Daniel Garcia just returned from the January U20 U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Florida. It marks the return of Daniel back into the youth national team consideration. It’s a reflection of his great run of form starting from last year’s Development Academy season. We catch up with Daniel on his impression of Tab Ramos, Oscar Pareja and Jose Perez.
TFG – Where were you when you got the call to attend the U20 camp? Were you surprised?
DG – I was in Sarasota, Florida when Tab Ramos came up to me and told me if I would attend the U20 camp. Yes I was very surprise because I didn’t think I would get the call up being an academy player.
TFG – You received some call-ups in the early U18 national team cycle, how does it feel to be back on the national team radar?
DG -It feels great because its any players dream to be able to represent your country.
TFG – Heard some chatter from your U20 teammates on twitter the camp was no walk in the park. What was your impression of Tab Ramos and the new U20 coaching staff?
DG -It was no walk in the park for anyone, there were so many good players that you had to be on top of your game in every practice and game. My impression on Tab Ramos and the coaching staff was that they really want to help all of us get to the next level and there dedication and commitment to the team.
TFG – Which of your U20 teammates made an impression with you and why?
DG -Caleb Stanko, he worked hard in every practice and he knew what he was doing. He was actually my roommate in Florida so I got to know him well.
TFG – What kind of feedback did the U20 coaching staff give you after the camp?
DG -The feedback they gave was that you have to be the best guy on the field and as well off the field. To do your best in every practice because the time is ticking and before you know it is time for the next camp, and sometimes you’ll be cut but that doesn’t mean it’s over for you.
TFG – The Development Academy season is only at the half way point and you and your FCD teammates have already experienced some high points but the season started with the worst way imaginable, how did the news of Jose Perez impact you and your team?
DG -It was really hard because Jose Perez was one of our brothers and it was hard to believe that he was really gone after knowing him for so long. But it also gave us something to be inspired of and to try to win the championship for him. Every game we play is for him and also every goal that I score I dedicate it to Jose. And I know he is watching over us.
TFG – In a way, this year’s FCD U18 team represents the 2nd generation of academy players. With the graduations of Luna, Leyva and Moises to name a few, how do you feel this U18 team is carrying on the FC Dallas Academy’s reputation as the top rated Development Academy club?
DG -I feel that we are representing FCD U18 reputation in a very good way. We are always playing the style that we always have and that is to keep the ball.
TFG – An end of an era for FCD academy with the departure of Oscar Pareja. How has Oscar Pareja impacted your life and can you share a story that you will best remember him by?
Oscar has made a huge impact in my life; I looked up to him like a father figure. He taught me to always do my best and to play better in every game. To stay humble, he has helped me grow as a player and as a person. My best memory of Oscar is that he was at every practice and he would sometimes join us in our practices. He would act like a kid when he was around us and he understood us very well. He will be missed by everyone here at FC Dallas.
TFG – Lastly, what are your goals for the remainder of this year and where do you see yourself in two years?
DG -My goals are to be the leading scorer of my team, to win the championship, and to be the next homegrown. In two years I see myself playing for FC Dallas with some of my former teammates.