FC Dallas preseason training update: day eight.
FC Dallas resumed preseason two-a-day training sessions Monday, and until this news broke late in the day, the big news was the 2013 practice-field debuts of Blas Perez and Peter Luccin. FC dallas signed veteran French midfielder Luccin in December, after he impressed coaches during workouts with the team, but complications kept him away until recently. Perez, FC Dallas’s leading scorer last year, had been away helping the Panamanian National team secure a berth in this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.
FC Dallas is hoping Luccin can step in for former team captain, holding midfielder Daniel Hernandez, who left in the offseason. Luccin looks like he reported a tad out of shape, maybe a step or two behind the rest of the team (except Pipico), but he showed a bit of athletic ability in Monday’s morning session while defending near the top of the penalty area. When a cross from near midfield came into his vicinity, Luccin, standing in a crowd, quickly turned and jumped and swung his right foot overhead, thwacking the ball out of the air and away from danger. Not exactly pretty, but effective.
It may be worth noting that for some of the action, Luccin and Bobby Warshaw were working together side-by-side, perhaps in a variation of what would fit into a 4-4-2. Of course, it would be presumptive to draw any firm conclusions this early in the preseason, but -- newsflash -- it looks like several formation options are being explored.
One player who had a good showing on Monday was Cameron Wilder. The recent supplemental draft pick out of Kentucky ran up against Jackson Goncalves in one early skirmish, as the two vied for possession, with their momentum carrying them across the end line. Neither player controlled the ball as it rolled out, and the two men tumbled rather awkwardly together into a small goal. Cameron popped up instantly, offering his hand to Jackson to help him up. The veteran, perhaps annoyed at the upstart’s tenacity, and precocious good manners, ignored Wilder.
A few moments later, Jackson got his revenge as the two converged on a 50-50 ball. Jackson, who has ten pounds and a couple of inches on Wilder, took the better of the meeting, including the ball.
Wilder, for his part, didn’t get down. A few minutes later, he snuck a right-footed shot past Raul Fernandez for a goal. Most importantly, his efforts did not go unnoticed by Head coach Schellas Hyndman, who congratulated Wilder with a shout of “There it is, good ball!” Then later, after practice, Hyndman said “he’s working extremely hard.”