Back in Frisco with his teammates, Fafa Picault has watched the MLS is Back Tournament from home. He’s noticed dark horses like FC Cincinnati and the Vancouver Whitecaps reach the knockout stage and so-called favorites, like Atlanta United, surprisingly struggle.
The winger believes FC Dallas would have been one of the teams still competing in Orlando if given the chance.
“I think we definitely could have made a very deep run, if not win it,” Picault said in a video conference call with reporters before training Tuesday. “Knowing our group, and having been in the league for a few years, I definitely think we would have done very well.”
Picault said the situation bonded the team “in a weird way.” The players learned how they handled a difficult situation — a unique adversity. From there, it was a shift in mindset to preparing for whatever lies ahead.
"Obviously the first thing was getting healthy and that's the most important thing,” Picault said. “We can't play if we can't live comfortably. We're glad that everyone's ok and the next step now is to prepare for when we do go back to the pitch.”
The watching, and waiting, though hasn’t been easy. Training has been somewhat therapeutic, but it’s not the same as game days.
“At this point, everyday kind of feels the same, we’re not really looking toward the weekends as we want to. We’re watching games on TV all the time and seeing some of our friends playing other teams and get to compete against each other and it’s tough.”
Picault said the intensity has been ratcheted up in recent days. Watching the rest of the league compete hasn’t been easy, but Picault and his teammates are eager to start playing competitive games again.
"Everyone is showing more bite because we really, it's almost like a fix. We need that competitive fix and are starting to show that in training,” Picault said. “I think by the time games do start, we'll be ready for that."