FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas President Dan Hunt and its Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt joined Jared Sandler of 105.3 The Fan on Facebook Live Wednesday evening to talk FC Dallas, the Kansas City Chiefs, their father Lamar Hunt and much more.
The show kicked off with the Hunt brothers discussing what it was like to work on various sport ventures with their late father and FC Dallas patriarch Lamar Hunt.
“It was priceless,” Dan said. “For me, working at FC Dallas is a dream job because I got to see him in action working with Clark. I have such incredibly fond memories of the different stuff we did together at the time like watching the stadium being built. One of the most amazing traits he had, for a guy that was already in the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, was that he’d listen. He would listen to us, he valued our opinion and encouraged us and the people who worked at his different businesses to have opinions. He was incredibly supportive.”
“It was like getting to work with a master,” Clark added. “The things that he did were very difficult: Starting the American Football League and engineering a merger with the NFL, not once but twice starting a soccer league (first with the North American Soccer League and then later with MLS). These were all very hard endeavors and he had tremendous perseverance and that’s a trait that rubbed off on both of us.”
The Hunts also spoke about their approach to roster building and how the NFL and MLS differ in that regard. Both FCD and the Chiefs have a philosophy of developing a strong core of young players and building their teams around them – but in different ways.
“For both the Chiefs and FC Dallas, we’re committed to building the team with young players,” Clark said. “In the NFL, those players have come through the draft or were college free agents. At FC Dallas, those players have largely come through our Academy. There’s always a place to add high quality free agents at the Chiefs or international transfers at FC Dallas. But you want that core to be a young core that your coaching staff has had a chance to develop and mold into the system that you want, and we’ve approached both teams the same way.”
“Clark and I are passionate about having your own youth players and our own hometown talent being starters and stars at FC Dallas,” Dan continued. “It’s really how you grow the game and how you grow the national team programs here. One of the things we’ve done well at FC Dallas is being patient with developing players. There’s no reason FC Dallas can’t be built on a core group of Academy products.”
While on the topic of player development, Dan spoke about what it’ll take for the U.S. Men’s National Team to be competitive at the very highest level: The World Cup. In his mind, it's up to the teams and owners around MLS to make player development a priority by giving more minutes to their Academy prospects.
“I think we need to have our partners [other teams] in Major League Soccer – some are very invested in youth soccer and player development – but I like to see more of our partners play their young players and be committed to it,” Dan said. “Some market it going to find the Michael Jordan of soccer in America. It may not be FC Dallas because there’s always the element of the luck of the draw in that that goes. But I like to see them more invested in that.”