FRISCO, Texas - Like FC Dallas, who is currently riding a five-game winless streak and headed to two places, StubHub Center and Rio Tinto Stadium, this week that historically haven’t been kind to them, needed additional bad news.
However, after training on Tuesday, just before FCD was scheduled to board a bus for the airport in advance of Wednesday’s game at the LA Galaxy, Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja offered up exactly that about set-piece specialist Michel, currently FCD’s leading scorer with five goals.
The talented Brazilian did not participate in a Tuesday morning training session in Frisco and Pareja offered some details as to exactly why.
“He’s not (healthy). We’re going to take care of him and see how he develops during the week. If we maybe can fly him during (the week), but at this point we would like to take care of him,” Pareja said.
Michel, who did not travel with the team to LA on Tuesday afternoon, picked up a tight right hamstring in the 68th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at Toyota Stadium. He pulled up as he was attempting to make a play on a pass from former FCD midfielder Eric Avila to Mauro Rosales.
He left the field one minute later for David Texeira.
Pareja confirmed that the issue with Michel is indeed tightness and said that while he won’t be traveling to LA, he could be a possibility for Saturday’s visit to Real Salt Lake provided he makes some measurable progress over the next few days.
Already this month, FCD has lost right back Kellyn Acosta (left knee avulsion fracture), central attacking midfielder Mauro Diaz (right knee) and holding midfielder Hendry Thomas (right leg muscle tear), but losing Michel along with Diaz means Dallas has lost its two primary set piece takers.
However, Pareja is undaunted and feels that he has more than enough capable replacements, like left back Jair Benitez, who started in the midfield and played well over the weekend, Fabian Castillo, who scored the equalizer for FCD in the 83rd minute, and even rookie Danny Garcia, who has shown well as a fill-in for Diaz.
“That’s the nature of the game. Sometimes you lose something here, but you can complement or gain something with another player. It’s like a puzzle. You’re trying to tie things up. Certainly without Michel, we might lose some power on the service, but we may get something with some other player. That’s the way it is and we’re moving forward,” Pareja said.