FRISCO - FC Dallas’ training session was noticeably more crowded today as the entire North Texas SC squad joined in for the two clubs’ first joint session. While a few North Texas players have rotated in and out of FCD drills before, this was the first time both squads have combined forces for a full practice.
“Today was an amazing day for development,” FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez said afterwards. “From the staff to the players, being integrated with the first team guys, that’s really important for us. We want to learn from each other, be open, help each other grow. We’re all in this together and today was an opportunity to do that and have quality on the field. Having everybody participating and having a role, showing that they’re competing. Not every day will be like that, but it was a great opportunity to do that today."
A major advantage of the combined session was the extra numbers which allowed for two separate offense vs. defense drills with a mixture of FC Dallas and North Texas SC players. Although each team worked on both sides of the ball, the North Texas players were used more often on the defensive side of the drill.
“We wanted to do functional work, so being able integrate with the proper numbers is good,” North Texas SC head coach Eric Quill said. “This was a defensive functional day, so working on their individual profiles as defenders and how they want to group defend. So it was really about the individuals today.”
As central defenders, North Texas SC’s Cesar Murillo and Hector Montalvo were two of the individuals benefiting most from the defense-focused drills as they prepare to take on Orlando City B on Saturday.
“It helps us prepare a lot,” Murillo said. “They’re very experienced, physical, strong, technical. They’re all around good pros, so being able to go up against them makes the weekend’s game a little bit easier with that extra experience.”
“It’s always great to come out and train with the first team,” Montalvo added. “You always get good experiences, and you learn from really good players. I think doing a joint practice is something new and something good for the club. Hopefully it helps us grow and we can both get a result on the weekend.”
While joint training sessions between FC Dallas and North Texas SC will not be the norm day-to-day, the ability to add extra numbers and change the dynamic is an underlying benefit of having two professional teams within the organization.
“Having everybody be able to be together and get something really good out of it is great,” head coach Quill said. “It was nice to see the (North Texas SC) boys interact with the first-team guys and I think they really enjoyed it.”