FRISCO – There was no rest for FC Dallas after Saturday’s match in Kansas City. The team flew back to Texas on Sunday morning, and just a few hours later they were already back to work preparing for Wednesday’s CCL Semifinal clash with Pachuca.
In Saturday’s match, head coach Oscar Pareja dressed a Starting XI with seven different faces in it from the season opener a week prior – not out of lack of respect for Sporting KC, but out of necessity for what is to come this week.
“We had a strategy to rest a majority of the players,” he said. “Against Kansas City we always want to play the regular team. But obviously for us we also have a big game coming up on Wednesday.”
Pareja added that the referee strike in Mexico, which led Pachuca’s scheduled match this weekend to be postponed, didn’t have an effect on his decision, but rather confirmed it as the right move.
Now, FCD has just over 48 short hours to prepare for one of the biggest matches in club history.
“The important part is that we have to be economical with the training, giving importance to the details and making sure that everything is covered,” Pareja said. “We’re not going to leave anything to come [as a surprise]. I want to make sure that every single department and every corner of our preparation is covered.”
And knowing they face a Leg Two in a raucous Liga MX venue coming up in early April at nearly 8,500 feet above sea level, starting off on the right foot Wednesday is a must for the team.
“It’s crucial. It’s our leg,” Pareja said. “What I mean by that is it’s our leg that belongs to us at home and we have to take advantage of our ground, our fans, our stadium and our city. We want to be strong, for sure.”
FC Dallas and C. F. Pachuca will kick off Leg One of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at FCDallas.com/CCL