In 2010, FC Dallas hired new president Doug Quinn, new technical director Barry Gorman, three new academy signings, a progressive player development program and a 2010 MLS team surpassing expectations and climbing towards the top of the League. On August 13, I spoke with technical director Gorman about the progress in Dallas.
LE: In May, we talked about FC Dallas developing an exchange/loan program with teams in Brazil and Mexico. Has that progressed?
Gorman: Yes, and that’s still ongoing. I’ve been down there and met with different clubs in Brazil and I’m going to be going to Germany and Europe and the British Isles later on in October and see if we can develop some relationships. A young American can go over and play in the lower leagues without having to have a European passport and this is an area we’ve been trying to explore to get our young players games. It’s all well and good to sign a young player – we now have four players who have come through our academy systems that are now on our roster at FC Dallas – but at some point in order to get them games, we might be loaning them out to teams, say in Mexico or Europe, we have to explore different possibilities.
We’re hoping it’s going to be a two-way exchange because when you go down to places like Brazil they have so many players playing with them and they have so many talented youngsters that they’e had in their systems since eight, ten years of age, so where do you get a chance for them to develop?
We’re in the process of closing a deal with a young man that’s only just turned 23 from San Paulo Brazil and he’s going to be here on a loan program. LA have a few players on loan from Brazil. Jackson is his name. He’s with us right here at the moment and just waiting for his international clearance. I was on the phone to Brazil earlier and that’s all just a matter of the right person pushing the right buttons in the system and his international card will go through. We signed him a loan deal for a year with a six-month option.
LE: This year FC Dallas has been accumulating points with draws and now they’re getting wins. How has Dallas managed to climb up in the League this season?
Gorman: The credit has to go to coach [Schellas] Hyndman and his staff, they’re doing a tremendous job. They’ve got in the right players who are buying into the system. One of things I’ve stressed here is not only having the talented soccer players and athletes, but we have people of great character. People who believe in the family club system that we’re trying to develop here, so we’ve got a good mixture of youth and senior experience.
LE: What distinguishes Hyndman from other MLS coaches?
Gorman: He’s one of the hardest working soccer coaches that I’ve ever met. But also, he cares about his players. He’s very loyal to his players, he treats them like human beings and he’s interested in them in and off the field.
LE: What was the significance of Doug Quinn recently becoming president of FC Dallas?
Gorman: That’s a matter of the owners looking to really improve upon things. John Wagner, he was the president, is still part of Hunt Sports Group. Looking at what needs to be done right now, Doug is going to come in and take control of the other side of the business. Basically, we’re looking at a three-pronged organizational structure with Doug doing his thing and I’ll take care of the soccer end of stuff and coach Hyndman will be working with the professional team. What we want to do with Schellas is get a winning product on the field which he obviously has and the next stage is to develop raw talent. We want to show to the Dallas soccer community and beyond that we’re very much interested in producing our own home grown talent. Doug will take care of all of our marketing and promotions and getting a good all-round experience for anyone who comes to Pizza Hut Park.
LE: Previously we discussed the possibility of an FC Dallas residential academy. Has anything gone forward on that?
Gorman: There’s a lot of movement. The ultimate goal is to build our own residential academy and hire players there and hopefully, that will be looking at upwards of 100 players in a residency at FC Dallas, though we have to be realistic and say that might be three, four years down the road. But the idea right now is to say, what can we do at the moment? This morning we had various meetings with the local school district superintendent because if we’re going to sign young professionals they’re going to have to train in the morning, but we want to make sure we take care of their education as well.
LE: This spring you said they called you to Dallas to help them find a DP. How’s that going?
Gorman: That’s one of things we’re in discussion about and looking at for next year’s window in January, lining these things up. But obviously one of the concerns that we have is that some of these teams are getting two or three DPs so there’s a possibility that the gap may widen, so that’s a serious situation that we’re looking at in great depth. But along with that, we’re saying all right, can we develop our own DP, a home-grown American player who will rise to DP status?
LE: That’s not the same thing from a promotional standpoint. Bringing someone over, you go across borders when you do that – they bring they’re own publicity, they bring their own machine.
Gorman: Correct, marketing and everything else. But they have to be the right person and it has to be the right player that we’re going to build a lot of things around, not just for one or two years, but for maybe four years or beyond and making sure we have the right individual. It’s one thing to bring in a DP – we’ve seen this where DPs have come in and they haven’t been successful. We want to bring in a DP and do all those things that you mentioned – the marketing, the promotions, crossing all kinds of borders to attract people to Pizza Hut Park, but he’s also got to be a player who’s got to help other players get better.
LE: Are you looking at anyone specifically for the January window?
Gorman: Right now we’re still formulating a list. We were close to one in this window but permits couldn’t be worked out.