The USMNT is returning to Toyota Stadium for the first time since March 28, 2007 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup curtain-raiser and it's both a long overdue return and a well-deserved reward for the Dallas sports fans who have taken soccer support to another level in the last year.
You sold out Toyota Stadium for the largest American crowd to watch the USWNT in 2014, packed downtown Dallas three times for USMNT 2014 World Cup watch parties, set all-time attendance records at Toyota Stadium for FC Dallas games and brought the support for FCD to a new level during our MLS Cup Playoff run and now you have a red, white and blue matchup to look forward to this summer.
While the USMNT has played twice at Toyota Stadium, it is fair to say neither match was the marquee game we will see at Toyota Stadium on July 7th as the national team begins their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quest which Jurgen Klinsmann has called "the number one priority for the senior National Team in 2015."
Let's take a look at the two other times the USMNT has played at Toyota Stadium:
February 19, 2006 - USMNT 4, Guatemala 0
The first-ever visit of the national team to a brand new Toyota Stadium(then Pizza Hut Park) was played in absolutely frigid winter conditions as anyone who was at the USWNT game against New Zealand can relate to. It was even colder than that.
A USMNT squad beginning their 2006 World Cup preparation featured a mix of both young and old with Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan making his debut while stalwarts like Brian Ching, Frankie Hejduk and Ben Olsen also suited up for Bruce Arena's team.
A surprisingly robust crowd saw Ben Olsen open the scoring with a beautiful volley with Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Chris Klein rounding out the scoring.
(If you can name that full starting XI, you're a true US Soccer old schooler).
March 28, 2007 - USMNT 0, Guatemala 0
Just a year later, Guatemala returned to Toyota Stadium for another friendly against the USMNT, though this one was played on a Wednesday night with what can only be described as a weakened USMNT squad beginning to prepare for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The weekend matchup saw fan favorite Kenny Cooper and others like Frank Simek and Justin Mapp make some of their only USMNT appearances in the goalless draw.
Just one more camp stands between Tab Ramos' US U-20 National Team and CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying set to begin on January 9th in Jamaica.
Kellyn Acosta has once again been called in to camp in Honduras which will be the final tune-up before things get really serious. Here's the release from US Soccer:
CHICAGO (Dec. 12, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a roster for the USA’s final foreign training camp of the year from Dec. 15-22 in Honduras.
Nineteen players are headed to the camp, which will feature matches against the Honduras U-20s on Dec. 18 and 21 at Morazan Stadium in San Pedro Sula. The Dec. 18 game kicks off at 4 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET) and the Dec. 21 match at 2 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET).
This is the U-20 MNT’s final foreign training camp of the year before turning its focus on the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship starting Jan. 9 in Jamaica.
The USA roster for Honduras features nine of the 10 players who took part in the U-20 MNT’s recent domestic fitness camp from Dec. 3-10 in Bradenton, Florida.
The group also includes midfielders Russell Canouse and Romain Gall, who are the only two players to feature in all seven of the U-20 MNT’s international matches this year. Canouse leads the team with six starts and Gall is tied for third on the U-20s with two goals, both of which came during the USA’s 4-3 victory against Russia’s U-21 national team on Nov. 12 in Marbella, Spain.
The goalkeeping tandem of Santiago Castaño and Zack Steffen has accounted for six of the USA’s seven starts this year. Steffen, who officially signed with Bundesliga club SC Freiburg on Friday, has posted shutouts in both of his matches – a 4-0 win against Bermuda and a scoreless draw against Australia en route to the NTC Invitational title – and Castaño had a clean sheet during the USA’s 1-0 win against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 15.
The USA roster includes 18 players with ties to the Development Academy.
The U-20 MNT is 4-1-2 in international competition and 10-2-2 overall in 2014.
Following the Honduras camp, the U-20s will hold a pre-World Cup qualifying camp in Florida before departing for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA opens Group A play at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Guatemala on Jan. 9 at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica (5:30 p.m. ET kickoff).
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Santiago Castaño (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (6): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (North Carolina State; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.),Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
FORWARDS (4): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)
MLS hasn't had a draft in nearly 48 hours, so it's time for another one!
