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FC Dallas looks to keep unbeaten start on the road

Apr 7, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas defender Reto Ziegler (3) controls the ball in the first half against the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas will go on the road for the first time this season, traveling to Foxborough, Mass., Saturday to play the New England Revolution.

After a four-game homestand, which ended with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Colorado last week, Dallas (1-0-3, 4 points) will look to earn points against coach Brad Friedel’s side. The Revs (3-1-1, 10 points) currently sit third in the Eastern Conference and defeated the Montreal Impact 4-0 last weekend.

“The road game is a beautiful opportunity or show our character and personality of the team,” FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said. “I think it’s good timing as well, just to reinforce that in the game that not only means 3 points but also sets a good standard for the season.”

Going on the road is tough in Major League Soccer. Only Toronto FC had more wins than losses on the road in the 2017 campaign. Even the Portland Timbers, who finished first in the Western Conference, had a losing record, getting 16 points out of a possible 51.

Pareja said the team is focused on a win, not just a result.

“The philosophy with this club has always been the same, just being the protagonist of the game,” Pareja said. “Second, I think it’s good for the team to go away and try to win. We have had results here at home, where it should have been the three points and we tie the game. Now going away and try to get three points is a good idea. We try obviously to play well defensively but going away and trying to play for a draw is not a good idea.”

Gillette Stadium is one of six artificial turf pitches in the league. Playing on the surface can make a difference for teams, some choosing to keep key players out of matchups.

“The bouncing of the ball is quite different,” Pareja said. ”The way the plant your foot in the grass and sometimes it gets the touches a certain imbalance yeah. But the majority of these players have played on turf before when they were young, in the college process. The challenges come sometimes for the foreign [players] who have never played on those types of surfaces.”

Chris Richards signs homegrown deal

FC Dallas Academy defender Chris Richards has signed a homegrown contract, the club announced Thursday. 

Richards joined the academy last year and has made 13 appearances for the team. The Hoover, Ala., native is the 22nd player signed to a homegrown contact by FC Dallas and the 24th player signed from the academy.

Richards was also called up to the United States U-19 national team in January.

“We thought that he has the skills, the knowledge, [and] he can read the game well,” Technical director Fernando Clavijo said to FCDallas.com. “The biggest change for him is going to be the speed of play, to be able to know where he can gamble. I think it’s going to take some time for him and like I said before it depends he takes to improve those skills is how quick he’s going to be able to play.”

Richards has been involved with first team drills and scrimmages, as per usual with outstanding academy players in FCD’s system. Richards was a defender in squad’s intrasquad scrimmage two weeks ago during their bye week.

Richards is currently ineligible to play with the first team and will continue to play with the U19’s. After he completes one year with the academy, he can begin to play for the first team. 

“I’m really proud, happy, and blessed and ready to get to work,” Richards said to FCDallas.com. “It’s very exciting. I’ve been playing academy my whole life and professional, that’s just a dream. Whichever way it is, I’m really excited for that moment.”

Match Information:

When: April 14, 6:30 PM CST

Where: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

Broadcast: TXA 21; Radio- FCDallas.com/Radio (English), 1270AM (Spanish)

Live Stream: ESPN+

 

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