On July 31, two soccer giants, FC Barcelona of Spain’s La Liga and AS Roma of Italy’s Serie A, will square off at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium as part of the 2018 International Champions Cup tournament.
Tickets for this match went on sale earlier this week. And on Tuesday, a press conference was held in front of Ford Center, a gathering which featured FC Dallas players Jimmy Maurer and Maxi Urruti.
However, the biggest names at this presser came from the team who calls The Star home – the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey and offensive lineman Joe Looney were both on hand to offer their thoughts on seeing two giants of international soccer play in their home stadium this summer.
Bailey took a bit of ribbing for saying his favorite soccer team is Aston Villa FC from England, but the Cowboys kicker then talked about how soccer was his favorite sport growing up in his native Oklahoma.
“That was my main sport. I just kind of fell into football,” Bailey said. “Started out playing soccer, played all the way through high school. Just always had a love for it. They don’t call it the beautiful game for nothing.”
Bailey then said he’ll be cheering for Barcelona on July 31 as will Looney, but since the Cowboys will likely be in the early stages of training camp out in Oxnard, California at the end of July, it’s doubtful that either of them will get to see the game in person.
Still, they’re both stoked at the thought of two soccer giants coming to Arlington to square off.
“I think it’s great just to see two big clubs like that from around the world come right here into Texas and be able to play in our stadium,” Looney said.
“It’s a true honor to have both of them coming here and compete. Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I personally get star struck from seeing these guys. It’s great to have those caliber guys come in there and just show off their talents.”
Besides the Cowboys and FC Dallas players, mascots from both teams, Rowdy and Tex Hooper, respectively, were also in attendance along with the FCD drumline.
Both FCD players briefly addressed the crowd.
Maurer is a well-traveled 29-year-old goalkeeper who is new to Dallas in 2018. His signing was expected to bolster the FCD goalkeeping corps, one where talented youngster Jesse Gonzalez, a product of the much-celebrated Dallas development academy, was expected to be the starter.
However, when Gonzalez battled injuries during preseason and early in the regular season, Maurer seized the opportunity and hasn’t looked back. He has a goals-against-average of just 0.86 through his first seven games, one of the best marks in Major League Soccer.
And the Georgia native is elated to have found such a great fit here with FCD.
“I’m loving every minute of it,” Maurer said.
Information on this match can be found at www.internationalchampionscup.com.