"It's a crazy feeling!" Dante Sealy turns into FC Dallas hero


Dante Sealy lived an MLS is Back dream with FC Dallas on Saturday evening.

The 20-year-old homegrown player, who signed out of FCD's famed academy in 2019 and returned last July from a two-year loan to Dutch power PSV Eindhoven, delivered a match-winner deep into second-half stoppage time (90+4') to lift his team to a 2-1 season-opening victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

The emotions after just his third-ever MLS start were palpable. 

"It's a crazy feeling," Sealy said postgame at Toyota Stadium. "You can’t describe it, but being there with my guys and with the fans, it doesn’t get any better than that."

A dominant preseason

Sealy drew rave reviews for his performance during FC Dallas' preseason in Spain, scoring and assisting seemingly at will. That involved a positional change, shifting him to wingback after impressing as a forward during his youth days.

"He's adapting to a new position that he can fit very well, and I think this new formation is helping him to shine," head coach Nico Estévez said of the US youth international. "He's doing a really good job because we've been working with him during the whole preseason, but we have a lot of time to keep working with him."

He's impressed teammates as well, including Paul Arriola.

“It just shows a lot of maturity that he has; he wasn't too involved in a lot of action today and neither was I," Arriola said. "But just to have that resilience and the mentality to continue to get into the box and be ready for the one opportunity that you get.

" … I'm really proud to be his teammate, to watch him grow. He's done a fabulous job and hopefully he continues.”

More to come?

While FCD defeated the Earthquakes without their three Designated Players, their newest one – Petar Musa – joins the team on Sunday and will train for the first time on Tuesday. The club-record signing could be available along with Jesús Ferreira (left thigh). Meanwhile, Alan Velasco (left ACL) remains out long-term.

As for Sealy, despite playing the hero to open the season, there are still some "little things" he needs to work on at his new position, Estévez remarked. But if things continue to click, continuing with a March 2 match vs. CF Montréal (8:30 pm ET | Apple TV - Free), a bright future awaits.

"He’s coming from a point where he’s still very young and has had a lot of experiences that [are] helping him to mature and to grow,"  Estévez said.

"We as a staff are trying to help him as much as possible to provide him the best resources for him to shine like we do with all the players."