One of the many challenges a Major League Soccer team faces each season is how they handle their preseason schedules. Most teams in MLS these days either go to Florida or Arizona and play a round of friendlies with other teams in MLS and sometimes against those in the NASL or USL PRO.
But for FC Dallas, 2014 has not been the same as in years past thanks to a long trip to the Middle East. The club also has time in Florida this week that could have presented more challenges in the form of playing a MLS team or two but as we saw with last week's schedule release, FCD will only be playing a college team and a NASL team while in Florida.
During a media call Friday, FCD technical director Fernando Claivjo said that the club is just doing what they can with what they can control.
"Did we want better games?," said Clavijo. "Maybe, but they're not there. We're going to concentrate on the things we can control right now and get the team in the best shape possible for the games that we have ahead."
Various sources have indicated to me that FCD was schedule to play at least one MLS team in Florida but that team had to cancel. That is just something FC Dallas has had to deal with so far this preseason, in fact, they were suppose to play a scrimmage Sunday morning but that got cancelled as well.
"Complaining about the competition that we get, it's not like it's going to help anyone," explained Clavijo. "We need to make sure that the competition that we have is the best and we need to take the best out of the competition."
It is a dangerous thing going into a new season, with a new manager and plenty of new faces without facing strong competition. FC Dallas will have to use the next couple of weeks to really mold and gel the team, thankfully given how most players are reacting to the UAE trip, the team chemistry appears to be where it needs to be at this point.
But as a few people have told me in the past, preseason games can tend to be overrated if you do too many of them. Just look at Chivas USA last year, they played plenty of preseason games and won the majority of them too. Look at how their season turned out.
[Quotes from this article came from audio that was supplied by the FC Dallas PR office]