FRISCO – After having Tuesday off, FC Dallas began preparations on Wednesday for the Texas Derby this Sunday (12 p.m. CT on ESPN2) against the Houston Dynamo.
On the line at Sunday’s match are bragging rights and "El Capitán," the civil war-era replica cannon. Veteran defender Zach Loyd is no stranger to the intensity of the rivalry.
“Guys are pretty excited about [the match] because of the tradition behind it,” said Loyd. “It’s a great environment, so hopefully we come out strong, match their intensity and put on a good show.”
With the club having Tuesday off, Wednesday’s training wasn’t heavy on game strategy, but players like Loyd already know what the Dynamo are about and what it will take to emerge victorious.
“We haven’t really gotten into film yet, but they are always a great team and we know what Houston is going to bring,” said Loyd. “Every year they play to make the playoffs so, they are going to work hard and they are going to battle. We know we are going to have to match their intensity and the physicality of the game.”
The heated rivalry has seen its fair share of competitiveness and explosive emotions. Both sides have even thrown a few elbows throughout the years.
“It’s a prideful game that always gets physical,” said Loyd. “It’s a ‘who is the best team in the state’ kind of thing. The fans really care about the game and it’s a game that we want to get three points for and win El Capitán.”