Members of FC Dallas supporters’ groups the Dallas Beer Guardians and El Matador assembled this morning as the team departed for Orlando.
Social distancing was the theme of the morning as players and staff boarded two 55-seater coaches and fans stood 6 feet apart outside the north gate at Toyota Stadium.
After an earlier report regarding three new positive COVID-19 tests, it appears that Brandon Servania has returned and was eligible to travel. This is the first sign of Servania all week. Ryan Hollingshead was also in attendance and traveled.
Fafa Picault was not present. Nor was Jesse Gonzalez, who is still in league protocols after allegations of domestic violence were raised.
Franco Jara traveled, although we have no update regarding his P-1 visa.
After initially boarding the buses, the players and staff disembarked to show their appreciation for the supporters who turned up. As fans began to wave flags and sing ‘we love ya’ – a commonly heard song in the Beer Garden – the players clapped the beat in place of the supporters groups’ usual drummers.
The players are sporting a new look as they travel to prepare for the MLS is Back Tournament. Reggie Cannon handed out shirts bearing Black Lives Matters and the phrase history must not repeat itself over the FC Dallas crest. The shirts were devised by the players, with Fafa Picault responsible for the design.
FC Dallas has historically not been seen as socially active, but the club has embraced the Black Lives Matters movement with a team that contains a large proportion of players of various races and nationalities.
FC Dallas hosted a video where Picault and Cannon, along with Jimmy Maurer and Luchi Gonzalez, discussed racial injustice. Picault had highlighted that he had been pulled over while driving three times in a three week span, as well as his daily routine to appear as less of a target to police by concealing jewelry and dressing in a particular manner.
FC Dallas will fly into Orlando this afternoon with all teams staying in the Swan and Dolphin resort at Walt Disney World for the duration of the MLS is Back Tournament.
The Hoops will play New York City FC at ESPN Wide World of Sports on July 4. This game will be the team’s first and only scrimmage against external opposition since returning to training in May. NYCFC were also due to arrive in Orlando on Saturday, but opted to push their departure back until July 2 after a change in health regulations in New York allowed the Cityzens to return to their training facility.