Major League Soccer is close to wrapping up their first-ever summer tournament in Orlando as MLS is Back has just three more matches left. While FC Dallas was unable to play in the tournament due to an outbreak of the coronavirus within the team once they arrived in Florida at the beginning of July, the team has been training the last three weeks in Frisco to prepare for their return to the field in 2020.
Head coach Luchi Gonzalez spoke with members of the media in his weekly press conference call to discuss how he expects his club’s depth to play a vital role in the remainder of the season and when we may actually see them play again this season.
“These are good problems,” explained Gonzalez. “We’ve got depth in each position in the midfield. We’re two deep in all spots, and in some places, we’re three-deep.”
That depth will be key once the schedule is released for FC Dallas. Gonzalez expects a lot of back-to-back games and that he will be taking full advantage of the new five-sub rule that is in place for the 2020 season.
“I think it is the right thing to allow two extra subs,” said Gonzalez. “Even though teams are in Orlando, there are still concerns about fitness. You need to have the opportunity to rotate guys.
“For example our schedule, there are going to be a lot of weekend-mid week-weekend, back-to-back weeks in that way. And as you see in Europe, you need squad depth. I think it is to have their players give everything in their energy and their intensity. Its covered in the minutes they have, whether it is 45 (minutes), a half, 55 (minutes), 60 (minutes), 65 (minutes), and then have pieces ready to come in and end the game the way you want to. “
While there has been rumors of a restart date for FC Dallas against Nashville SC, Gonzalez couldn’t confirm anything with the media since everything is still fluid.
“We’ve made some subtle changes schedule wise,” said Gonzalez. “The confirmation with the league about the game fixture date has changed a few times. And although we believe we know a final date now, it is still not on the schedule. We just have to keep at it and remain ready for a game real soon.”
Once the games do resume, Gonzalez has learned from the Orlando tournament that ending the game with high energy will be key.
“It is important to end the game with energy for us and our style,” said Gonzalez. “And pushing the game, whether it is in a win, loss or draw, that we’re pushing from the opening minute to the end.”