FRISCO - Throughout the first years of his professional career, Zach Loyd has been a mainstay in the FC Dallas lineup. The iron man appeared in 86 games through his first three seasons with FCD, but 2013 was a rollercoaster as the Oklahoma-native fought through a groin injury.
Always someone known to play through pain, Loyd made 25 appearances last season, but only saw the field in three of the last eleven games of 2013, missing two games in a row for the first time in his professional life. After an offseason of treatment and rehab, however, Zach has finally returned to the pitch for FCD in Sunday’s 2-0 Reserve League win over Chivas USA and he says he feels great.
“I do feel a lot better. I’ve been struggling for a while with this groin so finally getting the right treatment and the right rehab, I feel stronger than I have in about a year so that’s a nice feeling to go out and focus on the game rather than how my body’s feeling,” said Loyd. “I’m excited about that and I’m excited to get back into it with the team and keep this run going that we’re on.”
Playing at his customary right back position, Loyd played 69 minutes in the match, a performance that impressed coach Pareja.
“I thought he was good,” said Pareja. “It was actually better than I thought it would be, just because his absence from the field has been long, but he wasn’t too rusty he looked very good.”
Known as a battler on the field that doesn’t give an inch, simply returning to competition is a huge step for Loyd. Now back to competing for a starting spot, Loyd’s return adds just another layer to what has become a deep and versatile Dallas defense.
“It was really good. I haven’t been in a competitive game since last five or six months so it was good to get those juices going again,” said Loyd. “It felt good to be a part of a team competing against another team with the camaraderie, so that was a great feeling. It was a good moment, it’s been a long time and I’m just excited to be back with the team and hopefully I can start contributing pretty soon.”