On Thursday, FC Dallas will face Brimstone Cup rival Chicago at Toyota Park. And though FCD’s main focus is to defeat the Men in Red on their home field, head coach Schellas Hyndman and his players can’t help but look forward to August 5, when Inter Milan visit Pizza Hut Park for an international friendly.
The 2010 UEFA Champions League titleholders will visit Pizza Hut Park in what will clearly be one of the biggest events ever to grace FCD’s home field. Hyndman, for one, is excited.
“It will be exciting to play a team of that caliber in Pizza Hut Park,” said the FCD coach. “We might have been able to pick up a game like that somewhere else, [such as] Cowboy Stadium or the Cotton Bowl, but to get a game of that level in Pizza Hut Park is really fantastic.”
His players are equally ecstatic about the upcoming match, which was announced over the weekend.
“It’s going to be a great experience for us and a great thing for the city of Dallas, especially for all the FC Dallas fans,” said team captain Daniel Hernandez. “This is the first time anyone of the stature of Inter Milan has come in here and given us a chance to play them. I think games like this are very important for this franchise.”
FCD midfielder Dax McCarty agrees.
“[Inter are the] best team in the world as of right now. Clearly this is going to be the first time that there has been a friendly of this magnitude played against us,” he said. “I’m very, very excited. [It’s] clearly a great opportunity for our team and certainly one that we’re looking forward to.”
The news about the match against Inter Milan, who achieved a rare treble by also capturing the Serie A and Coppa Italia titles, was as much a surprise to the players as it was to the public; only a small group of FCD employees knew about it before it was officially announced on Saturday.
“We knew that the front office was trying to work on some sort of friendly against a good opponent,” McCarty said. “To be honest, no one could have assumed or expected it to be the magnitude of Inter Milan.
“They did a good job of keeping it under wraps because not even the players knew about it. When the announcement was made, there was some buzz going around the locker room. It’s definitely exciting.”