FUEL Soccer Talk for 1/16: FC Dallas draft strategy, introducing Futtoc, cardio tips

I’ve got soccer on my mind …

1. FC Dallas gets defensive in MLS Draft

Dallas went to shore up its defense in this month’s 2019 adidas MLS SuperDraft, using their two 10-top first-round draft picks on defenders. With the fourth pick, Dallas took defender Callum Montgomery (UNC Charlotte) and with the 10th pick took defender John Nelson (UNC Chapel Hill).

Callum Montgomery, Luchi Gonzalez and John Nelson. Photo courtesy FC Dallas

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez knows a little about being a top draft pick. The new coach was the sixth overall pick in the 2002 SuperDraft, selected by the San Jose Earthquakes. And he’s very excited about his young players and kicking off the upcoming season.

“Myself and the staff are excited to get started with preseason a week from Monday,” he said on the FC Dallas web site. “Our roster is filled with players from top to bottom that match our identity and culture. They’ll be ready to compete day-in and day-out for our crest and our fans.”

FC Dallas put together an excellent behind-the-scenes video of Gonzalez’s first day on the job.     

What other player(s) should FC Dallas have considered among their top 10 picks? 

2. It isn’t ping pong or volleyball – it’s Futtoc!!!

How good are these guys?

Manchester City players sharpen their skills with a little fun in the game room. Like table tennis, but without paddles; like volleyball, but with no hands; like football, but without goal posts. Feet, chest, head, knees; anything goes in Futtoc, which uses an oval-shaped table very similar to a ping-pong table, and the players must pass a football made from a lighter material over the net. It can be played by single-player teams or in pairs. The Man City players make it look so easy!

What a great way to sharpen your skills, have fun and create a friendly competitive atmosphere. Seriously, how good are these guys?

What professional player would you pick as your partner in Futtoc? 

3. Simon says: Bad weather no excuse for skipping the cardio

The weather outside is frightful – at least for a good part of the globe. Being cold outside isn’t an excuse to eliminate or shorten your workouts. In fact, this is the time where good players become great and average players become good. Let’s focus on cardio – there are many ways to blast through body fat when the weather outside is chilly or your favorite running course is buried in snow. Muscle and Performance magazine, with the help of Taylor Simon, a Canada-based strength-and-conditioning specialist, provides five ways To Get Your Cardio When It’s Cold.

Photo courtesy Men’s Journal

“Just because the weather gets a little cooler doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite outdoor cardio options,” Simon says. “Waterproof shoes, good socks, gloves, and a face shield are necessary to protect your extremities.”

If the weather outside is unreasonably cold — think blizzard — then it’s probably best to improvise with a solid home workout. “I recommend the TRX or a set of kettlebells. This equipment offers full-body functional training and provides some of the benefits of strength training while also targeting your cardio requirements.”

Be creative. High-rep, low-rest work with some old-school bodyweight moves can be effective for your ticker and your waistline. Think jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, jump squats and jumping lunges.

Resistance training for cardio (see No. 2) paired with high-intensity bodyweight work (see No. 3) can provide a fast, effective home workout. “Move from exercise to exercise in 30-second bursts for a five-minute circuit to get a lung-burning cardio blast,” Simon says.

Getting out and about when it’s so cold outside that your face hurts doesn’t sound appealing, but if you can muster the walk to the car for a short ride, some group activity is an excellent winter option. Think spin class or masters swimming program at a gym.

For more information and tips, check out

How do you get your cardio work in during the cold months? 

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