FRISCO, Texas – Fans in the Dallas area have picked up on the fact that Sunday's First Kick match against the New York Red Bulls is no ordinary game (3 pm ET, NBC Sports Network).
FC Dallas and US national team right back Zach Loyd says things were “not normal” this last week in town.
“I’ve been out and eating with a couple of friends and had people come up to me and say, ‘Good luck this weekend,’” Loyd told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “That used to be rare in our city. With it being on NBC Sports Network and the promoting that FC Dallas has done for this first game, it has created a buzz.”
Loyd says that he feels a sense of urgency among his teammates to put on a good show for the full house that is expected at FC Dallas Stadium. He believes a quality performance will have the crowd coming back for more.
“I think the team is hungry,” Loyd said. “I think we’re ready, especially after last year when the last game we played was against New York in the playoffs. I think that’s a little extra motivation. Just from training this week, I think the guys have been energized. We’ve backed off two-a-days the last couple of weeks to get our legs back under us. But the key word for this team is that it’s hungry.”
The 24-year-old will have to have a big appetite for what’s coming his way against New York: Estonian midfielder Joel Lindpere. One of the most consistent performers for his team, Lindpere brings as much endurance and tenacity to the field as Loyd.
“He has a very deadly left foot, which I think is rare in MLS,” Loyd said. “There are not too many guys that can change a game at any moment and I feel he’s one of those guys. We have to be really aware of his left foot.”
Stopping Lindpere will be one keys to making sure that First Kick is the beginning of a memorable season for FC Dallas.
“Hopefully that buzz doesn’t end after our first game,” Loyd says, “but it continues to grow.”
GET TICKETS to FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls, Sunday, March 11, 2012, 3 pm ET at FC Dallas Stadium. Watch it on NBC Sports.