SAN DIEGO — Preseason is fully underway, and FC Dallas' first travel stint is in Chula Vista, California, where the team will stay for a week. Los Toros will stay at the Chula Vista Athletic Training Center — a 155-acre campus for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Throughout the week, Michael Ramirez of FCD Digital and Social will give updates on everything going on with the team and its players.
The second day here in California is officially complete. Saturday also marked the first preseason match against another MLS opponent for FC Dallas, who is coming into the season with some new faces that are trying to get integrated into the rotation. After a quick team meeting early in the morning, the squad departed for UC San Diego, where its game against the Vancouver Whitecaps would take place. The match wasn't available via livestream, but it was open to the public.
The starting lineup for FC Dallas had some veteran influence along with a few young players on the roster. The XI was as listed: Jesse Gonzalez, Johnny Nelson, Bressan, Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead, Edwin Cerrillo, Bryan Acosta, Santiago Mosquera, Michael Barrios, Fafá Picault and Zdenek Ondrasek.
FC Dallas and Vancouver played in three, 30-minute periods. The starters played in the first two, and a second unit got the opportunity to play in the third period as well.
Vancouver was the first team to strike in today's preseason match, but shortly before the end of the first period, Ondrasek received a beautiful through ball, and finished clinically to tie things up. The second period saw the Whitecaps score two more goals, and FCD couldn't respond with any of its own.
To start the third period, Luchi Gonzalez played a second squad, and took everyone who started the game off the pitch — I assume to keep fresh legs for tomorrow's preseason match against Landon Donovan's San Diego Loyal.
The period was good to get the younger guys some minutes, and the four draft picks who were brought on the trip also saw action. Luchi said it was good to give these players the minutes in the third period, and he's seeing a lot of good progress from the group. FC Dallas eventually lost the match, 4-1.
Saturday wasn't necessarily about the result rather than working on different concepts, set pieces and tactics the team would like to implement once the 2020 regular season commences.
When the team arrived back in Chula Vista, everyone sat and watched the U.S. Men's National Team take on Costa Rica — supporting their fellow teammates Reggie Cannon, Brandon Servania and Jesus Ferreira. Servania and Ferreira made their international debuts — a special day all-around for the FC Dallas family.
Tomorrow, the team will face USL Championship's San Diego Loyal at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, which will be open to Loyal Season Ticket Members only.