FC Dallas host Houston Dynamo FC for the latest Texas Derby chapter on Saturday (3:30 pm ET | Univision, TUDN; Twitter), and homegrown midfielder Paxton Pomykal isn’t hiding his emotions ahead of the rivalry match.
If anything, the 21-year-old is making his preference crystal clear.
“For me, personally, I'm not a big fan of Houston," Pomykal said. "Not the team, but the city in general because Dallas and Houston, regardless of soccer, have a rivalry. For me, it was definitely a rivalry growing up in the Academy and now here."
Pomykal, now in his sixth season with FC Dallas, is no stranger to this contest. He’s potentially in line for an explosive role, continuing to recover from his season-ending surgery in September 2020 and build upon his 3g/6a through 41 games.
The rivalry gets a new complexion in 2021, too, with Austin FC making it three MLS clubs in the Lonestar State. The expansion side is firing early on, but Pomykal isn’t focused on the Texas trio's new contender before their inaugural meeting Aug. 7.
Pomykal’s main objective is helping FC Dallas build on their first win of the 2021 campaign. They stormed past the Portland Timbers 4-1 at Toyota Stadium last weekend, showing how explosive Luchi Gonzalez’s team can be when all the pieces are firing.
“In terms of momentum of scoring four goals at home, that's what we need to do,” Pomykal said. “Obviously playing our rivals in Houston, that's what we need is to get on the front foot early. I think imposing ourselves and getting an early goal was massive and hopefully we can do the same thing (on Saturday)."