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03/18/2014
 

Through the first two games of the Oscar Pareja era, FC Dallas sits at 1-0-1 with four points. On Saturday night, FCD came away from Sporting Park with a point after a 1-1 draw with reigning MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City.

 

However, one thing Pareja has already had to contend with during his nearly 10 weeks at the helm in Frisco has been injuries. A number of key players, like starting goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, center back George John, right back Zach Loyd and second-year center back Walker Zimmerman missed all of preseason recovering from injuries and none of them have yet to play a single minute with the first team in 2014.

 

However, that could be all changing in short order.

 

Fernandez, FCD’s lone representative at the 2013 MLS All-Star Game, continues to recover from sports hernia surgery in the offseason but the Peruvian goalkeeper known as Super Man returned to full training last week and appears almost ready to challenge Chris Seitz, who has started each of Dallas’ first two matches, for the No. 1 spot.

 

“Raul is showing progress,” Pareja said on Monday afternoon. “He’s another player that is very close. He will be involved in a majority of the drills this week and we’ll see how he reacts to it. But Raul is becoming part of the equation as well.”

 

It’s a similar story for Loyd, who signed a contract extension in January but has been bothered by a hip issue since then. However, the Oklahoma native returned to training last week and he too appears nearly ready to vie for a spot in the first 11, which would be good news since Kellyn Acosta, the 18-year-old local product and FCD Academy product who burst onto the scene in 2013, has been shaky at right back in his first two appearances of the season.

 

Acosta played 61 minutes against SKC before coming off for Andres Escobar. The week before, in FCD’s 3-2 win against Montreal, he played 81 minutes before Escobar subbed in.

 

If Loyd is fully healthy, his experience at that spot could be enough to unseat Acosta, who appears to have hit the proverbial rookie wall, as the starter.

 

“Yes (he is a possibility for this weekend), he’s part of the equation already,” Pareja said of Loyd.

 

However, if there has been a hallmark of how the first-year FCD coach has handled injured players thus far in his short tenure, it’s that he’s not one to rush injured players back too soon.

 

“We’ll see this week but I hope that he (Loyd) is ready,” Pareja said. “He has been working hard. He wants to be back in the team and his experience is going to be good. He will be involved this week.”

 

As for Zimmerman, who has been bothered by a groin issue for much of preseason, he too could be returning to full training later this week, which would likely mean he’s at least another week from being available for the 18-man game roster.

 

“Walker is getting closer,” Pareja said. “That (him returning to training this week) is what we’re hoping will happen.”

 

John, who is bothered by a bruised right kneecap, will most likely be the last to return. Pareja, in his last update on John’s status, said last week that the veteran central defender was still several weeks away from returning.

 

Also see: 


Five Points to Ponder from FC Dallas' Draw with Sporting KC 


Seitz Has Benefited From Push by Sanchez

           




 
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01/12/2014
 
The transfer market has been a really looney one as of right now with possible moves, non-moves and speculated ones that have been used in order to leverage their current negotiations. 

In the case of Raul Fernández, his name is being thrown around to head back to South America.  The FC Dallas star goalkeeper was rumored to be returning to his native Peru to go play with Universitario in the coming semester. There is also talk about him even reducing his salary demands in order to play Copa Libertadores with Los Cremas.  Whether that is true or not, there is still lots of time to be able to figure what ends up happening there.  

But the latest twist to this transfer market sitcom is that on Saturday night, during the Peñarol-Nacional preseason match, reporter Martín Lacaze reported that "Súperman" was offered to Peñarol as an option at goalkeeper for the upcoming league as well as Copa Libertadores.  For the Uruguayan club it would seem feasible from a team standpoint as Danilo Lerda suffered a broken nose in Saturday loss to Nacional in penalties.  This would leave Peñarol in a major bind with both Leandro Gelpi and youth product Washington Aguerre as the possible starting goalkeeper at the beginning of the season. 

If this offer were to go through, Fernández would become the third high-profile Peruvian to land in Uruguay after Paolo Hurtado arrived to Peñarol on a six-month loan from Portuguese side Paços Ferreira.  Nacional also reloaded for the tough first semester with another Peruvian international, Rinaldo Cruzado,  who rescinded his contract with Argentine Newell's Old Boys.  Cruzado was presented in Montevideo on Saturday becoming El Bolso's 
 
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