HOUSTON, Tx - With many future USL League Two players still in the midst of their spring semester of college it’s difficult to get a grasp of what the rosters will look like come May when the league season kicks off. However, Texas United is using the spring as an opportunity to not only look at some potential players, but also take on some talented competition while doing so.
The third-year League Two side, based out of Dallas, Texas, has already begun the process of hosting tryouts for its 2019 season while reaching out to former players to suit up once again for the upcoming campaign, but this offseason has been a bit different for the Mid South Division club.
Head coach Arez Ardalani has developed a new idea, and that’s where he began to reach out to several USL Championship sides, all of whom kicked off their opening weekend of play earlier this week.
Ardalani organized a series of friendlies with El Paso Locamotive, OKC Energy and Swope Park Rangers over the last few months, which presented a unique and important opportunity for Texas United to gain experience against top-caliber professional clubs.
“One big reason that I wanted to do this was to bring more opportunities for us as a club,” Ardalani told USLLeagueTwo.com. “I wanted to replicate something similar for our three-month season over the offseason even though it’s a bit different with our roster not being set.
“Obviously there’s some differences between us and USL Championship clubs, but I wanted to see how our players reacted to this level of competition. I was very impressed by the attitude of our players though and I believe they gained a lot of valuable experience that will translate to our play when we kick off in May.”
Although there were just seven players from a season ago on the roster for Texas United’s recent friendlies, it gave that group, as well as a hefty group of trialists, a glimpse at what life could be like in the future.
For Ardalani and Co., the experience goes beyond just the players though. He says it was a valuable opportunity for the club to analyze how the likes of El Paso, OKC and Swope Park operate their clubs at the professional level, while taking away positives that can be used to better their own organization.
“An example is definitely the preparation that goes into a match that goes beyond the staff,” Ardalani said. “It’s everything from the team warm ups to the hospitality to the way the fans interact with the matches. They were all really cool things that we got to see that go into making these games an actual event.
“Moving forward we want to make sure our staff is committed to our club badge and willing to take that extra step to providing our fans, players and everyone involved with the club a great experience.”
Texas United will kick off the 2019 season on May 11 against Brazos Valley Cavalry FC, as Ardalani and Co. aim to use their preseason experiences and translate them into League Two success.