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FRISCO, Texas – Very first-year FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez calls veteran defender and co-captain Reto Ziegler a “student of the game.”

Prior to coming to FCD in January 2018 right after creating 145 appearances in Italy’s Serie A, 34 in the English Premier League and 122 in the Swiss Super League, Ziegler, 33, did his homework and knew specifically what to anticipate in MLS.

“It’s nothing at all complex. Dallas supplied me to come right here,” Ziegler told MLSsoccer.com right after education Tuesday. “I followed MLS ahead of I moved right here and knew how they [FCD] wanted to play. It is a technical group, speedy in transition. They wanted me in the back to be a leader and to play the ball out, to assist the young individuals since we have a young group. I’m right here to win titles. That is nevertheless my target.”

When asked if something about the league has shocked him as a result far, Ziegler mentioned it hadn’t, calling MLS a hard, physical league exactly where nothing at all comes straightforward, a circuit “with a lot of international players with a lot of strategy.”

Pretty much promptly right after arriving, Ziegler created a optimistic influence with FCD. Final season, he had 4 targets in 29 begins and so far in 2019, he has 3 targets in 10 begins.

But for Gonzalez, who took more than the initially group in December right after Oscar Pareja stepped down, Ziegler’s worth can not solely be quantified by his numbers.

“He’s a experienced. Every single education he is ready,” Gonzalez mentioned. “Even in the way he warms up, you know it is vital to him. That is leadership by instance that the other players stick to. When he demands to be vocal, he is. When he demands to set the tone, command and direct, he does. He’s been genuinely optimistic in what ever his role’s been.”

Prior to coming to MLS, Ziegler played higher-level soccer in six unique nations. And seeing how so a lot of unique clubs in unique locales create their personal talent has afforded him a wonderful viewpoint on what a wonderful academy appears like, which is specifically what he sees with FCD.

Reto Ziegler celebrates with FCD teammates | USA Nowadays Sports Photos

“We have a single of the most effective academies in the States,” Ziegler mentioned. “I played for teams when I was younger who also believed in young individuals. That is anything fantastic, but you require to have balance. You can not play only with young guys. You require a balance and I assume we have it right here.”

The higher caliber of young talent surrounding him also continues to impress the veteran center back. And as a veteran in a leadership function, he’s under no circumstances hesitant to supply his young teammates sage guidance gleaned from his lengthy and productive tenure in Europe.

In truth, he shared a single current conversation with Reggie Cannon, a Homegrown defender who got his initially US national group contact-up final October.

“I do not see him as a extremely young guy. I see him as an international player,” Ziegler mentioned. “He represents his nation ideal now and he deserves that. He ought to be a model for the other guys since when you attain the national group, it implies you are anything unique. I inform him every single day, it is anything stunning what you have accomplished, but it is not sufficient. He has to operate every single day.”

Ziegler does not only serve as a wonderful function model for his younger teammates. His professionalism and coachability also make him a shining instance of how to deal with challenges on and off the field for the complete roster.

For that, Gonzalez merely can not heap sufficient praise on his seasoned shoulders.

“He’s open. He’s been genuinely fantastic about video sessions, asking queries, getting open to feedback,” Gonzalez mentioned. “That’s a wonderful instance for our younger players, who require to know how to take crucial feedback and not just take it but use it. Reto has shown that there’s no age limit on improvement, development and mastering. We’re pleased to see him continue to contribute.”

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