Discover more from Big D Soccer
Nico Estevez hopes for hostile environment at Toyota Stadium
FC Dallas coaches and players hope to lean on their home support in Saturday's game.
One of the many goals for FC Dallas in 2023 was to be able to play some playoff games at Toyota Stadium. As the season went on and the injuries piled up, it was going to be tougher for the North Texas side to be able to get multiple games at home in the playoffs, especially when it took them up until Decision Day to clinch a playoff spot.
Going into Saturday’s game two with the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas manager Nico Estevez wants to make the most of his club’s opportunity at home with a loud and rowdy crowd.
“They always have been behind the team, and I want like a very hostile type of environment on Saturday,” said Estevez. “A really, really hostile like a real, meaningful soccer game. You know, the ones that you always remember.
“This will help the players when you know they're tired or they're fatigued or they have some frustration for a play. It will help the players to go and, you know, I'm always optimistic, and one of the things that we said we want to get back to Seattle to play the game, and hopefully, we can win it at home in front of our fans.”
FC Dallas will be looking for their first home win since late August when they downed rivals Austin FC on a last-minute Nkosi Tafari goal. In the remaining five home games during the regular season, FC Dallas tied each of those, including a 1-1 draw with the Sounders. Just like in Game One in Seattle on Monday, FC Dallas had several chances in that September meeting to put the Sounders away but failed to capitalize on them.
“The first thing is we have to play 90 minutes at a high intensity and mentality. When you make mistakes in these kinds of games, it hurts you a lot,” said Estevez. “And also when you have your momentum, we have to you have to capitalize the chances. You know, I think we've learned those things.”
The attack will have to rely more on players like Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola now that Alan Velasco is out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury. Estevez remains optimistic that things could work out for his club to get another game at home this year.
“You never know, and maybe it's not the last game we play at home,” added Estevez.