FRISCO, Texas – The cold Monday morning saw North Texas SC officially return for the 2020 season with its first day of preseason. A new-look group took to the field, as Eric Quill and his staff continue to rebuild the side that claimed last season’s USL League One crown.
“It is so much fun to be back on the field with the guys trying to put it all together,” Quill said. “You just want to be back on the field, and [the players] are itching to get after it, so they trained really hard today and it was fun to watch.”
The morning saw the squad compete in a variety of possession and conditioning-themed drills, as the coaching staff made sure each player got plenty of touches on the ball. For midfielder Oscar Romero, the mentality from last season remains the same.
“[Quill] is already putting into our heads the championship mentality,” he said. “We’re just ready to take the season on.”
Part of the transition into the title defense will include a move to Globe Life Park, the former home of the Texas Rangers organization. This is something that excites Romero, as he and the squad look to make 2020 another special year.
“We got to go a few times already,” he said. “[I] can’t wait for the first game there.”
New signing Alex Bruce is also looking forward to moving into the new complex. The forward was in attendance at Sunday’s Dallas Renegades game and liked what he saw.
“I thought it was a great stadium,” Bruce said. “The turf is really nice. Hopefully, we get fans out and make a new atmosphere.”
Bruce, like many of the new guys who trained this morning, got his first official taste of the club’s mentality. After spending last season at Lansing Ignite FC, the forward was reunited with Quill, who worked with him during their time at youth club Texans SC Houston.
“I thought we trained well,” Bruce said. “Everyone has welcomed me into the club… The mentality is all about winning here and you can see that on the field.”
Another of the new pieces to the puzzle is Pedro Conceição Alves. The defender, also making his first appearance in North Texas SC colors, caught Quill’s eye.
“I think he’s an interesting right back,” Quill said. “He’s very dynamic and skillful. I thought he was very clean on the ball today.”
Conceição, who last played for Club Guarani in Paraguay, could be vital in giving the club a bit of consistency in the fullback role that was often stretched thin last season.
While there is still plenty of room for development, Quill felt satisfied with the team’s overall output.
“I was really pleased with how the energy [was] and how technically clean these guys were, considering all the time off.”
The team will continue its preparations for Feb. 22, when it kicks off against El Paso Locomotive for the first preseason match of the season.