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Thursday, July 14, 2011
Richard Sanchez taking time off

By Master Tesfatsion

FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez is taking some time off in California to relax with his family before returning to the club following his championship run with Mexico’s Under-17 squad.

Sanchez became the first American-born player to win a FIFA men’s title Sunday. He started every game in net for host country Mexico -- including the 2-0 win over Uruguay in the final in front of 105,000 fans at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. Sanchez had a 1.00 goals-against average and held two teams scoreless in the tournament.

“It was an unforgettable experience that I will keep in my heart forever,” Sanchez said during a conference call Thursday. “I really liked spending time with players from other teams, with my teammates and all coaches, who I would like to thank for taking time away from family to be with us.”

Sanchez and his teammates took a tour around Mexico City and gave fans a glimpse of the trophy Monday. El Tri also stopped to visit with Mexico president Felipe Calderón and mingled with other Mexican leaders.

“I feel a little bit more confident after playing in the World Cup,” Sanchez said. “Being only 17 years old and living this experience, it did boost my confidence.”

FC Dallas academy and professional players sent Sanchez messages through Twitter and Facebook congratulating him on Mexico’s accomplishments.

“We have been working hard to accomplish a lot of our goals and it’s a good feeling to hear from them,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez’s name has blown up because on his international success. Sanchez denied hearing rumors of European teams showing interest in the goalkeeper. Although he said it would be a dream to return to a European club, Sanchez's intentions are with FC Dallas. Sanchez expects to return to the club during the last week of July.

“I know I have to train hard when I go back to the club if I want to get anywhere,” Sanchez said. “As soon as I get back I want to get into the team, focus on the team and hopefully win a starting spot someday after Kevin [Hartman].”