FRISCO - It's still preseason, but Friday's match at Toyota Stadium against DC United has plenty of significance for both sides.
For FC Dallas, this is the first opportunity to strut their stuff in front of the home fans in Frisco since playing Seattle Sounders FC to a 1-1 draw in the MLS Cup Playoffs on November 2nd.
"I can’t wait to see the fans again," said head coach Oscar Pareja. "I know the boys have commented in the locker room that they’re ready to see the fans again and get going."
With just two games and 180 minutes separating Pareja's side from MLS competition, this game is crucial to get more match fitness for his side while making final decisions both on who will start against San Jose on March 7th as well as who could earn one of the final two or three spots on the roster.
"We would like to keep adding some minutes in preparation for the season," Pareja said about his goals for Friday's game while adding that he expects starters to play about 60 minutes. "We still have two more games to tune up the team and we’ll take the best out of it."
Results are certainly not the final goal of preseason matches, but Atiba Harris knows the importance of getting things started strong in front of the home fans where FC Dallas won 12 of 17 regular season matches in 2014.
"It’s important for the team to play [well]," said Harris. "Some of the fans traveled down to Austin, but to have the home game here in front of the fans is huge for us and hopefully we get the season started now."
For DC United, this represents the final match before they begin the knockout round of the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League. Ben Olsen's side will face LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica in Alajuela on Thursday, February 26th before hosting the return leg at RFK Stadium on Wednesday, March 4th.
"With Ben we have a good friendship," said Pareja. "We’ve been around the league and played against each other for many years and now we're both in the job leading the clubs. So in that sense we’re in the same path in terms to the way we’ve developed as players and coaches, so we have a good relationship."
Tickets are available for Friday's game HERE or at the Toyota Stadium box office. Doors open at 6:30PM for the 7:30PM kickoff and tickets are $10 for General Admission and $25 for Reserved.