The Call Up

Pug Arriola: How Paul Arriola's pugs told him he's an MLS All-Star

Of all the ways he might have imagined finding out that he'd made the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, FC Dallas came up with one that standout forward Paul Arriola didn't expect.

The Texan club put their social team to work in order to deliver Arriola the news, enlisting the help of his fiancé Akela Banuelos, and their pair of pugs, Penelope and Nugget. On his guest appearance on the most recent episode of The Call Up, Arriola explained the rest to co-hosts Susannah Collins and Jillian Sakovits:

Nico had said there was a surprise and he couldn't say any more but let's bring them in. I was completely focused on our game the next day, we had just finished video, and I'm thinking like: "Surprise, OK, whatever." You don't think it's about you, ever. I saw one of my dogs run in and I'm like, that kind of looks like Nugget. And I'm like 'that is my dog' and the other one runs in with balloons tied to them and their little jerseys, running around. It was great.

Then I see my fiancé there and I'm like 'What is this for?' And then I can't even open the card because I'm so nervous, I don't know what's going on. Is she pregnant? I didn't know what else it would be. I didn't think anything about the All-Star Game, I didn't know what this is, and everyone kind of just like, eyes on me, and so I'm trying to cut the card open. It was a really nice card, obviously a lot of dog puns in there, it was honestly super special. FC Dallas has been amazing since the day I got here, they've always talked about my pugs, I did my first photoshoot with the club with my dogs. It's honestly been great.

Arriola also weighed in on the hiring of former D.C. United teammate Wayne Rooney to manage his previous MLS club.

I was definitely surprised. I love Wayne, I loved him as a teammate, I have nothing but amazing things to say about him and the person that he is. I'm excited, I think for the club, internally, obviously having some friends on the team still, they're excited about this new change and this new energy. I think the club is at a club right now where they need it. They need something new, they need something different. And they're gonna do that with Wayne.

Obviously everyone knows the type of player Wayne was, not just a technical guy, but more of a roll up his sleeves and let's get dirty, and I think that's the style that he's going to bring to D.C. United and hopefully along with that he'll bring a new tactical side that he's developed as being a coach. For me, I'm really excited for them, I'm always rooting for D.C. until we play each other one day. I am really excited and really curious and I hope the fans are excited and they can get back to winning ways.