Nico Estevez on Dante Sealy's new role with FC Dallas
The new formation has unlocked something special in preseason for the Dallas Homegrown.
After failing to secure a transfer last year in Holland, FC Dallas Homegrown attacker Dante Sealy returned to Frisco, hoping to restart his career with his hometown club again. Head coach Nico Estevez immediately saw something in Sealy as the 20-year old appeared in ten games over the course of the final four months of the regular season.
Going into the 2024 season, Estevez has switched his formation and tactics up a bit, which has helped unlock what Sealy is able to do on the field for FC Dallas.
“I think we found a really good position, and so we marked him on a hybrid between winger and fullback, and now he feels comfortable,” said Estevez following the club’s final preseason game in Spain on Thursday. “He is learning something that we started working on last year with him.”
Estevez also commented that having Sealy in the preseason camp this year, unlike in 2023 when he was still in Holland, has helped his connection with his teammates.
“The preseason helps everyone to know better the responsibilities, the spaces and also their teammates,” said Estevez. “I think having the whole preseason for him is helping his teammates find him in good spots, and he's doing a good job.
Sealy scored four goals during the club’s preseason camp in Spain, including two set-piece goals. But the defensive responsibilities are something that he is still learning in this new role.
“It’s a different role, but I think attacking-wise, I think it's still kind of the same role as a winger; I'm wide, I'm high up the pitch,” said Sealy. “But you know, defensively, he [Nico Estevez] wants us in a certain shape. So I think it's something to get used to.”
Estevez echoed the fact that Sealy still has some improvement to do in this new role.
“I think he needs to keep on improving,” said Estevez. “He has a lot of room to improve and get fit first. But he's showing that, you know, he has a great mentality and came to this preseason with a mindset to have a good preseason and put himself in a good position to start their season.”
FC Dallas will wrap up their preseason campaign with one more match next Saturday at Toyota Stadium when they host D.C. United before kicking off the 2024 regular season on Saturday, February 24, against the San Jose Earthquakes.