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'It's harder to control': FC Dallas preps for return of youth soccer in Texas

FC Dallas Academy and youth club can resume full-team practices on May 31. Games can begin June 15.
Credit: FC Dallas

FRISCO, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared pro sports are welcome back in the Lone Star state starting May 31, as long as there are safety measures and no spectators.

However, many pro teams in Texas will follow the lead of their parent leagues.

For example: FC Dallas will not resume competition until Major League Soccer decides it's safe and prudent.

Though matches are on hold, FC Dallas players returned to practice in early May for isolated training sessions at the team facility in Frisco.

"It's so nice to be out here with everyone because all I've had is a ball and a wall the last two months," laughed FC Dallas defender and member of the U.S. Men's National Team Reggie Cannon. 

FC Dallas also has multiple youth teams as part of its academy and development program.

Youth sports and camps can resume full-team practices starting May 31, but only one parent or guardian per child allowed to attend.

Matches can begin June 15, per Gov. Abbott.

"It's harder to control," admits FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez. "We have over 4,000 players in our youth club. The more numbers, the harder it is to control. There are more time slots, more rotations, more uses of the field."

Gonzalez is in a unique position because he's also the father of two kids in the FC Dallas youth soccer program.

"I'm still deciding when I think is the right moment [for them to return]."

Gonzalez explains not every player (or coach) has decided to return May 31 because "everyone is different."

"As long as they're doing things in the safest way possible and trying to learn from that and improve it, it's a step in the right direction."

Safe to say, everyone is waiting for "the right moment."

Below is the full statement issued by FC Dallas:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced today that some professional sports franchises may begin applying for approval to host events without spectators starting on May 31, 2020.  FC Dallas will continue to follow guidance from Major League Soccer regarding a return to 2020 league play.

Additionally, on May 31, youth sports may begin holding practices without spectators other than one parent or guardian per participant. Youth sports competition has been cleared to resume beginning June 15, 2020 with social distancing measures recommended. Having recently returned to limited small group activity during Phase One of the State’s reopening, FC Dallas is ready to progress to full team training for its youth teams with appropriate safeguards and protocols for the health and safety of all players, staff, coaches and parents.

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