San Jose Earthquakes v FC Dallas

Paging attackers. Any attackers, please report to FC Dallas


Having a transfer saga resolved may be something of a relief around FC Dallas Stadium, where manager Schellas Hyndman can now move forward with just a little more knowledge of what his team might look like in 2013.

But there’s a pretty big hole to fill now … and not much time to do so.

The depth at wide spots in midfield already looked threadbare. In fact, past the two featured attackers, uh, who in the world will score goals for the club this year?

The news from late Monday night that Brek Shea has been sold to Stoke City leaves FC Dallas’ offense with striker Blas Perez and playmaker David Ferreira and a lot of role players. That is not a good place to be.

(MORE: What the move means for Shea and Stoke City)

While FC Dallas is left to ponder a transfer price that still looks low at around $4 million – a year ago Shea probably could have been sold for nearly twice that – they will also need to scare up some depth. Pronto.

Fabian Castillo is good enough to bother teams with his speed at one flank. And presumably Jackson, the utility knife around Dallas, has just been locked into a flank midfielder role. (That seemed his best spot all along.) And then there’s … uh … Nope,  nevermind. That’s it.

That is hardly enough. Not when Ferreira never quite looked like the same game-changer when he finally came back from that year-long injury in 2012. Not when Blas Perez is the only man on FCD’s roster who even approached double-digit goals last year. He’s 31 and coming off a year where he missed 15 starts due to injury.

This also makes the club’s selection of Ryan Hollingshead in last week’s draft look a little more curious. The Pac-12 Player of the Year was certainly talented enough to be taken at that spot, but he has already told the league that he doesn’t plan to play professional soccer.

Snatching first-round talent in the second round would be worth the gamble for some teams – but today FC Dallas certainly doesn’t look like one of them.

Hyndman (pictured), technical director Fernando Clavijo and FC Dallas have their work cut out here. They have cash from Shea’s transfer, even if the value does appear low. There is a leadership void around the ground as the team sorts out a mess with its president, Doug Quinn, who remains on indefinite leave. That may be an unpleasant distraction, but Quinn was only peripherally involved with personnel matters anyway, so that can’t become an obstacle.

The choice to jettison goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who was still at his  heroic, shot-stopping best in 2012, already looked half-baked, which means that the personnel choices around FC Dallas will fairly be called increasingly into question.

FC Dallas made it to MLS Cup in 2010. In 2011, the wandered into the playoffs but left quickly. Last year, no playoffs (although a devastating pile-up of injury had a lot to do with that.)

Bottom line: this thing needs to begin moving in the right direction. The clock is ticking ever louder.

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.