FRISCO, Texas – Today is a good day for Paxton Pomykal.
The FC Dallas Homegrown signed a new long-term contract with the club and was called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team for the first time in three years.
Both are well deserved. Pomykal recaptured the form he showed in his breakout 2019 season after two injury-plagued years and played a career-high 35 games in 2022. The Dallas native’s all-action playstyle made him indispensable to Nico Estévez’s midfield that propelled FCD to the Western Conference semifinals.
“I love being here," Pomykal told FCDallas.com. "We’re starting something special with Nico (Estévez) and the rest of the guys and I want to be a part of that. I’m looking forward to the next few years here and bringing a title home.”
Pomykal’s leadership also came into the fore over the last 12 months. He wore the captain’s armband for the first time on April 30 and regularly leads pre-game speeches. With the departure of Matt Hedges this offseason, Pomykal is now FC Dallas’ longest-serving player having initially signed in 2016. He’s still just 23 years old.
The new contract ties Pomykal to FC Dallas through the 2026 season at least (there’s a club option for the 2027 season). Assuming he remains in Dallas through the contract’s end, Pomykal will become the longest-tenured player in club history.
“Paxton has shown how important he is to this cub since he made his debut,” said Dallas head coach Nico Estévez. “Every single year, you can see how important he is for the fans, the club and for every coach he’s had. He has many qualities that make him a special player for this franchise.
“On the field, you can see how smart he is, how hard he works, how much of a team player he is. He’s progressing in a way that makes him a key component for this team. Off the field, he’s learning how to lead his teammates. He has that personality where he wants to collaborate and participate. He helps the club in many areas and we’re really, really happy to have him here long term.”
The USMNT call up is another sign of Pomykal’s progress. It’s his third international camp but the first in three years. Pomykal built upon a strong U-20 World Cup campaign in 2019 with a senior debut later that year. But his fast-tracked national team career was put on hold while he dealt with a troublesome groin injury that ultimately forced him to miss much of the 2020 season. Three years on, however, the midfielder is back to his best and back with the country’s best.
“I wasn’t expecting it (the call up)," Pomykal admitted. "Coming off last season it was a surprise. But I’m happy I get to be back in camp and in front of those guys so I can hopefully showcase what I can do. I want to try my best to be in the cycle and in the discussion for the next World Cup cycle. I have to do everything in my power and play really well here (in Dallas) to do that. When I get these opportunities I have to make the most of them.
"The National Team wasn’t really on my mind the last two seasons. I just focused on having healthy seasons here and doing the best I could. Ultimately that’s the best thing to get back in the National Team system is to perform at you club. All my focus was here in Dallas. I supported my teammates who went to qualifiers and the World Cup and whatnot, but I never anticipated I would be there. But I had a good year last year and I’m going in hoping to make the most of the opportunity."