FRISCO - The calm before the storm.
FC Dallas wrapped up a morning practice on Friday before heading out their separate ways on the final bye weekend of the year before the 12-game sprint to the 2015 MLS regular season finish line.
"It’s huge for our focus but also for our bodies," said FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges. "It’s been a long season and I think a weekend off will do us a lot of good."
Oscar Pareja's squad heads into the final three months of the season sitting at the top of the MLS table, three points behind D.C. United and one point behind Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but in first place overall in points per game. The goals ahead for FCD over the last dozen games include finishing in the top two in the Western Conference standings which would mean avoiding a playoff play-in game and challenging for the Supporters' Shield awarded to the team at the top of the MLS standings at the end of the regular season.
"We’re playing for everything," Zach Loyd said after practice on Friday. "We come back and we’ll be sitting in a great spot to fight for the Supporters' Shield and I think everyone on this team has that in their sights, so we’re excited to come back and be competing for that and then turn around and it’s playoff time."
First up, however, is a little R&R before things ramp up starting with a Saturday, August 15th showdown against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"It’s good to just get away and spend time with friends and family or whatever it is you do," said Loyd. "I try to leave my cell phone [alone] because it’s good to just get away and recharge the battery."