Busy Month Awaits FC Dallas
FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez took answers from media today as the team prepares to face St Louis FC this weekend.
Following practice today, Nico Estevez, FC Dallas’ second year head coach, took a wide ranging number of questions from media as the team prepares to face St Louis FC for the first time in Frisco.
It promises to be an interesting match, as St Louis has started their Major League Soccer debut in a strong position and feature a couple of former FC Dallas players on their inaugural roster. That doesn’t mean they don’t have weaknesses though.
First up, I asked Nico about the rotation this month with a dense schedule of matches, something we talked about in our pod on Monday as well. Specifically, how will he know when to ask certain players to step up?
“The assessment is game by game,” Nico said. “As we are doing so far analyzing the opponent, deciding what players are the best to help us win the game, after that, we have to analyze how everyone recovers. There are players that recover better than others. We can also play some players 60 minutes or 45 and 45. We have done this with the national team in different ways, so we can utilize the potential that we have. The other day, both fullbacks played 65 minutes, and other fullbacks came in and brought new energy. Depending on the opponent and how many days of rest, we will decide who is coming in.”
While FC Dallas may not be the deepest team in the league, they have young players who are itching for a chance to prove their ability to step up and play against the best in Major League Soccer.
“You never know when they are ready. You have to put them,” Nico said about guys like Kamungo and Norris. “This is the beauty to playing a young players. Just enjoy this adventure. See if he struggles. If he does well, perfect. If not, it is a great learning experience. We don't have to be very obsessed that they have to perform well.”
With an Open Cup match also in the mix, this promises to be a month of debuts for some of the guys who are ready to showcase their skills and take a chance to earn more minutes. FC Dallas will need them.
As to St Louis FC, Matt Doyle of Major League Soccer suggested that there is now a blueprint in how to beat them, but Nico didn’t give that much credence.
“Sometimes journalists look for facts or something to check the results. If the results are good or not, there could be a trend behind that,” Nico responded. “St Louis is a new team with a clear identity and style of play. They play with a lot of energy. They are ruthless and nasty. They capitalize on their chances. They force you to make mistakes. Most of their opponents did not expect that. As you know them better, you adjust. When you do well, people respect you more. Just like us. We did well last season, so teams are playing us differently. Coaches and teams have to find ways to beat St Louis.”
Regardless of what journalists says, the team must be focused.
“For us, we know it is going to be a really hard game. We have to match their intensity,” Nico said, confident in his team’s ability to be ready.
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