• Monday Jan 22, 2018

    With lesson learned, FC Dallas maps next SCCL campaign

    FC Dallas’ Javier Morales (red jersey/left) looks on as host Pachuca celebrates a victory in their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series. (Photo: Mexsport)

    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- FC Dallas learned a vital lesson in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. As important as your home leg is, don't allow your lead slip away on the road.

    That's what happened to the Major League Soccer side in the semifinals, registering a 2-1 home victory over Pachuca, before dropping a 3-1 road decision.

    "You have to be strong when you play away," head coach Oscar Pareja said Friday at the MLS SuperDraft. "Those away games are key; be solid and get over the adversities that you may have in a different stadium and field. It may be a cliché to say that you have to be strong at home, but having a good game away gives you a lot of priority to move ahead in the competition."

    In the second leg, Cristian Colman's 86th-minute goal tied the series at 3-3. Hirving Lozano's injury-time strike, however, lifted Pachuca to a 4-3 aggregate win. The Mexican side went on to win the title.

    "We were having a really strong performance in Mexico, but we ended up giving up a goal that made the whole difference," Pareja remarked. "That lesson, we learned."

    This year’s squad has an opportunity for redemption. It opens play in the Round of 16 with a visit to Tauro FC on February 21, before hosting the Panamanian power on February 28.

    FC Dallas, which starts preseason Monday, has only a month to prepare.

    "I don't want to complain about the challenge of the schedule," finished Pareja. “It is something that we need to figure out.”

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