Sports is one thing that will bring people together and soccer is the universal language, hence the reason I love sports. In late April I was I was able to integrate myself with the FC Dallas Communication Team, that day was marked by huge excitement to join my colleagues. Today, I look back as we are closing 2017 to let you know the Top 5 stories that you must read or watch during the 2016-2017 season. These top 5 stories are throughout the season so I decided to go in chronological order, I’ll let you decide the order.
Preseason: The Science of Acclimating to Altitude in Mexico for FC Dallas
This took place before I became a part of the FC Dallas family, but having my dad take me to the Cotton Bowl during the Dallas Burns day and growing up watching Liga MX at home we definitely had this game in our calendar. This story stood out due to the science behind the fields and if you have not been to Estadio Hidalgo located in Pachuca, well this story will intrigue you. FC Dallas was training in Mexico for a week in order to prepare for the change in altitude since Estadio Hidalgo is roughly 8,000 feet above sea level. This means that players where training with approximately 20 percent less oxygen in the air than what they are accustomed to at home in Dallas. Hear from our strength and conditioning coach Fabian Bazan and head athletic trainer Skylar Richards on the importance of adjusting players to Estadio Hidalgo and the science behind it.
This story is one that you just have to READ, there is no doubt about it. Many people who work in this industry can talk to you about their ups and downs throughout their careers. Carter Baum wrote a piece on our very own FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo and he nailed it! From his Uruguayan roots to his battles on and off the field, you get to know more of who Fernando Clavijo truly is. Like MLS analyst for Univision and retired soccer defender Marcelo Balboa said “the passion he has for our sport is infectious and I think that’s a key thing that draws people in.” Get ready for a story that truly gives you a lot of feels.
FC Dallas assistant coach Josema Bazán's is also a "Chef Bazán" and his recipe is up for grabs. This is a team bonding moment that is a part of the FC Dallas Culture. Rule Number one: NO PHONES. FC Dallas truly is a family. Seeing everyone at the dinner table, coaches cooking, and everyone being themselves showcased a part of the team that you usualy do not see on the field. I am not kidding check it out.
This story took me back to my younger days, and I am sure YOU can relate. Have you ever played a sport and you were on the sideline ready to hear your name called up? Maybe you were a part of the band that is about to hit the stage. How about a dancer ready to perform during half-time? All the adrenaline hits you, the lights are bright, your heart feels like it skipped a beat of excitement, you’ve been preparing for this very moment your whole life. Well, that is close to what homegrown Jesus Ferreira felt on his debut with MLS, at the age of 16. Yes, Ferreira at just 16 years became the youngest player to appear for FC Dallas and the second-youngest player in the history of Major League Soccer. Not only that but he scored in the 89th minute. So much history was made that day from Ferreira’s debut to Victor Ulloa’s 100th MLS appearance and let us not forget Roland Lamah scoring the fastest hat-trick in franchise history.
Players Spooked at Dark Hour
Who doesn't like a good scare? I mean come on, FC Dallas Players + Haunted House = SPOOKTACULAR
Let me start by explaining that dark scenes are not easy to shoot so imagine recording their experience. Not only do you get a good laugh at the players being scared but the fact that on the same day some of our multimedia co-workers, Foster and Mallorie gave us insiders on their experience and how they had to do a walk through themselves in order to shoot this. Just imagine holding a camera, and having a scary clown pop out of no-where, no thank you. If you want to get a feel for how afraid the players where lets just say this is one of the few times I saw Carlos Gruezo afraid of someone or something.
It was the last week of training and members of the American and Haitian Soccer Team Amputee Society joined together for a practice like no other with the FC Dallas team. This is a story that truly inspired me and maybe will motivate you. Interviewing and shooting this story made me realize how many obstacles they have overcome and how they do not allow one moment in their life to stop them from reaching their goal.