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Next Man Up Mentality on Showcase Again with Matt Hedges Out vs. Vancouver

FRISCO - As the season progresses FC Dallas continues to develop a new team dynamic and style under Luchi Gonzalez. This week is no different in their approach to the Whitecaps.

With yet another team leader missing the game this week due to a red card against Matt Hedges in the second half against LAFC. Although the backline will take a hit, the need to step up is nothing new for the FC Dallas roster. Luchi Gonzalez believes in his team’s versatility and flexibility as a strength as they continue to see challenges in a fluid roster.

“We’ve had players missing every game, and other players have had to step up and that’s the continued expectation,” he said, continuing to use the depth as a team-building tactic and approach that opponents can’t predict. “The group is going to keep stepping up, the guys are going to keep stepping up for each other. That’s going to make us stronger”

Over the past few weeks FC Dallas has had several key members of their team out due to call-ups or injuries. Most recently, midfielder starters Paxton Pomykal and Edwin Cerrillo, as well as Brandon Servania, have been gone for the U-20 World Cup. Carlos Gruezo, Michael Barrios and Dominique Badji have all missed various time with injuries in that span as well. 

Veteran Reto Ziegler is the only player to have appeared in every minute this season, seeing a fair share of different faces on the field with him. The team, he says, has taken it in stride. 

“We have players who are ready," he said. "That’s why we have such a big and good roster.” 

Jacori Hayes is a player that has taken full advantage of the next-man-up mentality, with back-to-back standout performances - most recently being named the Man of the Match against LAFC at home. 

“It’s just an opportunity for other guys to step up and show what they have,” Hayes said. "Just be ready when the opportunity comes and I feel like I've been able to do that, so hopefully I can just take that next step this weekend." 

 “Finding the way is what we’re going to continue to use as our main tactic,” Gonzalez emphasized. “Finding the way is the sentiment and the spirit that we want to continue to develop and improve.”