FRISCO − It’s no secret that the expectations are high for FC Dallas this season. On Monday, ESPN FC released their most recent power rankings and had FC Dallas ranked at number two in the MLS, right below the Seattle Sounders.
That same day in an interview on SiriusXM FC’s “United States of Soccer”, FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman told host Jason Davis, “I think the main thing is knowing it’s a new season. We aren’t entitled to anything because of our success last year. People see us as one of the teams to beat. So we always have a target on our backs. But every year is different.”
The team has traveled to Panama for the second leg of their CCL quarterfinals match against C.D. Árabe Unido. They’ll face the “Blue Express” at Estadio Armando Dely Valdés in Colón, Panama on Wednesday evening after winning 4-0 at home last week. Zimmerman attributed the team's preseason training in Argentina to their midseason form. And although FC Dallas has their MLS Season opener on Saturday in Los Angeles, Zimmerman and the team are focused on Wednesday’s hurdle − qualifying for the semifinal of the CONCACAF Champions League. “We’re just trying to take each thing in stride, one day at a time. One practice at a time. So our first goal of the year is qualifying for the semifinals in the Champions League. Then obviously after that it’ll be alright, let’s get our first three points on the road in LA. And just kinda take it one game at a time. I don’t know that we’ll be too focused on LA until after that game against Arabe Unido.”
As for the looking ahead to their success for the 2017 season, Zimmerman says he and the team are looking to the fans for that homefield advantage. “The past few seasons at home we’ve been extremely successful. I think that can be attributed to a couple different things. One is just the comfort of being in your home…and obviously the fans. What they bring to energize us day in and day out on our home games is extremely important. When they’re out there and they’re getting us riled up, it makes it easier to compete.”
You can watch FC Dallas at Arabe Unido this Wednesday, March 1 at 7pm on CONCACAF’s Facebook page. The team will then travel to California for the MLS season opener against the LA Galaxy. If you can’t make it to Los Angeles, you can watch the game broadcast on Univision at 3pm CT.
You can hear Walker Zimmerman’s entire interview On Demand on Monday’s episode of SiriusXM FC’s “United States of Soccer” with Jason Davis. The showairs Monday- Friday from 10am-12pm CT.