For starters, I’m not going to pretend that as an intern, I’m immediately let into the knowledge on all of the team’s goings-on and that I know more than any FC Dallas fan now.
What I will say, however, is that there truly is more than meets the eye.
In my time with FC Dallas’ marketing department as a Digital Content Intern, I was able to spend a great deal of time with the people who’s task it is to make sure the world knows about FC Dallas –– specifically DFW. Day by day, the team of graphic designers, marketers, video production specialists and social media/digital content coordinators work tirelessly but joyfully on fine-tuning the message that the club is trying to send: FC Dallas is a hidden gem in the metroplex sports scene that people really should give a chance because they’ll likely fall in love, just as all of us have (note: not their official message, but you get the idea).
You have to know that the team doesn’t do things without intention. In fact, more time is spent planning out how things are done like season ticket packages, jersey designs and game-night promotions than the actual production of those items. Without going into could-be sensitive information, each of these aspects require and receive care and attention because just like you and me, every member of the FC Dallas front office –– from Dan Hunt to Fernando Clavijo to Evie in HR –– cares deeply about this club and wants nothing but the best for it.
I see plenty of rhetoric that indicates that the staff doesn’t really care about the team because of the lack of this, or empty that. I want to ask you think logically about those kind of statements as someone who can’t see how incorrect that is first-hand. I seriously doubt that the ownership and leadership of a professional sports organization would ever intentionally do anything to ignore possible successes for the club and show any sort of irresponsibility in creating a successful team.
FC Dallas is in it’s golden years. On the cusp of a third-straight MLS Cup Playoff appearance, a spot in the team’s first Open Cup final since 2007 and a 1-0-0 record in the team’s first CONCACAF Champions League action since 2011. Add that, of course, to three USSDA National Championships in the last two years for the academy teams.
FC Dallas fans are loyal. I fully believe the critical language comes only from a place of wanting the club to be in the best position possible, but I think that there is so much negative attention drawn towards a club that is genuinely making strides like never before.
I got to spend a great deal of time watching and being around FC Dallas’ academy teams this summer and I can’t begin to describe just how bright the future is here. For names like Reggie Cannon, Devin Vega, Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal to name a small few, the club is consistently finding, developing and encouraging young soccer players to achieve their professional dreams. No other sport has the opportunity that soccer does to bring a kid in as a young teenager and turn him into an MLS All-Star. Kellyn Acosta is a shining example of where this team is headed and just how much they’ve figured out. We should be going crazy about that kind of success.
Without a doubt, the club isn’t perfect. But, no club is. This team knows it’s strong suits, it knows that the on-field product is among the best in country and that’s from the first team to the U-13s. Fans, understand the sort of blessing we have in FC Dallas. I am absolutely biased here not just as a fan but as a former member of the front office team, and I’m unapologetic about that. The club’s message is genuine, it’s smart, it’s savvy and it will yield results sooner rather than later. It just takes a trust of those in the positions that drive those sort of things and honestly, the encouragement of you the fans. Just as the players appreciate our support on match days, the front office thrives on a fanbase that’s supportive. We are supporters, we are a part of the club and that’s a beautiful gift. But at the end of the day, we don’t own the club and it’s really easy to criticize something that we aren’t in full knowledge of.
Think about the things you say about the club –– make them if you wish –– but know that the front office pays attention to those thoughts, takes them into consideration, and truly strives to do what they can with the resources they have to create an environment that’s among the best, if not the best, in Dallas-Ft. Worth.