FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Paxton Pomykal joined FCD Season Ticket Members on a Zoom video conference call earlier this week to catch up and answer questions.
To kick things off, Pomykal gave everyone a brief overview on how he’s adapted to the new situation following the postponement of the MLS season.
“It’s obviously been a big change for everybody,” he said. “But we’re making the most of it and it’s becoming a little more natural to be doing workouts on my own. I came home to my family’s house, so it’s been really nice being able to be with my brothers and parents. It’s been really nice [being home] but I’m really eager to get back out on the field. But we’re obviously waiting until it’s safe to do so.”
The first fan question asked why Pomykal chose the number 19, an untraditional number for a midfielder. The answer? To honor an FC Dallas legend, the late Bobby Rhine who wore the 19 jersey for 10 seasons.
“I wear the number 19 in honor of Bobby Rhine,” Pomykal explained. “It was a process to get the number. I spoke with the whole Rhine family and other people who knew him really well. We kind of created a tradition around the number so his legacy could live on. I’m wearing it now but it’s also for other Homegrown [players] in the future who come through the system so we can honor Bobby, who’s a club legend.”
Last month, Pomykal was selected to represent his country in the Olympic qualifiers to earn a spot at the this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the qualifying tournament and 2020 games have been postponed. While Pomykal admits it was initially a disappointment, he quickly came to terms with the decision.
“At first it was a tough blow but over time you realize there are more important things going on in the world right now,” he said. “Obviously I want to compete and have those opportunities with the national team, but it will come later. Tokyo 2021 will happen, and the qualifiers will happen. Hopefully I’m on the team when they do but those events aren’t cancelled, just postponed.”
Before the call ended, Pomykal shared with the fans how much he and his teammates are looking forward to returning to play at Toyota Stadium.
“Thank you guys for coming out and asking questions. It’s really fun seeing you guys face-to-face on here instead of just text over twitter and whatnot. Thanks for coming and hopefully we’ll be back sooner than later so we can get some wins for you guys.”