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Talking FC Dallas youth players, steady professional inroads and Dallas Cup

Mar 24, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT

Hyndman-Fulham

A look down FC Dallas’ bench last night revealed something quite interesting: Of Schellas Hyndman’s seven players available off the bench, five were home grown signings.

Generally speaking, clubs make a big deal about home grown signing; they are proud of them and rightly so. But I always say, “Tap me on the shoulder when they are contributing members of a roster. Then I can pay attention.”

That may sound cynical, but it’s still on the league and clubs to show they can develop these players beyond “young men with potential” through the reserve system.

But this is different. Yes, such a gathering of home-grown signings was all about FCD missing top players due to international call-ups. (Real Salt Lake was shorthanded, too, and FCD prevailed in this one, 2-0.) Still, when a team achieves some type of critical mass, as we see here, that begins tipping the scale toward something more meaningful.

(MORE: Why MLS should not have been playing this weekend)

There is one other young man we should mention here, someone once part of the FC Dallas youth system, but who moved on to something grander, still.

Emerson Hyndman is back in Dallas this morning, playing for Fulham’s under-19 team. Hyndman is the grandson of FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman and trained occasionally with the full team back when he was but 13 years old.

He’s in Texas for the annual Dallas Cup, still among the world’s most prestigious youth tournaments. Fulham was champion in the 2012 Premier Academy League, thus the invitation into this year’s Super Group, where the Super Group field also includes the under-19 youth development teams from Manchester United, Eintracht Frankfurt, Club America, Tigres, LA Galaxy and more.

Fulham is clearly excited about the tournament – and excited about Hyndman’s homecoming.

The younger Hyndman, by the way, is still only 16. So he’s playing with guys two years older, and more than holding his own.

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