The last couple of days have been a bit wild for FC Dallas fans and for the players, it has been no different. Coaching changes are always difficult and today was the first time that players were back out on the training pitch following the dismissal of Luchi Gonzalez as their manager.
Following training, a couple of players shared how they learned of the change, what is next and how they carry the responsibility of the results this season. For Matt Hedges, the feeling was something he’s been through a couple of times now with the club.
“I talked to Andre (Zanotta) on the phone,” explained Hedges. “It’s always a weird feeling when a coach leaves. You know with Schellas (Hyndman), Oscar (Pareja), and now Luchi, I’ve been through it a few times. It is part of the job, part of professional football. So we move on and we have to start focusing on the next game.”
Bressan echoed Hedges’ statement about how these changes are part of the game while offering up his take on how he felt about the move.
“Of course we are sad you know because we shared the responsibilities of the results,” said Bressan. “He’s a great guy, a great professional, I learned a lot from him. This is something that happens in soccer. I come from South America and this is something that is really common there.”
Hedges wasn’t shy on how the results this season fell on the players as much as it did on Gonzalez.
“We know with the way the season has been going that it is partially our fault,” said Hedges. “We haven’t been getting the results and at the end of the day if we don’t perform that comes back onto the coach and he’s the first one to go.”
In Monday’s media call about the coaching change, FC Dallas president Dan Hunt and technical director Andre Zanotta explained the move and how they believed this team could still get into the playoffs despite being down seven points in the standings with eight games to go.
“I’m not going to lie, it's going to be hard,” Hedges said about making the playoffs. “We have to win in Vancouver and get a few wins in a row. We have to have a few results go our way as well. It’s not going to be something that just happens, we’re going to have to put in the work. We’re going to have to get some results to go our way and get some luck on our side.”
Homegrown midfielder Paxton Pomykal explained that getting results is the only thing the team can focus on at the moment.
“Luchi has been a part of this club for a long time,” said Pomykal. “But at the end of the day, that decision was made and we gotta move forward. Our only focus now is Vancouver. The only thing we need right now is three points.”
FC Dallas will get their first test in a post-Luchi world as they travel to Canada on Saturday to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps.