Supporters send FC Dallas off to Orlando

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.

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FC Dallas fans assemble at Toyota Stadium as players and staff board two buses (Dan Crooke)

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.

FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez greets fans as he boards the team bus (Dan Crooke)

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 defender Reggie Cannon greets fans as the team prepares to depart for Orlando (Dan Crooke)

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.

Supporters from El Matador and Dallas Beer Guardians wave flags as two buses carrying the FC Dallas players and staff leaves Toyota Stadium (Dan Crooke)

2 Comments

  1. Wish we’d known! We would’ve joined the send-off party! Aren’t just “regular fans” allowed to know all things FCD? While I’m here: Watching Premier League and Bundisliga, I hope FCD starts playing fan sounds over loudspeaker, too! I also hope they do better fan outreach in the future. #DTID

    1. The supporters groups advertised it on social media, it’s just far easier to mobilize fans by going through the two groups since that’s the vast majority of actively engaged fans.

      And no to the fake crowd noise, it’s gross. If they play it on the stadium speakers for the players, like the English Football League has done, it’s fine. The post production garbage Bundesliga and the Premier League did is awful.

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