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FC Dallas' formula for success: Team chemistry

“That team chemistry is really important because we fight for one another on the field”

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t need to have a degree in the field of science to recognize FC Dallas’ chemistry.

Dallas players are always together on and off the field, from hanging out at team barbeques, to winning PlayStation 4s at Dave & Buster’s, to cleverly escaping from a room at Escape Expert.

"It just shows you how close we are and how much we love each other," midfielder Victor Ulloa said. "We want to be around each other all the time even when we don’t have to."

The biggest playoff game in Toyota Stadium history awaits on Sunday, and the players have been staying after practice, putting the extra work in when they don’t have to.

"We’ve had that all year and that’s helped us," said Ulloa. "That team chemistry is really important because we fight for one another on the field."

FC Dallas isn’t a team of All-Stars or guys that make millions of dollars, but they still get the job done and have all year long. They aren’t older veterans, they’re young, but play with a veteran’s discipline.

"We got a lot of guys that are just hard-workers and team players," said defender Ryan Hollingshead. "I think that’s what leads to our success. Nobody’s on the field thinking ‘I’m the man,’ we’re all thinking ‘we’re doing this together as a team,’ and we’re gonna take down people because of our hard work and our effort and our skill."

The chemistry off the field is helping FC Dallas on the field. The locker room environment is an environment most athletes wish they could have in their careers. The team chemistry is off the charts, and it’s something they will need ahead of the second leg Western Conference Semifinals clash with Seattle Sounders FC.

"I think we’ve proven all year we’re the better team than Seattle," said Hollingshead. "We just have to prove it in this series."

Though they’re frustrated to be down 2-1 in the series after leading for most of the first leg, Dallas is confident they will make the changes needed to win at home.

"We dominated most of the game and then a little [lack of] concentration in the back and we paid for it," said Ulloa. "We’re confident and we got an important road goal. We know we’re good at home. We’re ready to battle on Sunday."