Major League Soccer

Houston Dynamo's Paulo Nagamura calls for 'calm' in Texas derby vs FC Dallas

Chris Smith
Nagamura is preparing for his first Texas derby.
Nagamura is preparing for his first Texas derby. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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As he prepares for his first Texas derby against FC Dallas as head coach of the Houston Dynamo, Paulo Nagamura is calling for his players to remain 'calm and collected'.

Already one of the most hotly contested rivalries in MLS, Saturday's clash should prove to be even more intense with the two sides level on 12 points and both in the top five of the Western Conference.

For the Dynamo, this is part one of a Texas double-header as they host Austin FC a week later. As the heat turns up, Nagamura is looking for his side to maintain their composure.

"That's how we have to navigate the game. We need to be calm and collected, make sure that we prepare," Nagamura told reporters.

"The one thing that I can say is that we need to take pride in being and wanting to be the best team in Texas. For me, it's a big rivalry, but the rivalry is outside the white lines. Inside the white lines – it’s preparation, it's work. Our mentality is to always be the best on the field and that's how we're going to approach the game."

A veteran of nine games against FC Dallas - with a 3-3-3 record - Houston defender Adam Lundqvist knows exactly what this rivalry means to those who play in it and the supporters in the stands.

Despite Nagamura trying to maintain calm, the Sweden international concedes this fixture has 'some added extra'.

"As long as I've been here, I know what this means to the city and to the fans," Lundqvist said. "Personally, I really enjoy these games. I know what it means to the fans and we really want to give the fans something to be happy about.

"We want to continue this streak that we had last year, when we had some good results against them. There is definitely some extra added adrenaline going into these games. As a player you really love to play in these types of games."

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