Note: Marco Carrizales has been with FC Dallas since the beginning of the program in 2008-2009. The central midfielder has started for the Academy all five years of its existence, working all the way to starting for the FC Dallas Reserves in two matches this season. Carrizales was a starter on last year's Under-18 National Championship team and this year he will blog for FC Dallas during this week, his last playoffs with the FCD academy before graduating to play at SMU in the fall.
Day 5 (After 1-1 draw with Albertson SC, eliminating FCD under-18s from the playoffs)
Sitting here in the locker room, reminiscing on the past 5 years is tough. I find myself inside my locker, not able to leave. I can't get up, I don't want to get up. I want to stay here as long as possible, I don't want to believe its over. But reality is telling me it is.
It's been a great ride I've had here, there's many people I won't forget and memories I will always get to keep. From my first training kit that was two sizes too big for a scrawny 13-year-old, to being given a hand exercise machine in hopes that I would give a firmer handshake, to my very last time to take the pitch as an FC Dallas player, I've bled the FC Dallas red, white, and blue for a long time now.
I will always bleed these colors. I am happy that I can at least say I was here from the start, a pioneer at the club. A part of the team that was fortunate enough to be held at the number one spot for the first time in FC Dallas and MLS history. But my time has come to leave this place and travel along a new path.
I will always keep this place very close to my heart, and I am proud of my group this year. We gave it everything we had, and we left our lives out on the field. I can't complain about that.
To everyone at FC Dallas, the staff, the trainers, the pro staff, and anyone else I am forgetting. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, carry on and stay Dallas Til You Die. I know I will!
Day 3 (After 3-0 win over Concorde Fire)
And we're back in just like that. With 3 points last night, and a 3-0 shutout, we are in a great spot going into Thursday's matchup.
It won't be easy, legs are starting to get tired, but mentally everyone is at full strength. With a win of two goals or more, we are in to finals week. Everyone is ecstatic over last nights win, and very excited for Thursday.
As for today, we are going in for a regen session to get our legs somewhat back to normal. The third game is always the toughest, bodies are tired and the game lacks a little enthusiasm, but whoever is mentally more fit moves on.
Thursday is our National Championship. Whatever happens, I'm proud of this group, but I know we're following a good path right now and will continue to. All the way until we reach the national championship, again.
Day 2 (After 1-0 loss to Columbus in the week's first match.)
A crucial three points slipped out of our hands last night versus Columbus. With the 1-0 loss, it does not leave us in an ideal position, but being in the competition and league for five years now I do know one thing, it is never over until the final game is played.
I had a good talk with the boys last night after the match in the locker room. I told them that I had been to Finals Week twice within my five years here at FC Dallas, my very first year and last year. I told them it wasn't easy for one second. I told them just because we wear the FC Dallas patch doesn't mean we are automatically admitted into Finals Week, there is no rule set for that.
I said, now we do this for pride. Now we do this for the 13 hours of training we have each week, we do this for us. I said that nothing is over yet, and we have a very important game tonight.
Everyone responded great immediately, I saw smiles again and heard laughter and chatter. You can not win unless you're having fun. A lot of people lose sight of that, once pressure is put on your shoulders.
Now that some of the new guys have an idea of how teams gun for FC Dallas, I know we will be okay. Three points tonight and we are right back in this competition. BUSCA LA FORMA. DTID!
How's it going everybody, Marco Carrizales here.
As another USSDA Playoff looms, my team and I are extremely excited. It's that time of the year again, the time to compete. This being my fifth USSDA playoffs to compete in with FC Dallas, I know all the outs and ins of this. Every game is important, three points is a must.
I'm already starting to get butterflies, but that's a good thing. I'm very confident going into this year's competition. With Crew Soccer Academy, Concorde Fire and Albertson SC, it won't be easy.
At FC Dallas we play a certain style, and it has been imprinted on me since day one. We have plenty of experience within our lineup and I am ready for whatever stands in my way of a back-to-back National Championship. Tonight means rest and complete focus. Ahead lies the three most important games of our season, these games being played in just a four-day span. Its a very grueling task, no time for the weak. Only the strongest teams move on, and I am sure we are amongst them.
This is our time to rise to the top, once again. At FC Dallas we have a motto, "BUSCA la forma" *find a way* and we stand by it and we will find our way yet again.
See you all out at field 13 at 7 PM. We need everyone's support! We're all in this together, Dallas Til I Die.