FC Dallas has a huge road game on Saturday against the Portland Timbers. Daniel & Demetrio break it down in this week's Keys to the Match Driven by Toyota:
FCD is looking to go 4-0-0 for the first time in team history on Saturday night vs Seattle Sounders FC. Demetrio & Daniel break it down in this week's Keys to the Match pres. by Toyota:
Can FC Dallas stay perfect in MLS in the first road match of the season at Philadelphia? We break it all down in the Keys to the Match presented by Toyota.
FC Dallas looks to go 2-0 on Saturday night when they host Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Stadium. Get ready for kickoff with our Keys to the Match presented by Toyota. Unfortunately, the FINAL Keys to the Match for Scott Brown as he rides off into the sunset.
The season is back! FCD kicks things off on Saturday night against San Jose and we've got you covered with FCDTV's Keys to the Match driven by Toyota
We've finally reached the final preseason game of 2015 as we sit just a week away from the huge season opener at Toyota Stadium against San Jose on March 7th!
There's still one more important matter, however, as FC Dallas looks to take down the reigning NASL Champions in the second-straight year the teams meet up in the final preseason match.
FC Dallas is 2-2-1 in five preseason matches with last Friday's 3-1 win over DC United still fresh in everyone's mind. Here are three things to watch for on Saturday night and be sure to head to FCDallas.com tomorrow night at 7:00PM to catch all the action from San Antonio.
Barrios' first game
One of the really interesting aspects to Saturday's friendly will be a first chance to see new signing Michael Barrios in his first action with FCD. The speedy winger joined the team for his first practices this week and Oscar Pareja has said he expects him to play a part in Saturday's game.
The duo of Michael Barrios and Fabian Castillo would surely be the fastest pair of wingers in the league and we could see that speed unleashed for the first time on Saturday night.
Loyd back in the mix
Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges provided one of the best center back combinations in the league through the second half of the 2014 season, but the pair hasn't had a lot of time to work together in the 2015 preseason as Loyd has had to sit much of it out with a minor injury. Zach was back in training this week and could end up playing a part in Saturday's game. It's certainly something to watch as significant minutes for Loyd would certainly suggest he's 100% to go for next Saturday's season opener.
The battle for Texas
Last season, FC Dallas locked down the hypothetical Texas championship belt defeating the Houston Dynamo in MLS and LHUSOC play while drawing San Antonio in preseason and also defeating them in LHUSOC play. While Dallas didn't get a chance to play Austin Aztex in the preseason tournament, Saturday's game is a chance to win yet another game against Texan opposition. Which is always important. #KingsOfTexas
The season is nearly upon us and Friday night at Toyota Stadium, you'll get your first chance to see FC Dallas live and in person as we face DC United in the penultimate preseason match before things get started in full against San Jose. The match kicks off at 7:30PM and general admission tickets are just $10 and available right here.
Here are a few things to watch for in Friday's preseason match:
At this point, head coach Oscar Pareja is probably very close to set on his opening day lineup and Friday's match will give us a huge clue as to which 11 players will be suiting up on March seventh. In Austin, Pareja played a basically full strength lineup for the first hour of the match and indicated after practice on Thursday that he would have the same strategy on Friday against DC.
Keep an eye out on who starts across the back line as well as who starts in goal. Also, that right midfield position is certainly open, and it will be interesting to see whether Tesho Akindele or Ryan Hollingshead gets the nod on Friday night.
Speaking of Ryan Hollingshead, he's certainly been one of the best performers in preseason so far, earning starts in both preseason matches in Austin while scoring two goals in the 3-1 victory over Columbus.
With the right midfield spot open for battle among players like Hollingshead, Akindele and Coy Craft, the second-year Hollingshead has earned some very important preseason minutes and upped his game big time.
The former PAC-12 Player of the Year is now in his second year as a pro and you should watch him closely on Friday night as his work rate and skill on the bar are among the best on the team. Could he be the breakout player of 2015?
FC Dallas and DC United are meeting for the second time in six days on Friday and while they are both just preseason games, familiarity should certainly bring about a nice competitive game. Sunday's matchup was a physical affair that saw plenty of fouls and midfield play with most of the chances falling to Fabian Castillo and FC Dallas.
If FCD can again limit the DC chances to solo efforts from Fabian Espindola and Chris Rolfe while getting the ball to the feet of Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, Dallas should have plenty of opportunities to get the first home crowd of the season on their feet.