Today is phase one of the MLS Re-Entry Draft which is a mechanism put in place with the new CBA that tries to somewhat simulate a free agency system. Here's the basics for the draft that takes place at 2:00PM:
Who is eligible?
- Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years’ experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2015).
- Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2014 salary).
- Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2014 salary).
What is Phase One?
First off, it's not a card game, and secondly, it's the part of the re-entry draft where only a few players are taken because all players selected in today's draft must have their 2015 contract option fully exercised. In phase two, teams can negotiate, but today's draft would mean you have to guarantee the player for 2015.
Who is available from FC Dallas?
Will anyone get picked?
There is the potential for a few players to get picked in phase one, though it's highly likely that fewer than 10 players will move teams.
- In 2013, DC United took huge steps to rebuilding their team adding defenders Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell while five players in total moved teams.
- In 2012, just one player, former FCD forward Maicon Santos, was picked.
- In 2011, three players were picked....so you get the idea.
As always, follow @FCDallas on Twitter for live updates just in case anything wacky happens.
The FC Dallas Academy wrapped up their 2014 schedule with the USSDA Winter Showcase held in Florida over Thanksgiving weekend. We talked to our coaches and players about how the weekend went as the Academy went up against some of the best in MLS.
FCD U-18: 2
RSL U-18: 3
Christian Ramirez and Phillip Ponder scored for the U-18s in the opening-game loss to Real Salt Lake who currently sit atop the Southwest Division with a record of 11-1-3.
FCD U-18: 2
Seattle Sounders U-18: 0
Oscar Romero & Gonzalo Marquez tallied goals in the win for FC Dallas against a Sounders side that's in second place in their division.
FCD U-18: 2
De Anza Force U-18: 2
Aaron Meyer scored both goals for the U-18s in their final game of the Showcase against a De Anza Force team that is mid-table in the Northwest Division.
FCD U-16: 1
New England Revolution U-16: 1
Giovanni Montesdeoca found the back of the net for the FCD U-16s who earned a point against a Revolution team sitting in second place in the Northeast Division.
FCD U-16: 0
Orlando City SC U-16: 1
FCD dropped a 1-0 result to first-place Orlando City conceding a late goal in their first loss of the season.
FCD U-16: 2
The U-16s ended the Showcase on a strong note with Devin Vega scoring his team-leading 8th and 9th goals of the season to earn the U-16s three points.
FCD U-15: 2
San Antonio Scorpions U-15: 1
Jommar Reyes and Carlos Garcia scored for the U-15s in a win at San Antonio on December 7th to move to 7-0-0 on the year with 28 goals scored and 4 allowed
We're just two weeks away from Christmas and time is running out to get the #DTID person in your life a gift to put under the tree.
TODAY ONLY at ShopFCDallas.com score 50% off ALL t-shirts. There are options as low at $7.00, so take a look at our discounted t-shirts and get a few for yourself, family and friends!
PLEASE NOTE, tomorrow is the last day the FCD Team Store will be open before Christmas so if you select in-store pickup make sure you go by the store tomorrow to pick it up and while you're there you can take advantage of our 12 hours of Christmas offer and score even more discounts!
The 2014 MLS Expansion Draft came and went with one FC Dallas player selected, but maybe not the one that some expected.
Defender George John was selected by New York City FC in the seventh round of the MLS Expansion Draft with FCD subsequently protecting defender Stephen Keel. No other FCD players were selected and FC Dallas will receive an undisclosed amount of allocation money with George John heading to the big apple.
George played 119 games with FC Dallas over six seasons, but missed the entire 2014 campaign through injuries.
George scored six goals and added an assist in his time with FCD as well as scoring in the 2010 Western Conference Final win at Los Angeles.
EDIT: Listen LIVE to the Expansion Draft at 1:00PM Central Time in the handy YouTube link above
Who's ready for the second draft of the 2014 offseason?!
On Wednesday, 2015 debutants Orlando City SC & NYCFC will go a long way to forming the spines of their teams with the always-dreaded Expansion Draft.
We're going to break it down here on FCDallas.com so hopefully you can understand why FCD might lose a player or two to the new expansion sides on Wednesday.
First, the basics of the draft:
The Expansion Draft will take place on Wednesday, December 10th at 1:00PM Central and there will be ten rounds of selections by OCSC & NYCFC meaning 20 players overall will be drafted onto the new expansion teams.
