FC Dallas Kicks Off 2022 Season This Weekend

It's a big weekend for soccer as FC Dallas takes on Toronto FC at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

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Pro-soccer is back in North Texas!

Despite the weather this weekend, FC Dallas is ready to roll out its 2022 season against Toronto FC on Saturday.

The game begins at 4:30 p.m. at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. Tickets are still available.

Click here to learn more about Saturday’s match.

“This is a little bit unusual because we're in a World Cup year and this is the first time that I can remember the regular season taking off in February,” said Dan Hunt, FC Dallas president. “The weather is a little bit of a challenge but this is something that we have to work through as the league and it's always hard in Texas. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Just days ago during the start of the freeze, Toyota Stadium welcomed crowds of fans to see the U.S. women’s national team play, despite the weather.

The new season also kicks off a new era for FC Dallas, with new coach Nico Estévez, who has national team experience having served as US Men's coach Gregg Berhalter's first assistant and professional coaching experience in his native Spain.

"We're very excited, we can't wait to be on the field Saturday with our fans and supporters," Estévez said in a statement on the team website. We want to compete as best we can and win the game. We want the fans to be proud of our work and everything that we're doing with the team. We want them to have a good time and enjoy the team on the field."

Estévez was appointed in December as the eighth coach in club history, so Saturday’s match will be his first outing as an MLS head coach.

“We love having Nico at the club because he has such a unique and diverse background,” said Hunt. “He has a lot of familiarity with our player pool. Being the U.S. national team coach, he had a relationship with a number of the guys and it's really been great to see his connection with our players. He's understood what it takes to bring in veterans to major league soccer.”

The team is also welcoming some new players this season, including Paul Arriola, one of the largest trades made recently in major soccer.

“He’s a great U.S. national team player who comes to us from DC United," said Hunt. "He was the captain of DC United, who was also vice captain for the US Men's National Team program."

Other newcomers to Dallas include Marco Farfan from Los Angeles FC, Maarten Paes from FC Utrecht in the Netherlands, Nanu from FC Porto in Portugal, and Alan Velasco from Independiente in Argentina.

“Alan is regarded by many as one of the best 120 players in all of South America," Hunt said. "This is a dynamic, exciting player. What we like about Alan is he can absolutely kill you on the dribble or on passing. He has a special town of very unique skill set. So big moment, new era for FC Dallas. Exciting product and we're thrilled at what the new 2022 FC Dallas is going to look like.

According to FC Dallas, the team had a strong preseason with wins against Houston Dynamo FC (2-1) and San Antonio FC (6-0), as well as a scoreless draw with Chicago Fire FC a few weeks ago.

Fans can also expect an enhanced experience at Toyota Stadium, which has new food offerings for the soccer club’s 27th season as well as interactive fan experiences like the Sweet Tooth Hotel pop-up.

Looking Ahead to 2026

We're also learning more about Dallas' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026, which could bring big economic dollars to the region.

"The economic impact of this would be in the billions," said Hunt, who is also the chairman for the Dallas Bid Committee. "I mean, this is the Super Bowl on steroids."

The Dallas is one of 17 cities across the country vying to be a host. FIFA will choose 10 U.S. cities in addition to three Canadian and three Mexican cities to host in 2026.

After years of planning and interruptions from the pandemic, Hunt said we should finally know an answer in May or June.

"We all should have known an answer almost two years ago now, but because of COVID we've been delayed and delayed more,” he said.

If Dallas is selected, six matches would be held at AT&T Stadium.

He said currently, the Dallas Bid Committee is still going back and forth to answer final questions FIFA has in what Dallas has to offer.

“We're down to the nitty gritty stuff on field details, dimensions – how we're going to put in a lift station at AT&T stadium to raise the field so that it meets FIFA guidelines,” said Hunt.

The committee also just presented its human rights plan in December as requested by FIFA, which the organization has noted is a significant part of it’s planning process.

FIFA is trying to address issues when it comes to workers’ rights, sustainability and the effect on the local community in hosting massive events like this.

These final discussions are happening while FIFA completes its tour of the cities. Representatives paid a visit to Dallas in October 2021.

“Dallas is a sports crazy town," Hunt said. "I mean, you look at the great professional teams we have here. Obviously FC Dallas is in the north part of the city. But the Cowboys, the Mavericks, the Stars, the Rangers – you look at the college teams we have here. The whole area is so passionate for sports. We have sports of venues that are second to none. AT&T Stadium is one of the great economic drivers in all sports. It's an amazing venue that you can crowd in 90,000 people to watch events. It's hosted everything under the sun including 20 plus professional matches.”

Fair Park could also be turned into an international media and broadcast venue.

Click here to learn more about the plan.

Other cities in the running include Miami, New York, and Atlanta.

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