With FC Dallas clinching the #1 seed in the Western Conference, the club has clinched a first round bye, something they could not avoid last year. Captain Matt Hedges more than welcomes the week rest he and his teammates will be able to take advantage off before their first match.
“I think it’s a big advantage with the amount of games we’ve played,” Hedges said. “We’ve played back-to-backs in the last two weeks. It’s nice to not play that midweek game.”
Hedges has noted in the past that he has some ongoing injuries nagging him, and did not deny them when asked.
“Yeah, I’m really beat up. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. It’ll be good to get that full week of recovery and training.”
The problems could be a range of things with Hedges, who has played through plenty of injuries this season. Hedges has had lower body injuries that have nagged him throughout the season. He also has had a few very minor head injuries that have kept him out due to concussion policy. One of which was caused by a ball pinging off the post in training and smacking him in the head.
He has played through these for the latter half of the season, and has racked up 2675 minutes. He’s looking to add to those minutes in the postseason, especially in front of the home crowd in the second leg. Hedges feels as if the advantage could be huge.
“I think it’s more of an advantage for the team coming home in the second leg. They know exactly what they have after being on the road, and you can have more of a game plan…It’s good for us to be in that position instead of the other way around.”
Looking back to this point last season, Dallas was in the opposite of this situation, with having to go on the road to Seattle in the second leg of round one. That effectively spelled their doom as they could not crack the Seattle defense at Century Link Field.
FC Dallas could face Seattle again depending on how Wednesday’s and Thursday’s knockout round matches play out. Dallas also have the chance to face the LA Galaxy or Sporting Kansas City. Those three clubs combined for a 5-2-1 regular season record against FC Dallas, and Sporting put a 6-2 walloping on Dallas in U.S. Open Cup play. Hedges has no preference on who the club plays, he just wants to beat them.
“I don’t care to be honest [who Dallas plays]. Any team, they’re just in our way at this point.”