FC Dallas takes another big step towards March 7th this weekend as they compete in the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge. The four-team tournament has three MLS teams plus USL's Austin Aztex and FC Dallas will kick things off at 5:45PM against Columbus Crew SC. Here's a few things to keep your eye on this weekend:
Full squad together
With Matt Hedges back from national team camp, pretty much the full roster for FC Dallas should be in Austin and you will likely see a mostly first team lineup on Friday night. Oscar Pareja said earlier this week that he's looking to get the starters at least 60 minutes and with three weeks under the belt in preseason, it's time to stretch those legs a little bit.
We're all excited to see what Mauro Diaz can do this season and these games will be a fantastic barometer to see how Mauro looks in preseason. The little magician burst out of the gates last year winning MLS Etihad Player of the Month in March and everyone knows if Mauro can stay healthy through a full season, a potential MLS Best XI nomination is on the cards. When Mauro plays, you've got to watch.
Atiba Harris in defense
Last season, Oscar Pareja had a brilliant stroke moving Je-Vaughn Watson to right back with incredible results and he's been experimenting with that again this preseason with Atiba Harris. It's, no doubt, a work in progress, but if Harris, who loves to attack down the right wing and scored the only goal of the preseason so far for FC Dallas, can adapt to the position it could provide huge benefits for FC Dallas.
After nearly two weeks of training, the first preseason game of 2015 finally kicks off for FC Dallas on Wednesday morning in Orlando as FC Dallas will face MLS debutants Orlando City SC at 11:00AM .
Whereas last year, FC Dallas took a two-week trip to UAE early in the preseason, Wednesday's game against Orlando City and Saturday's match against Jonkopings Sodra represent the only matches in this preseason that FCD will play outside the state of Texas.
Here's three things to watch for as FCD goes 11v11 for the first time against another opponent on Wednsday morning:
First run out
The first game is always a little bit of a touch and go exercise for the first teamers, and you wouldn't expect any of them to get more than 45 minutes of game time. For veterans like Zach Loyd, Victor Ulloa, David Texeira and company, Wednesday's game is a solid first chance to work out the cobwebs and begin to get back into game shape.
With the preseason tournament in Austin next weekend serving as a much more formal preseason experience playing in front of the paying fans, this week in Florida will be a little more relaxed games providing some match fitness under the sun in Florida.
Who earns a spot?
Of course, for guys trying to earn a contract, these games can have huge importance and many times the second halves are much more interesting than the first as the guys trying to earn a roster spot put their best foot forward. Oscar Pareja has a myriad of trialists and draft picks in there including Will Seymore, Jaineil Hoilett, Aurelio Saco-Vertiz, Juan Toja and Ezquiel Straccia, so look out for some of these names and how they do.
Spots are certainly limited, but with Matt Hedges and Blas Perez out on international duty, there will be some playing time that the young guys will look to take advantage of.
The answer to a trivia question
For the opponents Orlando City SC, Wednesday will reportedly be the first match for Brazilian Designated Player Kaka. The 2007 Ballon d'Or winner will make his first appearance of the preseason for Orlando City and FC Dallas will forever be the answer to the trivia question of who was the first MLS team he faced.
Stay tuned to FC Dallas social media tomorrow for full coverage of the match!
The champs visit Toyota Stadium twice in 2015, with the first match coming on Saturday, May 9 at 7:30PM, the third Premier Match of the season.
Any time the Galaxy come to town, it's an occasion not to be missed, and with a Saturday night kickoff in the middle of spring, this one is definitely going to be a packed house at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas is 3-1-1 in their last five at home against Los Angeles and any time FCD faces the Galaxy, you can bet some late drama is in the cards.
While Landon Donovan has ridden off into the U.S. Soccer sunset and Steven Gerrard doesn't arrive until later in the season, the Galaxy still boast perhaps the most fascinating forward in the league in Robbie Keane as well as Dallas-native Omar Gonzalez; so there's plenty of talent to watch on the other end of the field, but this one is all about FC Dallas.
With this game being the sixth of seven home games in the first 11 matches of the season, FCD has a chance to make a real statement to the rest of the league with this one and you definitely don't want to miss it.
Drama happens when FCD and the Galaxy play (see below). Get the best seat in the house now for the next chapter as single-game tickets are available!