FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas captain Reto Ziegler is urging his teammates to remain positive despite their demoralizing MLS is Back tournament experience.
The team began normal training sessions this week after spending two weeks in quarantine at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin resort hotel in Orlando. The 14 days without regular physical activity took a toll, but Ziegler is confident the team will be ready once the MLS season resumes.
“We had some tough weeks in Orlando, sitting in our rooms watching games on TV,” Ziegler said after Monday’s session. “It was hard mentally but now we are here in our home with great fields to train and to prepare to play very soon.
“It’s tough, to tell you the truth. But we feel better every day. We do a lot of small sided games to gain our physical (levels) again. Of course, we’re not 100 percent yet but we still have time and I’m sure we’re going to be ready.”
While it’s a welcome return to their normal practice schedule, Ziegler feels a more competitive environment is needed to improve their sharpness after the time off. “Training is one thing, but we need competition,” he said. “So, I think we’re going to play a small game on Saturday between us and I think that’ll help.”
Considering the disappointment of Orlando, Ziegler wanted to send a message of positivity to his teammates—many of whom are far less experienced than the 34-year-old former Swiss international
“The message is just to keep training,” Zielger said. “We know we’re going to play although we don’t know the date or opponent, but we have to be ready. So just stay positive, stay fit and that’s what we’re doing. We’re professionals, we want to represent FC Dallas and be successful, and for that we have to keep our heads up, work every day and stay positive.”