FRISCO - It’s a rematch, of sorts, as FC Dallas will open their 2018 CONCACAF schedule against Panamanian-side Tauro FC in late February.
Drawn as Round of 16 foes during Monday night’s CCL draw, the two sides will play a home-and-home series that Dallas hopes comes out with a better result than last time. In the 2011-12 tournament, the two sides met for a pair of games during group stage play, with a 1-1 draw in Frisco and Tauro FC taking a 5-3 win at home, effectively eliminating FCD from the knockout stage.
“We know them. We’ve played them already a couple of times. We know what they’re capable of and what they can do,” Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said after the draw. “They’ve done well in the league and Panama [soccer] has grown a lot lately, so we have to be careful. Every game is going to be difficult and this is not going to be any different.”
“FC Dallas is a great team and we’re looking forward to going there in February and having a great match,” said Roberto Zauner, Technical Director of Tauro FC, who have a slight jump on the American side, beginning their regular season in January. “We’ve got to prepare our team for all the matches that we have, both in our league and in CONCACAF Champions League. We have a pretty good team and hopefully we’re going to do things right.”
The 2018 tournament will open with a trip to Panama for FC Dallas with Leg One scheduled between Feb. 20-22 before the return leg in Frisco between Feb. 27-March 1.
Given the format change eliminating MLS clubs from the group stage competition and knowing their opponent will already be in midseason form, the opening weeks of preseason will carry even more importance for FCD come late January.
“With the group stage before, you have a little bit of a chance if you make a mistake. This is not the same. It’s one game, home and away and one mistake and you’re out. More than ever, today, the amount of games we play [before the tournament] in preseason is going to be key for us.”