FRISCO, Texas – After not playing since Sept. 29, Paxton Pomykal is rested and ready to go.
That’s great news for FC Dallas heading into their Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One clash with the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Saturday (3:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in US; TSN5, TVAS in Canada).
Pomykal, 19, had two goals and five assists over 25 regular-season games (20 starts) in a campaign where he captained the US at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, was a first-time MLS All-Star and made his senior national team debut.
When FCD faced Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 6 at Toyota Stadium looking to punch their ticket into the postseason, Pomykal wasn’t in the first 11, but was available off the bench. But Dallas blitzed Sporting 6-0 and didn’t need their dynamic young midfielder, meaning that by the time FCD face Seattle, Pomykal will have gone 18 days since playing the full 90 of a 3-0 loss at Colorado on Sept. 29.
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“Coming off the Colorado game, I was dealing with some pain in my groin and lower abs. We took a couple days to manage that,” Pomykal said. “I came back into training one or two days before the [SKC] game. I was available. It was their decision whether they wanted to play me or not. But we scored six goals, so it made my job real easy not having to come in.”
Pomykal was a full participant last week in training as FCD began preparing for their first playoff appearance under rookie coach Luchi Gonzalez.
He’s also been a full-go in training this week, bringing a big smile to Gonzalez’s face.
“Yes, we’re very happy to have him feel better than he has in the past, in the last few weeks, a month. We know we can count on him 100% to help this team in this challenge we have,” Gonzalez said. “He’s going to be important.”
Historically, FCD have struggled in Seattle, going 1-9-2 all-time there.
However, Pomykal remembers Dallas’ 0-0 draw at CenturyLink on Sept. 18, a positive result which gives him and his teammates considerable belief they can this time depart the Emerald City victorious and continue their playoff run.
“The narrative is FC Dallas goes up there and normally doesn’t get results,” Pomykal said. “We went there last time, played really well. We’re going to do the same, but the narrative that we go there and don’t play well isn’t true.”
Pomykal is excited to get his first taste of the MLS postseason, the latest chapter to what’s already been a noteworthy campaign for the talented youngster.
“Yeah, this is kind of the wrap-up to the end of the season. We have three games to [reach] the championship and four to win,” Pomykal said. “This is the end of what’s been a good season, not great in my eyes. I still feel like there’s a lot better soccer to be played by me. Obviously, it’s not over. There’s still games to focus on.”