TUCSON, Ariz. - Preseason 2019 is officially in the books. After eight days in Arizona and five wins to their record, FC Dallas is full steam ahead to Saturday's season opener at Toyota Stadium.
With three consecutive 2-1 victories in the featured matches of the Mobile Mini Sun Cup, FCD took the tournament title over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon with goals from Pablo Aranguiz and Jesus Ferreira. It was the second of two matches on the day with a first group of players earning a 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers in a closed-door session. Ryan Hollingshead found the net twice and Dominique Badji scored his team-leading sixth goal of the preseason.
The prize might be minor at the end of the day, but it's a significant step for a team that has adapted into its new coach, formation and playing style en route to a 9-1 record overall.
"That's important for us," head coach Luchi Gonzalez said of the success both on and off the field over the last week. "With rotations and different lineups, we wanted to make sure every minute, every training, every exercise was important. This is the way we're going to approach everything."
Scoring the game-winner and his second of the tournament, Ferreira was named tournament MVP, capping off a strong showing in preseason that should lead to a significant role this season for the Homegrown.
"Jesus is a smart player," Gonzalez said. "Really happy to see him show resilience and having ups and downs the last two years. He's showing that confidence and that experience in preseason. Certainly a player who is showing he has a value to compete in our roster and help us win games."
Now, with camp officially over and a well-deserved day off coming on Sunday, Gonzalez is confident his side is ready to attack the regular season with the same conviction it did during the preseason record.
"I'm excited every day. We've been enjoying the process and now we can start to focus on the first game and take it one day at a time," he said. "We'll get some rest tomorrow and come back ready to work on Monday."