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3 Reasons You Should Be Following FC Dallas

3 Reasons You Should Be Following FC Dallas

Everyone knows soccer is the world’s game. Everyone also knows that it isn’t necessarily the game of the US. However, the tides may be starting to change. Soccer in the US has been getting more popular and there’s exciting growth occurring in the MLS.

The average attendance of the league continues to increase each season, and for the 2016 season was about 4,000 higher than the NBA and the NHL. We’ve seen the MLS talent pool deepen – and I don’t mean just guys like David Beckham or other big names past their prime. TV numbers are getting better on seemingly a weekly basis with three or four national games airing each week.

Yes, there’s still plenty of room to grow. But if you’ve been following the MLS since its start in 1996, these upward trends are something to be enthusiastic about and take pride in.

If you’re not an MLS fan or follower and you get your soccer fix elsewhere (English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc., or every four years with the World Cup), maybe it’s time to consider showing some soccer love a little closer to home – especially if you live in the DFW where there’s a team in your own backyard, FC Dallas.

Now this isn’t an article trying to convince you to buy season tickets or become an absolute die-hard fan of FC Dallas, but rather to just give the MLS (and specifically FC Dallas) a shot. Here are three reasons why.

1) The atmosphere

Toyota Stadium isn’t the biggest stadium in DFW, but it has hands-down one of the best atmospheres. FC Dallas games have something to offer for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fun family outing, a date night, or a night out with friends. If you’re 21+ and want a fun, rowdy night out, take in a game in the Budweiser Beer Garden and party with the Dallas Beer Guardians. Have fun chanting, singing, drinking, and of course heckling a goalkeeper for 45 minutes until he really wishes he would have chose a different position as a kid. If you’re not 21+, but still want to experience a similar environment with a little Latin flavor, go hang out with El Matador in section 120/121. Many non-fans leave the game as super fans after hanging out with these two groups and their infectious energy. If you’re interested in a more casual environment with a little less chanting and a little more sitting, try pretty much anywhere else in the stadium. You’ll still experience the great energy and fun. Tickets are always affordable and definitely the best bang for your buck you’re going to get in DFW pro sports.

2) The quality soccer

There’s a misconception among Americans who are soccer fans, but maybe only watch the European game, that MLS is “minor league” and that the quality of play is trash. While the level of play in MLS isn’t yet at the same level as the European leagues; there are still some quality players – not only at FC Dallas, but across the MLS.

For the last three seasons, FC Dallas has been arguably the most consistent team in MLS, making the playoffs each year. However, like many other Dallas sports teams, the playoffs haven’t been too kind to them as the team is still in search for their first MLS Cup in franchise history. Although they didn’t bring in the mighty MLS Cup last season, falling in the conference semi-final to the eventual champion Seattle Sounders after losing their best player (Mauro Diaz) to a torn Achilles in the last couple of weeks of the season; they still had one of the more successful seasons in American soccer history. The team won “The Double,” bringing home the Supporter’s Shield given to the team with the best record in MLS in the regular season as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a tournament consisting of 91 teams from MLS all the way down to semi-professional teams. This year, FC Dallas has their eyes set on finally bringing in that elusive MLS Cup, and is currently in a good spot as the team is still one of the best in MLS.

3) The DFW connections

When you hear about a professional sports team connecting with their community, you think of players visiting schools, building fields or courts, or giving away food at the holidays. When you talk about FC Dallas’ connections to DFW, they literally have players from DFW. FC Dallas has the best and most successful youth academy in the US. We’ve seen them beat teams from Brazil, England, and even teams from Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona. They develop these players from a young age and send plenty of them to play at the college level, but they also lead MLS in homegrown signings. A homegrown signing is pretty much what it sounds like. A signing of a player from your academy. FC Dallas often signs players at age 16, 17, 18, sometimes older, from their academy to professional contracts. Guys like Wylie native Victor Ulloa, starting goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez from W.T. White, 16-year-old Jesus Ferreira who is actually the son of former FC Dallas player and MLS MVP, David Ferreira. Jesus recently made his professional debut and scored late in the game to become the second youngest goal scorer in MLS history, behind who else but Freddy Adu. But the best example of homegrown talent for FC Dallas is Plano’s Kellyn Acosta, one of the bright stars of MLS and the US National Team as he is fresh off a start in Mexico in front of 100,000 people. When you watch these homegrown guys play and find success, you get this strange feeling of pride, like you helped.

Maybe you’re not ready to buy season tickets quite yet, but why not give FC Dallas and the MLS a shot and attend a game? You never know, there could be a super fan inside you ready to break free. Worst-case scenario, you have a fun time and catch some good soccer.

Student at University of Texas at Dallas. Lover of all things sports. Worshipper of the world's game.

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