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Veteran Roland Lamah providing leadership for young FC Dallas

Jun 29, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; FC Dallas midfielder Roland Lamah (20) celebrates his goal in the second half against Minnesota United at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The start of this FC Dallas season currently has the team first place in the Western Conference. After last season’s collapse, skeptics wondered how the team would recover.

Enter Roland Lamah.

One of FCD’s bright spots this season has been the play of Lamah, the Belgian international who continues to score goals in his second year with the team. Lamah, who has seven goals and four assists so far in 2018, has played a vital role in FC Dallas’ offense and will continue to, especially with the departure of Mauro Diaz.

The motor for Lamah comes from the club’s disappointment last season, after failing to make the playoffs on a tiebreaker with the San Jose Earthquakes.

“I feel good because I know the club, my teammates,” Lamah said after training Tuesday. “I agree with the idea from the coach. Last year, we almost got to the playoffs, but we didn’t go. This year, we have to push hard. That’s why I’m excited. That’s why I try to do my best and try to do better than last year.”

Lamah is one of the three FC Dallas players over 30, with only Reto Ziegler and Maynor Figueroa older than the seasoned veteran. Dallas is known for its academy system, but veteran players ground the team and, in the cases of Ziegler and Lamah, start many games as they help lead their respective positions.

“Yeah,” Lamah said with a laugh when asked if he feels like a veteran on the squad. “I’m also experienced now, playing all over the world. I am happy here. I enjoy my job and I feel good.”

After FCD’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Atlanta United, players talked about the energy Lamah brought to the squad, pushing them to get goals and not to panic, even when down late.

“Atlanta is a very dynamic team,”Dallas right back Reggie Cannon said postmatch. “If you’re down, you just gotta keep going, gotta keep believing. That was the team morale. Lamah said, ‘Dale, keep believing. Keep going, keep going,’ and it really showed.” 

Others at the club are noticing as well, with Lamah getting more and more comfortable in Frisco. 

“I think Lamah is growing,” head coach Oscar Pareja said. “He has been already here for more than a year and I think his presence in the team is growing. And as long as he keeps doing what he needs to do on the field, his leadership is going to come along.”

Lamah downplayed the praise.

“I think I’m like this in my life,” Lamah said. “I never like losing. I think everyone does not like to lose, but for me, it’s important to win every game. I’m like this. And I’m glad my teammates can trust me, and if I can help them like this then I will always do that.”

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