FRISCO - It's hard to believe, but just over three weeks separate FC Dallas from the start of the 2015 MLS campaign and things begin to ramp up in earnest this weekend as FCD travels to Austin for the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge.
Three weeks ago, FCD began preseason training camp, but to date they have only played two relatively low-octane friendlies in Florida so this weekend's chance to play games in front of big crowds in Austin is an opportunity they're looking forward to.
"We’re getting ready and looking forward to having good performances [in Austin] as we get closer to the season and the opener," said Oscar Pareja. "Players are more ready and accomplishing different objectives which is not just fitness now, but collective effort of the team. So we’re pretty happy just to have these games and have the opportunity to keep looking at other players."
FC Dallas will play two games in Austin beginning with Friday's tournament semifinal against Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew SC at 5:45PM. FCD will then play against either the hosts, Austin Aztex of the USL or DC United depending on the winners and losers of Friday's doubleheader. Sunday's match will kick off at either 1:00PM or 3:15PM depending on if they're in the third place match or the championship.
Big crowds are expected at UT-Austin's Mike A Myers stadium with many FC Dallas fans making the trip down I-35 South for the weekend in the Texas capital where they'll see FCD in competitive action for the first time this season.
"We looking for competitition, at least 60 minutes in the games for the guys who normally start," said Pareja. "and also check some other guys who I still want to look at in different competitions."
FC dallas fans not making the trip to Austin will be able to watch the matches on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 323 for TWC subscribers, while the matches will also be streamed live here on the Austin Aztex YouTube page.