The first friendlies of the preseason are finally here. FC Dallas will play NTX Rayados today at 4PM and Houston Baptist University on February. 2 at 12PM.
Both will help the team gear up for the double-header next weekend against USL side San Antonio FC and FCD’s German partner’s U-23 side in Bayern Munich.
So what are we hoping to see in these first pair of friendlies? Our staff dives into the few items they’re looking for today and on Saturday.
Jason Poon - How uncomfortable are we talking about?
Luchi Gonzalez has talked about getting players to be “uncomfortable” so much that I’m about to turn it into a drinking game. Just how uncomfortable are we talking about? Is he going to have Dominique Badji out wide? Is Santiago Mosquera going to play centrally? Will he pull Matt Hedges aside and tell him to purposefully do an own goal to see how the team will respond? What’s he gonna do to make them uncomfortable?
Drew Epperley - Who goes first...
While we can all assume who the starting lineup should be for Luchi Gonzalez in their first friendly, we truly don’t know right now where everyone actually stands with him. I think there are some safe bets like Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Carlos Gruezo and Jesse Gonzalez to name a few but in some ways there feels like a lot of open spots on this first team lineup right now.
Jose Carmona - Tactics, tactics, tactics
It's all about the formations, group pairings, and tactics for me. The first opponent will be overmatched, so there's no reason to hold back. I'll be looking for little things that we didn't see last season, or at any point under Papi.
Jeff Loftin - Nothing Really
There is not much that I could see during these friendlies that will sway me or change my mind about this team. Time will tell and while I believe in Luchi, real change takes time so I am taking the friendlies with a grain of salt. My expectations are not high to begin with, so unless the team just gets absolutely embarrassed I do not know that anything changes for me. Although, come see me in July and then I can tell you how important the friendlies were.
Ben Lyon - The Newbies
It’s going to be hard to take away too much from these scrimmages. The team will have been in camp for less than two weeks, and it will probably lack the cohesion it will have as February rolls along.
We’ll miss out on the new Acosta this weekend, but it will be pretty cool to check out what guys like Bressen and the Cobra (Zdenek Ondrasek) have to offer. It will also be interesting to see the Homegrowns, this years draftees, and last year’s GAs (Francis Atuahene and Ema Twumasi) to see how they’ll integrate in this year’s team. I have to think 2-3 of those guys will end up being significant contributors this year.
Jared Tilley - Flash & Sparkle
I want the younger players to use the opportunity to impress. I want them to come in and ball out. Sure they have only been in camp for a two weeks or so, but hopefully they are able to show what exactly they have to offer.
There is a lot of promise in the younger ranks and this is a perfect time to show that they are ready to start pushing for fringe minutes with the first team. Hopefully this scrimmage is the beginning of a year where the young studs make their cases for first team minutes. Either you play well, or you move aside.