FC Dallas' game on Feb. 15 against Southern Methodist University (SMU) resulted in a 4-0 victory for FCD. While the preseason win may be encouraging, the real story was FC Dallas' second half. Most of the second half was played by a second-string lineup, which scored two of the goals against SMU's soccer team. Should fans be excited by this result, or is it merely mediocre?
FC Dallas Needs Depth
Towards the end of last year's season, FC Dallas lacked the depth necessary to win the MLS. The team's stars were fatigued, and there was no one to relieve them during the playoffs. Coach Schellas Hyndman commented in an interview, "By the time the end of the season came around, their legs were shot. They didn't have any strength in their legs, and in essence we didn't have the depth to take care of it. Unfortunately, in the playoffs we were at our weakest."
One critical player on FC Dallas is David Ferreira. The team lost him, the 2010 MLS MVP, early in the 2011 season to an injury, but he will be back this year. Ferreira was cleared, only hours before FC Dallas' match against SMU, by a doctor to play again. He will likely participate in a match within the next two weeks. However, Ferreira cannot replace 11 men.
Second String Showed Depth
FC Dallas' second string showed that the team has depth in the match against SMU. They scored two goals against the college, with the first one taking them only fourteen minutes. On the one hand, this success should give fans hope. The team looks like it is deeper than last year's.
Second String was Fresh
On the other hand, FC Dallas' backups may have scored twice simply because they were rested. Hyndman sent out an almost entirely new lineup in the second half. SMU made only four substitutions in the game. The second half goals may have not been results of skill, but merely of fresh legs.
FC Dallas fans should cautiously get their hopes up this year. Against SMU, the team showed it has depth. However, the second string will have to continue to prove themselves.
Scott Brodie lives in Dallas. He enjoys playing soccer and watching FC Dallas compete in MLS.
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