TCU women’s soccer coach Eric Bell beamed as he watched the game unfold on his team’s field Tuesday.
FC Dallas brought its organization to Fort Worth and with it big-time soccer atmosphere to TCU’s Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.
“This is awesome,” he said from his perch at the stairwell of the Jane Justin Field House. “I hope that some of the people here seeing this type of atmosphere can hopefully bring this to our games as well. This is exactly what I’m looking for.”
With FC Dallas’ home field at Toyota Stadium under repair, the organization made camp at TCU for its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Oklahoma City Energy FC that Dallas won 4-1 to advance to the round of 16.
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A crowd of 1,106 fans packed the stands at Garvey-Rosenthal, listed as 1,500 capacity, and spilled over into the standing room only grass berm on the south side of the bleachers.
Plenty of FC Dallas supporters made their way over from the east side of the Metroplex and filled the stands with red and blue, including the El Matador supporter group and their drum corps.
“Being on all one side of the pitch, specifically at Toyota Stadium, all of our supporter groups are separated, so this gets us all next to each other,” El Matador member Anthony Beck of Plano said. “It’s kind of cool because we got to do some things together and sing some songs together.”
On the field, fans were treated to a quality game, with FC Dallas scoring three goals in the first half and one in the second.
“FC Dallas has some special players and some of their attack players are quite dynamic and fast and creative and different,” Bell said. “They’ve scored some goals in a lot of different ways and it’s fun to watch.”
FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz found his way on the score sheet, assisting Michael Barrios on Dallas’ third goal and Barrios’ second.
Clad in all purple, Seitz threw the ball 25 yards, leading Barrios on a run that would end with the ball in the southern Garvey-Rosenthal goal. It was the first assist for Seitz with FC Dallas.
The purple shirts sprinkled into the crowd didn’t see Seitz pitch a shutout as Oklahoma City scored in the 82nd minute, but were treated to professional soccer.
“The fact that they’re right here in my back yard, I had to come,” TCU senior finance and real estate major Carolyn Raburn said. “I love soccer. I’m watching the World Cup right now and it was just amazing the fact that I could come right to TCU and watch a professional team play.”
Said Seitz: “Hopefully we made few new fans out here in Fort Worth, but at the same time it’s good and it served it’s purpose,” Seitz said. “We came out here and we put a good performance together when we really needed one as a club.”