Another day of training in the Dallasian (is that a word?) heat down, and our boys are getting further ready for our match against the resurgent Texans. As usual, when I attend training, I like to compile a hasty list of notes, which I then pass on to you. Take them as you will.
- Chris Schuler is genuinely back in training — and if today's much of an indication (Fridays are always a bit light anyway) he's not taking it easy. Of course, given the nature of his injury, there was never likely to be an in-between stage — if he trained on it, it could have broken. They waited until it cleared up, and apparently it has. Anyhow, he looked active and that's really what we need to see. We know his quality.
- Kwame Watson-Siriboe is surprisingly loud at the back. I knew he was a vocal defender, but during the training exercises, he was directing traffic quite well. At one point, he was directing Jason Kreis on the pitch, and that seems to me to be a very good sign. Intimidation doesn't factor in.
- On that note, it's always nice seeing Jason Kreis out there in the scrimmages. I've got to wonder what it's like for some of these young players facing off against their coach during training. To see players getting into tackles with Jason, not ducking out because he's the coach — well, that's exactly the sort of thing we want and need to see from youngsters.
- Scrimmages are particularly interesting as well because you see some playing out of position. Most notably, for me, is Enzo Martinez, who often features closer to the back in these. I think I understand why — it allows him an opportunity to learn to defend more and to play out of the back more. I doubt we see him any time soon — perhaps even this campaign — but if he keeps his head down and continues his work, he'll put himself in a good position. This is where we rue the lack of a genuine reserves league, right?
- Plenty of the lads took it very light during training: Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio and Will Johnson didn't feature more than a cursory amount. However, Javier Morales was out there during training, and while he looked to be taking it a little lighter than perhaps he might normally, he was out there. Perhaps his injury is not as limiting as previously thought.
- There were no trialists that I spotted out there, which isn't terribly surprising. Our squad is set for the run-in, and as much as people want to see some weird, weird trades like we've seen across MLS, it's not going to happen. Simple as that. Then again, I've been wrong before.
- I wasn't quite able to predict a starting XI based on training, so I will somewhat have to rely on instinct. I'd suspect we'll see a few less-used players in there to keep things fresh, but don't be surprised if Paulo Jr. and Fabian Espindola are paired up top. Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy and Jonny Steele all look set for a start, while Kwame and Nat Borchers are sure to partner at the back. The big question for me? Our full backs. Bold text for no inexplicable purpose other than to highlight that I feel I used too much bold text already.
Right, let's have at it. Questions? Ask 'em here. I'll answer as best I can. 'Til tomorrow!