As has been ongoing during the shutdown, FC Dallas has been offering players for interviews via Zoom call. Today the player in question was Los Toros Captain Reto Ziegler.
According to Ziegler, FC Dallas will be stepping up the physical contact tomorrow after mostly still be separated on the training ground to this point.
“We’re going to start competition – and when I say competition I mean a physical contact – tomorrow in training for the first time. We’re going to have some contact. Right now we train – on a high level, I have to say – but still with some distancing. But tomorrow we’re going to start with physical contact.”
“I think is necessary before we leave for Orlando, it’s very important that we are ready physically, you know? You cannot train without contact and then expect the team to become competitive in Orlando.”
Ziegler says the players are healthy and itching for the teal thing. “We do some tests. Everybody’s healthy and now is a good moment to start to play soccer with contact.”
When asked on the call about young players, Ziegler singled out Tanner Tessmann and Reggie Cannon. But the Captain went on the praise the entire collective.
“I think, first of all, we have a very young team. But I always think there are no ‘young’ or ‘old’ players, just ‘good’ and ‘less good’ players. But as you said, we have some great talent in the team.”
One of those players of quality is Ziegler’s normal partner, Matt Hedges. “I’ve had many partners as center backs and he’s, of course, one of my favorites. But what I wish is that we can win a trophy together, to have the respect also internationally.
Ziegler also said a 3-man backline which the team worked on in the spring – with himself, Bressan, and Hedges – is still an option.
“It’s also a weapon we have. It’s not only me and Matt, we can also switch in the back three and I’m looking forward to that. I’m not saying that we’re going to play like that in Orlando, but it can be an opportunity.” So perhaps that’s wrinkle to keep an eye on in Florida.
Ziegler, speaking for himself, says he feels quite safe and confident in the medical protocols in place for Orlando. “In Orlando, I think we are not allowed to go out of the facility. We are to be tested, I believe from what I understood, three times a week, so I’m not worried about my safety there.”
“My goal and the goal of the team is – and I talked to the team actually today, just one hour ago – I said, ‘We want everybody healthy before to travel to Orlando. It’s getting closer and just take care of yourself. Off the field, and of course when we train as well, but especially outside the field, do some sacrifices you know? Don’t go to a shopping mall. Don’t go in restaurants. We need everybody healthy and we need everybody for this tournament.’ that was the message I said to the team today.”