who is coming off hernia surgery. He put in 45 minutes without a problem. Shea also stayed in the entire 90 minutes. That might be a good indication that Hyndman is eyeing Shea for an expanded role this year. He could see action for the without-contract Dave van den Bergh on the left flank or on top to back up Cunningham.
From the FCD website, Hyndman had positive thoughts after the scrimmage.
“I thought the first 45 minutes was really quite good. Of course, that's the first team," Hyndman said. "I thought that we moved the ball around, broke their pressure and were able to release them with just one pass. I thought Daniel (Hernandez) and (David) Ferreira did a good job holding the midfield and controlling it. So, saying all that, it was a good 45-minute performance. The second half, we really tried to look at the younger players, the trialists and it wasn't as good. I thought that it was good considering we didn't do anything the last two days because of the weather.
He also heaped some praise on Shea's shoulders.
"I thought Brek (Shea) was very dangerous in moments. I thought he was one of the bright spots," Hyndman said. "He's so much stronger than he used to be. He was getting knocked off balls. He's so much calmer now. He would lose the handle sometimes. Those are good things to see."
Hyndman puts the troops back to a competitive situation again Tuesday, hosting his former team, SMU, in a 10 a.m. scrimmage.