2024 Season

Indonesia’s New Goalkeeper? Maarten Paes on International Future


FC Dallas may soon be sharing its star goalkeeper with Indonesia, a country home to nearly 300 million located in Southeast Asia. Shot-stopper Maarten Paes recently gained Indonesian citizenship with an eye to playing for its national team.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Paes is eligible to play for Indonesia via his late grandmother who was born in the country when it was still known as the Dutch East Indies.

“I want to play for Indonesia because, first of all, it's a tribute to my grandmother,” Paes explained. “She passed away a month ago and I was very, very close with her…Our last conversations before she passed away were about this. I saw the smile in her eyes that it meant a lot to her.

“And then if you look to the soccer side, there's endless opportunities there. We're on the verge of qualifying for the Olympics in August. We're very close to qualifying for the World Cup in 2026 in America, which would be a full circle moment…I'm very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity. And the people there are so friendly, it feels like home.”


Paes recently returned from a short trip to Jakarta – Indonesia’s capital – where he received his passport, one of the final steps needed to play internationally. He’ll still need to wait for FIFA approval having previously played for the Netherlands Youth National Teams.

The trip also served as a learning experience for the many long-haul flights in Paes’ future. His journey from Dallas to Jakarta required 19 total hours of flying. A day later, he made the return trip with passport in hand. And while professional athletes are certainly no strangers to air travel, regular flights across the globe (and into new time zones) aren’t easy on the body.

Balancing his FC Dallas responsibilities with his far-flung national team adventures will be a new challenge; one Paes is already preparing for. He employs a sleep coach to aid his day-to-day recovery as well manage transcontinental flights.

“I'm always looking for little details to become better and I think sleeping is one of the most important things in life…I knew it's going to be a challenge. If you want to partner (playing for) FC Dallas with flying back and forth to (Indonesia), I know that it takes a lot of discipline, and it takes a lot of preparation before going.”

There’s no doubting Paes’ commitment. He’s well aware of the undertaking and is excited about the opportunities in front of him and Indonesian Nation Team–currently ranked 134th in the world.

“What I want to achieve is putting Indonesia on the soccer map,” he said. “It’s a huge country, 300 million people and their number one sport is football, or soccer. If you see the amount of support that they get, the potential that is there, it's just time to fulfill that potential.

“And off the field, I also want to be leading by example and have a huge impact there. I still have to see what kind of ways we can do that. But yeah, definitely, I have some huge plans.”

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Sale Now!

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Sale Now!

FC Dallas will begin its 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign against Memphis 901 FC on May 7th at 7:30PM!