FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas held their final workout of the week in Frisco on Friday morning, just hours before they were set to fly to Los Angeles. FCD will face the Galaxy on Sunday (9 pm ET, ESPN2/Deportes) at the Home Depot Center in the Western Conference Championship with a trip to MLS Cup on the line.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman has been dealing with injury questions for most of the week, the biggest of which centered around Daniel Hernandez. FCD’s captain missed the first three days of training because of his knee. Cause for concern, or precautionary?
“That’s exactly what it is, precautionary,” Hyndman said after Thursday’s session. “Daniel is not a player that I need to take through all the training exercises. His experience alone will carry that. What we need is as healthy of a Daniel Hernandez that we can have on the field.”
Before last Saturday’s second leg of the Western Conference semifinal at Rio Tinto Stadium, the FCD captain had to have his knee drained, putting him in question for the deciding leg against Real Salt Lake. Hernandez went the full 90 against RSL.
“It’s not too bad,” Hernandez said of his knee on Thursday. “Right now, it’s just being cautious and making sure the swelling doesn’t come back. I’ll be ready to go come Sunday.”
The news is equally favorable on versatile first-year Brazilian Jackson, who could start on Sunday at right back.
Jackson has missed the entire week of training recovering from the cumulative effects of a number of knocks he has taken since joining the team in August. During that time, he has started all over the midfield and in the back. He started at right back at Rio Tinto and played 88 minutes before coming off for Eric Alexander.
“He’s fine,” Hyndman said of Jackson. “I talked to him a little bit. He felt a little bit of tenderness in his hamstring [late on Saturday], so we wanted to get him off the field as quick as we could.”
That the Brazilian could miss a full week of practice and still be in contention for the starting XI is a testament to his value at FCD.
“When I came here, Schellas had the confidence that I was going to available to help the team in many positions,” the Brazilian rookie said on Thursday. “I brought my ability to help the team in any way I could.”
FCD took two losses to the Galaxy during the regular season, half of their total. Before this year, the club had not won a postseason series since 1999, and they have never been to MLS Cup.
“Of course, it’s the most important game and also the key game to go to the finals,” Jackson said. “But we are pretty confident that we are going to be prepared for the next step. Now we are going to face another great team on Sunday.”