Fishing trip

Zimmerman and company enjoy "rare" extended off weekend with trip to Florida Keys

We all know of one thing in soccer that comes around every four years, but last weekend saw the rarest of the rare for FC Dallas players: four days off in a row in the middle of the season.

Walker Zimmerman rounded up the troops because he knew what they had to do.

“It was the first time we’ve had that [since I’ve been a pro] and once we found that out, I knew we had to do something,” said Zimmerman. “This is once every four years, as rare as a world cup, so we did everything we could to meet up and have a good time.”

That good time was held in the Florida Keys as Zimmerman, Ryan Hollingshead, Coy Craft and Ryan Herman headed south for some R&R and fishing. Yes, even the new father Ryan Hollingshead somehow convinced his wife to let him on the trip.

“Since I’ve been here for three years, we’ve never had four days off during the season so we knew we had to get out,” said Hollingshead. “I talked to [his wife] Taylor about it and I brought it up basically. She was really supportive from the start, I didn’t have to beg or anything. I’ve got a good one.”

Zimmerman and Craft arrived a day early and went “after some big sharks and marlins,” before the rest of the group arrived last Monday night. The chance to re-charge the batteries couldn’t have come at a better time for an FC Dallas group about to embark on a three games in eight days stretch as they look to qualify for the CCL quarterfinals and win the Supporters’ Shield before the playoffs start.

“It was perfect timing and lot of it is mental at this stage,” said Hollingshead. “Your body is used to grinding so it’s not so much physically getting rest but mentally to just get soccer out of your brain for a few days and relax and then it’s perfect because we’re back now and ready for game time, ready for crunch time. It’s refueled us and now hopefully we’ve got two months left.”