FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez said Wednesday the club was "very hopeful" of having new signing Franco Jara available for their opening game in the MLS is Back Tournament. Jara, who arrived last week after agreeing to a transfer in January, is still awaiting receipt of his P-1 Visa.
"I believe it’s going in the right direction and we’re very hopeful of having Franco Jara for the first game, whatever his role may be," Gonzalez told reporters on a conference call.
Dallas learned on Wednesday their opening game of the tournament will see them take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 9 (10:30 pm ET | TUDN, TSN). Two more games will follow in the next 11 days in the summer heat of Orlando and Gonzalez stressed he will need to rely on his whole roster.
"With the heat and the conditions, we need everybody," he said. I think that’s going to be very important for the success in this event, is to definitely have depth and to show it in rotation, to show it in training and then show it in response to an injury or circumstance."
After taking on the Whitecaps, Dallas will face off with the Seattle Sounders July 15 (9 am ET | ESPN, TSN) before rounding off group play against the San Jose Earthquakes July 20 (8 pm ET | TUDN, Twitter, TSN). But now the schedule was out, Gonzalez said it was all eyes on Vancouver.
"We were prepared to play anybody first," he said. "Our mentality is more about what we can do, what we can control to be the best we can, in our environment in training, and what we’re doing off the field in our communication together as a team.
"But it seems that it’s Vancouver. Fantastic. We look forward to this game and that’s our number one focus now. Now we can really narrow our focus from a video analysis perspective. We can emotionally, mentally start to envision the opponent and the pieces they have — very good pieces — so we’re going to start to analyze that and be excited about that next."