Dallas Soccer DFW

Three from FC Dallas Training in Brazil

Published 1/8/2009 9:07:26 PM by staff from dallas

Three of FC Dallas's bright young stars are training in Brazil with the Hoops' South American partner, Clube Atletico Paranaense. Midfielders Eric Avila and Bruno Guarda plus defender Blake Wagner will return ahead of the preseason camp opening on January 21.

Eric Avila, a second-round pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft who played in 14 games was excited when asked about the trip.  "I think it's something that will be great for me," he said. "We're not doing anything in the offseason and I have no plans to go and play. So when this came up, it was perfect. I will be training with the CAP first team twice a day and getting ready for the season. After that, I think I will be ready to go."

Bruno Guarda, who was born in Brazil, comes off a rookie season where he played in 12 matches, including nine starts and had one goal and one assist. After coming to FC Dallas from SMU in July, he played for his former collegiate coach, Schellas Hyndman, who took the coaching job in June.

"I don't think (my first year) was good enough because if it was good enough, we would be in the playoffs," Guarda said. "We could have done better and I could have done better. Hopefully next season, we can do better. It's very disappointing (to not make the playoffs). I play to win and always to my best. This time it didn't happen. Next season we've got to make it happen."

The young Brazilian added that he didn't feel like any one event from his first year stood out over all others.  "I don't think I had a best moment," Guarda said. "I had good moments, which was my goal and assists but the best moment, it didn't happen."

Blake Wagner, who just completed his third MLS season, finished 2008 as the starting left back. He too summed up his performance in pretty basic terms.   "This was my real first season getting some playing time," he said. "I thought I did well but think I can do even better next year. So, I just have to work on some things in the offseason to be stronger heading into next year."

Like the rest of his teammates, he couldn't help but comment on what turned out to be a season of upheaval for Dallas.  "There were obviously a lot of changes that affected the team tremendously," Wagner said. "But everyone didn't really change their mindset. Everyone still wants to win and to make the playoffs. Obviously we didn't but there were a lot of different things that happened this year. But what can you do besides move on? I think we're getting better and better. I think things are looking forward."

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