FRISCO, Texas - Following FC Dallas’ 3-2 victory over Oklahoma City Energy FC Wednesday evening, a youthful side, including a handful of North Texas SC and Academy players, took to the pitch against NTX Rayados for the second match of the 2020 preseason. After two 25-minute halves, it was FC Dallas that came away with a well-deserved 3-0 win.
“[It was] positive to see the group play against competition that is outsourced,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “There were some really interesting highs and some lows that are normal during a preseason that we need to fix.”
North Texas SC’s Arturo Rodriguez opened the scoring late in the first half. After Jennings won a penalty, the youngster stepped up and confidently slotted his effort home. Rodriguez displayed plenty of confidence throughout the contest and took full advantage of his opportunity to get some preseason minutes.
The second half saw Jennings burst into life. The striker put forth his best performance of the preseason, scoring twice to seal the victory for his side. His first goal, a sliding effort just inside the six, kickstarted the explosive half of play. Jennings, who was selected with the 17th pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, is enjoying his early days with the club.
“I’m really excited to be here,” Jennings said. “From the day I got here, they welcomed me really well and I feel like, after a couple of weeks, I’m fitting into the team really well.”
It was Jennings’ second goal that beautifully put the cherry on top of the team’s performance. Engebretsen found the striker with a delicately chipped cross over the goalkeeper, leaving Jennings with an open net and a simple tap in to polish off a stellar performance. For Gonzalez, the rookies are making great strides.
“Overall, the draftees are competing and making the decisions really hard for us,” Gonzalez said. “We’re very interested in all of them.”
After a morning training session tomorrow, the team departs for San Diego for the next phase of the preseason. Thiago Santos, who arrived early Wednesday morning, is set to travel with the squad.
“Our first few days will be about getting him physically up to speed and socially integrated with the group,” Gonzalez said. “I know he’s hungry to get on the field, so we’ll make sure he’s getting touches as well.”