• Sunday Apr 02, 2017

    FC Dallas prepares for Pachuca in Mexico

    Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, first leg between host FC Dallas (red jersey) and Pachuca on March 15, 2017, in Frisco, Texas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

    PUEBLA, Mexico -- With arguably the most important match in club history looming on Tuesday, FC Dallas is taking no chances preparing for the second leg of its Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinals against host Pachuca.

    The Major League Soccer side traveled to Puebla, Mexico, on Wednesday in an effort to get acclimated to the altitude.

    "Its great preparation for us, not only physically, but mentally as well, just to get away and concentrate on the task at hand, which is to move onto the finals of the Champions League,” defender Walker Zimmerman said in an interview on the club’s official website. "It's a great experience to be here, a full week of training ahead of us to prepare for what arguably is the biggest game we've had as a club."

    FC Dallas won the first leg at home, 2-1, on March 15. A win or a draw at the Estadio Hildago, will see it become the second MLS representative to reach the SCCL final. Real Salt Lake was the first, falling to Mexico’s Monterrey, 3-2 on aggregate, in the 2010/11 edition.

    The players had some difficulty with the conditions the first couple of days of training, but they figured it would be worth it come Tuesday.

    "Air is definitely a little thin," Zimmerman commented. "You feel a little bit in the throat."

    Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who returned to the team with Zimmerman after a FIFA World Cup qualifying stint with the U.S. national team, said he "definitely felt a little winded after a few laps."

    "This week is very imperative for us to get the ball rolling and get the altitude under us," the 21-year-old added. "Hopefully that won't be a problem in the game. We'll run free like we do in Frisco [Texas]. We'll translate that back to here."

    FC Dallas team hasn't played a competitive game since registering a 2-1 home win over the New England Revolution on March 18.

    "You miss it a little bit playing in a game mode, but we're working harder and we are concentrating," forward Maxi Urruti finished. "We hope it will pay off by beating Pachuca."

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