How do you deal with mistakes as a defender? FC Dallas’ Zach Loyd shares his tactics

FC Dallas defender, Zach Loyd shared his soccer story with us at Cross The Line and how he maintains a personal relationship with God.

So Zach you have made over 150 appearances for FC Dallas, what’s your fondest moment been on the pitch?

“It is tough to say when you play that many games, I have had several good moments but I think my first pro appearance was a big one. That was my childhood dream coming to reality, making it as a pro was really cool. It was also great to be involved in an MLS Cup final and to win the West conference semi-finals here at home was exciting. That was a great series and team to be a part of.”


What excites you the most about where the MLS is headed?

“What excites me the most is the growth of the fans and the standard of play is getting better so it is more exciting for our national team. The player pool is going to get bigger and will give our kids a better opportunity to grow in the sport.”


Tell us how you came to know Jesus for yourself.

“For me I grew up in a Bible belt so I have always known about the historical Jesus, I knew the stories and grew up hearing that. However it wasn’t until I came to Dallas that I really knew what it was to follow Jesus and what that looks like. On a daily basis I now get into the word and I have gone from seeing Jesus as a historical figure to now being the centre of my life.”


What would you be doing right now if you hadn’t made it professionally?

“I don’t know, growing up I have always loved the sport and I have been around it my whole life. So if I hadn’t made it as a pro I would probably be coaching or doing something involving soccer with the youth. I just love being around the game.”


If you could play alongside any other defender in world football, who would it be?

“Maybe Thiago Silva but if I could go back in time it would be Cannavaro, I’d love to play with someone who has been there and done it all so he could share his experiences with me. Hopefully that would help me grow as a player!”


Is it difficult to balance the pro soccer lifestyle with living in a way that honours God?

“I wouldn’t say so, I guess the question is, what’s your idea of a pro lifestyle? That’s the biggest question there but for me I try to live my life like it says in 1 Corinthians about what have you been given that you have not received? I have been given an opportunity to play pro, I have my health and the list goes on. When you think like that life isn’t about balance, being a Christian isn’t about balance. It’s who you are.”


Who is the best player that you have ever played with?

“Probably David Ferreira, he was something special and in my first year won MLS most valuable player. He was the engine of our team and he was really special to play with.”


How does God feature in your match day routine?

“I wouldn’t say any differently than any other day, my routine is just to be disciplined in reading my bible and having a quiet time each and every day. It’s just like with anyone else, you’ve got to spend time with them in order to get to know them. I guess on game day I always pray for the team and the players as well as thanking God for the opportunity to be a part of something like this.”


How proud are you to have represented the US national team, on more than one occasion?

“Yeah it’s a privilege to do that, Iike with any player that’s wanted to represent their country from a young age and then seen it happen I am very blessed to have been able to play multiple times.”


How do you deal with failures and mistakes, which as a defender, usually cost goals?

“That’s true, I think just like anything else, you try to learn from it and you try to grow as a player. I think not only as a soccer player but as a person, you grow the most through your trials. Whether that is conceding a goal or having a tough week I just look at it and try to learn from it. Trials can be your greatest moments of growth.”


What spiritual disciplines do you have in place that help you stay close to God?

“For me, my spiritual disciplines are to have two quiet times a day and if I miss one then I have to do the other. Like I said earlier how are you going to grow or get to know someone if you don’t invest in them? So I always make it a priority to get stuck into the bible and actually pray in the shower, I have been doing that for a while now! That is pretty much my only alone time plus on top of that I am also in a ‘small group’ which is basically a group of friends who surround each other and help one another to get through life, with whatever we have got going on. That really helps a lot, it talks in the bible of surrounding yourself with like-minded people and having a group of guys that can rally around you, in victories and in failures is huge. ”


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