FRISCO, Texas — When FC Dallas faces Real Salt Lake this weekend for the second time this season, both sides will feature multiple Homegrown players. The two teams hold the highest percentage of minutes given to homegrown talent in MLS — something both are known for and proud of.
FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake combine for 47 Homegrown players signed in both clubs’ histories, which ranks at the top of the entire league — FC Dallas has signed 26, the most of any team, with RSL close behind with 21.
Both teams are setting the standard for a possible future of MLS — a future where most teams rely on Homegrown talent as their heartbeats.
“It’s always nice to play an opponent that has a similar philosophy,” FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “I’m not into trying to compare one to the other. We have ours, they have theirs. It should be a nice contest, and we’re going to push our young players and our veteran players to fight for the same purpose with the same reason. It’s nice to have this type of game with two similar philosophies, and I think, over time, that philosophy can grow in the league with other clubs.”
Not only are FC Dallas and RSL producing and playing significant homegrown talent every week, but both teams are also finding success. FCD currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference and just three points behind third-placed Seattle Sounders. RSL follows closely behind in seventh place, right above the playoff line.
This weekend’s match will have a playoff feel to it, and both teams know how important this game is during the second half of the 2019 season.
“They believe in their young players,” FC Dallas attacker Jesus Ferreira said. “Here, we have a lot of young talent. I think we’re probably one of the biggest clubs that signs a lot of Homegrowns and plays them, so I think that it shows that our Academy is important for the club. It’s a playoff game, pretty much, for us. We need to get points, keep climbing in the table, and just make sure we are above the line.”
FC Dallas midfielder Brandon Servania said it’s cool to see Homegrown players around the league in similar positions as him — trying to make the first team and maintaining consistency within the squad.
“Every game is special,” Servania said. “Every chance you get to play in MLS is an opportunity. It’s great to see other guys like me in my position trying to build form the academy, trying to start their careers, so it’s great to see that.”
FC Dallas will play three teams currently above the playoff line, including RSL, within the next four matches, including second and fourth placed LA Galaxy and Minnesota United, respectively.
That makes the match against RSL that much more important for FCD to secure all three points, especially with it being at Toyota Stadium.