FC Dallas left for their ground-breaking preseason trip to United Arab Emirates from DFW Airport on last Thursday morning. Over the next two weeks, FCD will train twice daily and play at least two games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Here at FCDallas.com, we'll be bringing you updates from the team as we prepare for March 8! Here's the second installment written by FC Dallas Director of Public Relations Leigh Anne Gullett:
Preseason life in Abu Dhabi has started settling into a routine. Breakfast is at 7 a.m. with pretty standard fare (although no deep fried mashed potato bites today) and training starts at 9 a.m. This early in the year there is a lot of focus on fitness, which means plenty of running and hard work. All players have an adidas miCoach chip in their undershirts and the athletic training staff monitors work/recovery rates throughout each session. Oscar often joins the players on their training runs and answered Fernando’s sideline heckling with a grin this morning after trailing the pack.
The entire team relocated to the hotel’s fitness center for the tail end of the morning session, buddying up for strength training exercises. Training wrapped up around 11 a.m. and lunch was served 30 minutes later. After lunch, the guys either headed to the lobby for the wireless internet, to the training room to get treatment or to their respective rooms for down time and naps. We left the hotel complex for the first time in the afternoon with a 3:15 p.m. bus over to a nearby sports complex for our second session of the day. The complex was really nice and training went well, wrapping up with a little 8v8 game. Then, it was back to the hotel for dinner and a less physically taxing game.
A lot of the guys are fond of board games and we’ve had a long-standing tradition of playing different games on road trips. We started with Risk on an iPad back in 2011 (which eventually led to a year-long ban on Risk because of excessive arguing), then progressed to Monopoly on an iPad and, more recently, game night gatherings prior to the start of preseason. With two full weeks of hotel living in a foreign country ahead of us, we decided to bring an assortment of board games. Several people contributed games to a medium-sized carry-on duffel bag and Ryan Hollingshead earned the rookie honors of carting the bag from Dallas to UAE. He may or may not have had a slight problem getting it through security in Dubai, however, minus a small casualty, the bag made it to Abu Dhabi.
Sunday night, the bag provided postgame entertainment with Settlers of Catan. A few things everyone should know about Settlers... It’s addictive, and no one (most likely even his own family) wants to play with Bobby Warshaw. Unfortunately, the game belongs to Bobby. It also happens to make Bobby obnoxious, especially when he called a perfectly reasonable move by Team AJ/Leigh Anne “illogical.” Bobby then lost Settlers of Catan to Adam Moffat on an epic “give me all your wheat resources” monopoly play.
While we’re giving shout-outs, Kyle Zobeck and Chris Seitz also have claimed Settlers’ victories on this trip. After the game we watched a few local sports highlights, discussed the week’s agenda (rumor has it camel rides are in our future and Hollingshead says he saw camel races on TV yesterday… he should have called everybody for that one), and dispersed to our separate rooms to get ready for bed.
We’re back at it again tomorrow with double sessions…