- Only two players from each team may be drafted
- Teams may protect one extra player when one of their players is drafted
- Teams will receive allocation money from the league for each player picked
Who is eligible to be selected?
OCSC & NYCFC can't just go around all willy-nilly adding whoever they want from other teams, there are selected lists from each team that the expansion teams can choose from.
- Teams are allowed to protect 11 players
- All of FCD's Homegrown players & Walker Zimmerman(Generation adidas) are exempt and also protected
- Get a full list of who is protected and who is available for selection here
Has this happened in the past?
Yes, with all of the recent expansion into MLS, teams like Portland, Vancouver, Montreal and Philadelphia have formed their teams through the Expansion Draft.
- In 2009, FCD did not lose a player in the Philadelphia Union expansion draft. The Union signed names like Sebastien Le Toux & Andrew Jacobson
- In 2010, FCD was hit hard by the Expansion Draft right after their MLS Cup appearance losing Dax McCarty to Portland(who was then traded to DC) and Atiba Harris to Vancouver
- In 2011, FCD did not have a player selected by Montreal
So as you can see, things get tricky when you have two teams selecting instead of just one
Could FC Dallas lose a player or two?
It's always difficult to pick 11 players to protect, but FC Dallas is actually in just about the best position of any team in MLS with 19 players exempt from the draft, second-most only behind Montreal(who has a lot of very young HG players).
- There are three players exposed in this draft who are under contract for 2015 that either had already existing deals or had their player options exercised
- Those players are Stephen Keel, Brian Span and David Texeira
- Others exposed who played significant minutes in 2014 include Raul Fernandez, Andres Escobar and Hendry Thomas though all three did not have their 2015 contract options exercised
- Technical Director Fernando Clavijo told us in a recent interview "I feel very comfortable" about things.
Say hello to NATIVO.
Today, just a day after the 2014 MLS season ended, the league, in partnership with adidas, has unveiled the 2015 MLS Match Ball.
Emblazoned with the new MLS logo plus nods to both the United States and Canada, NATIVO will be kicked around at all MLS games next year and uses the same material and technology as the famed "Brazuca" ball used at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Our very own soccer ball-kicking, Name That Tune-dominating, best-hair-in-the-league superstar Stephen Keel is in LA this weekend for MLS Cup and he's going to be taking over the @MLS Instagram accounts all weekend as our league determines a champion between LA Galaxy and New England.
The annual Nike Friendlies were held over the last week in Florida as part of the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase with the US U-17 National Team facing England, Australia & Brazil over a week-long stretch.
Recent FC Dallas Homegrown signing Alejandro Zendejas played a huge part in the Nike Friendlies so let's take a look at his performances:
US U-17s defeat England U-17s 3-1
WATCH: USA 3 ENG 1
In the opening match, the US steamrolled England jumping out to a 2-0 halftime lead before winning 3-1. FCD midfielder Alejandro Zendejas scored the opening goal of the match on a really nice volley in the 11th minute before assisting on the third goal of the match in the 48th minute scored by Christian Pulisic.
Zendejas went 83 minutes in the match playing in an attacking two-way midfielder role for the U-17s.
U-17s come from behind to beat Australia 2-1
In the second match of the week playing a largely changed lineup, the U-17s fell behind early to Australia, but found a 15th-minute equalizer to send the match tied 1-1 at halftime.
Zendejas did not start the match, but subbed in at halftime for the U-17s who found a 69th-minute game-winner from Luca de la Torre to go 2-0 on the week at the Nike Friendlies.
U-17s fall 4-1 to Brazil in final match of Nike Friendlies
The United States needed just a draw against the Brazil U-17s to secure the Nike Friendlies trophy, but fell 4-1 to the South Americans in the final match of the week.
Richie Williams' team conceded an early goal to Evander before Christian Pulisic equalized in the 22nd minute. Another Brazil goal in the 42nd minute would send the hosts into halftime with a 2-1 lead. Two more goals in the second half sealed the emphatic win for Brazil.
Zendejas was once again in the starting lineup for this one playing all 90 minutes for the United States to finish the Nike Friendlies with nearly 2 1/2 full matches played out of the three.