Thoughts on Independence Day

FCD players talk about what makes Independence Day special to them

4th-story

Photo Credit: 
Rick Yeatts

In honor of the
upcoming Independence Day weekend, FCDallas.com sat down with several FCD
players to talk about their Fourth of July plans, favorite traditions and
connections to the Armed Forces. 

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FCDallas.com: Do you have
any family or friends in the military?

Eric Avila,
Midfielder (San Diego, California)

My cousin Robert is a Navy SEAL.  He’s based in San Diego right now.  He’s a big follower.  Every time I come home he wants to take me to
his base, and he always talks about me there. 
I feel like all his base knows about me. 
When I scored a goal, he sent out this mass e-mail telling his whole
base to vote for me for Goal of the Week last year. 

He’s been to Afghanistan;
he’s done all that.  He’s been
everywhere.  He doesn’t tell me where, he
just tells me he’s out on a mission, but he tells me cool stories. 

I know he’s proud of me, so he wants to tell all his friends
and take me on his base.

Zach Loyd, Defender (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

I live with my cousin right now and he served for eight
years in the Army.  His name is Roger
Jones.  He was in Iraq and then he lived in Germany for a
while. 

I don’t know a whole lot about it except that being in the
Army is a great honor and really hard to do. 
To go over there and serve the country, especially when there are so
many opportunities here, I think to volunteer to do that is pretty honorable,
pretty awesome.

Dax McCarty,
Midfielder (Winter Park, Florida)

(My dad) had a very decorated career in the Navy.  He was a fighter pilot and he actually flew
in the Top Gun squadron, which they actually based the movie Top Gun off of.  He did all that stuff; he flew in Vietnam off of
aircraft carriers.  He has some pretty
cool pictures.  He’s definitely an
inspiration.

FCDallas.com: What are
some of your favorite Fourth of July traditions?

Anthony Wallace,
Defender (St. Petersburg, Florida)

Usually it would be go down to Miami with my family, go down to the beach,
watch the fireworks, walk around and just have a good time. 

Avila: We usually go to the beach.  We always camp out and my whole family comes
to the beach.  We just sit there and camp
and ride the Jet Skis and it’s cool because we’re next to the beach – next to
Sea World – so we see all the fireworks at Sea World.  It’s really nice.  It’s just San Diego, it’s paradise.

Loyd: We just get
all of our family together and have a big barbeque and set off fireworks in the
road.  I’m from the country so we don’t
have any restrictions.

Kevin Hartman,
Goalkeeper (Palos Verdes, California)

Usually on the Fourth of July, back when I didn’t have to
play a game, I would go to the beach and barbeque with my friends, just have a
great time. 

I had the opportunity to visit the Air Force base where they
actually had the stealth bombers in Kansas.  That was a really cool opportunity to meet a
bunch of the pilots and it’s been something that I’ve always considered one of
the highlights of my soccer career in terms of off the field stuff.  The opportunity to be in the cockpit of one
of those stealth bombers was really, really cool. 

I usually just take the opportunity to hang out with family
and friends.  It’s really cool for me
because I’ve actually been a part of a bunch of the biggest celebrations for
Fourth of July in whichever city I’ve been playing in because of the fact that
the soccer and the fireworks thing kind of go hand in hand.  I’ve really kind of relished that. 

I’ve been a part of some really big games.  At the Rose Bowl we’ve played in front of
70,000 people on the Fourth of July.  It
was just really something that was cool. 
The fireworks shows have always been amazing.

George John, Defender
(Shoreline, Washington)

My family has a cabin up in Washington on a really nice lake, and every
year we have a big party out there.  I’ve
got a lot of good memories of just being with family and friends and watching
great firework displays.  It’s always a
good time, great weather and lots of fun.

Heath Pearce,
Defender (Modesto, California)

(In Europe) I would get
fireworks.  They have fireworks there,
but not for the Fourth of July.  I would
find them whenever I could throughout the year, whenever they had them, and
light them off.  But they don’t have fun
ones, they just have boring ones. 

Brek Shea,
Midfielder/Forward (College Station,
Texas)

Buy lots and lots of fireworks, and a bonfire at my house in
College Station.  We do s’mores.

McCarty: Obviously
I haven’t been home for the past couple Fourth of Julys.  We always used to go to a little racket club
we were involved in.  We would always go
out and sit by the pool and they would always have a little party. 

It was actually on the lake and they would have this big
barge out on the lake and just do like a 30-minute fireworks show.  We would always go swimming and barbeque and
have a whole bunch of family and friends around.

FCDallas.com: What are
your plans looking like for this Fourth of July?

Avila: I have
no clue yet.  I haven’t made any
plans.  Trying to look for a beach or a
lake or something.  I’m a Cali boy, so I have to go
out.

Loyd: We’re going
to my uncle’s house.  They live out in
the country and my family’s coming up and some other aunts and uncles.  They’re going to come catch the game and then
we’re going to watch the fireworks show here. 
Then probably go to Kaboom Town in Addison.  Then go to my uncle’s Saturday night.  And on Sunday just barbeque, fireworks, hang
out with family.

Hartman: I heard
there was a Fourth of July parade, a kid’s parade or something in the area, so
I was going to try to take my daughter out and make sure she enjoys that. 

John: No big
plans.  Hopefully some of the guys and I
will figure something out to do.  Other
than that, no big plans, just focusing on the game on Saturday.

McCarty: This
year I really haven’t made any plans. 
I’m sure we’ll figure out something to do with some guys on the
team.  I would like to go to a beach
somewhere or something.  That’s usually
what I did if I wasn’t out there on the lake. 
But I’m not sure; don’t have any plans so far.  I’m sure I’ll buy some sparklers and light them
off in my backyard to celebrate. 

Be sure to come out to
Pizza Hut
Park on Saturday, July 3 to watch FC
Dallas take on the Kansas City
Wizards.  The game kicks off at 7:30
p.m., but get there early for Happy Hour in the Pizza Hut Park Beer Garden featuring hamburgers, $2 beers
and $4 wine and margaritas.

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The night will also feature a halftime presentation
from The American Fallen Soldiers Project and a post-game Independence Day
fireworks display.

For more information,
visit FC Dallas Promotional Nights.