FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja reflected on what the week of practice and what the rivalry means to him against Houston. The Colombian never had the chance to play against Houston during his days as a player in Dallas, but knows the importance of rivalry games for his team especially with Houston in the west now.
“It adds importance playing a derby inside the conference,” he said. “People can enjoy the rivalry and it adds importance.”
Pareja knows that rivalry games help teams build the team and the players and helps the team overall.
“It does add a different element for the players,” he said. “It is hard for me to differentiate one game to the other, but a derby is a derby.”
Pareja is pleased with how Mauro Diaz is performing so far after coming off his injury spell.
“Mauro has a natural characteristic to his game,” he said. “He helps link people, he helps calm the situation, and he creates chances.”
Pareja was happy with how his team performed heading into the Friday game against Houston.
“The team looked good and are in good spirits,” he said. “They’re coming off two good results and it gives us a good environment for us to do other things as well.”
Blas Perez will miss the game with a red card, but Pareja sees it as an opportunity for a player to step up and fill his role for this game.
“Every player has different characteristics and we will miss Blas,” he said. “I hope we can add another one that the new player brings and I see it as an opportunity for somebody to step up.”
FC Dallas travel to Houston for the Texas Derby Friday night at 7:00 PM central on UniMas.