FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas was the third team to arrive in Orlando ahead of the MLS is Back tournament after San Jose Earthquakes and Orlando City SC arrived earlier in the week.
FC Dallas departed Toyota Stadium for DFW airport in two charter buses at 8:45AM Saturday morning after receiving a resounding send off from the Dallas Beer Guardians and El Matador supporters’ groups. In addition to the 40-odd delegation of players and staff, the team brought an impressive array of equipment for its four-week minimum stay at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin resort.
Head Equipment Manager Marcus Owens revealed that the team brought 70 soccer balls, five sets of training gear for each outfield player, four sets for each goalkeeper, four sets of coach’s training gear, two sets of both home and away uniforms, and even a full-size soccer goal and net. The extra equipment meant a U-Haul truck had to be used to ferry it all from the airport to hotel instead of just utilizing the charter bus cargo bays like usual away trips.
“It’s about packing everything we have,” Owens said, summing it up.
To ensure safe passage to Florida, the team flew on a chartered Delta airlines flight with one person per row of seats. Once in Orlando, MLS’s safety protocols called for each player and staff member to undergo a COVID-19 test immediately upon arrival at the Disney resort. Afterwards, everyone self-quarantined in their separate rooms until the results were finalized.
FC Dallas’ first training session at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports is scheduled for 7PM this evening (Sunday, June 28).