It's been a very good month for Matt Hedges and the FC Dallas defense.
Led by the towering center back, the Dallas D has allowed just one non-PK goal in their last four matches. Hedges led all players with 12 clearances on Saturday night, had his goal-saving clearance off the line and added a poacher's goal of his own to complete his night.
For Brazilian midfielder Michel, it was a man-of-the-match offensive performance with a goal and two psuedo-assists on crosses that led to goals. Those won't show up in the stat sheet, but Michel had a direct hand in all three FC Dallas goals.
Both players have earned spots on the MLSsoccer.com Week 22 Team of the Week for their efforts. Congratulations to both! Here's what MLSsoccer.com had to say:
D: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – He was the rock of the Dallas defense and even got into the offensive action, tapping in the opener from close range. Hedges also had a goal-line clearance as FCD beat Colorado 3-1.
M: Michel (FC Dallas) – The Brazilian was instrumental in all of Dallas' goals: He provided the cross from wide that led to Hedges' tap in, converted the PK himself and sent in the cross that led to the third.
Here are the photos from FCD's Special Olympics match vs Colorado. All pictures by Olivia Brestal, Erik Davila & Craig Marcho:
Hear from Pareja, Zimmerman and Hedges after FCD's big 3-1 win over Colorado:
FC Dallas is finally back home after two weekends on the road for a crucial Western Conference matchup against the Colorado Rapids pres. by Raytheon on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium! Here are the 10 things you need to know before heading to the stadium Saturday night:
1. Saturday's match is presented by Raytheon and it's first responder night at Toyota Stadium! Raytheon will have t-shirts to give away by the fire truck on Lamar's Tailgate while supplies last. Stop by, get your t-shirt and take a picture and tag it with #RaytheonProtect&Serve.
2. In conjunction with Raytheon on first responder night, Chief Mark Piland of the Frisco Fire Department will be scarfing the Lamar Hunt Statue so be sure to arrive early for that ceremony around 7:30 on Lamar's Tailgate.
3. Saturday's match is part of our #SODoubleHeader as directly after Saturday's MLS match, our FC Dallas Special Olympics team will play the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics team in their annual match. It's going to be an amazing event with presentation exactly the same as the first team match so all #DTID fans need to stay and cheer on our Special Olympics team.
4. You can win a pair of tickets to our Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semifinal match vs Philadelphia on Tuesday plus an FC Dallas scarf at our #SODoubleHeader Special Olympics match. Click here to see how.
5. This match against Colorado is about as big as it gets for an August game in the standings for FC Dallas. FCD is currently three points above Colorado tied for fourth place in the Western Conference and FCD is ready for this six-pointer.
6. While parking is always free for everyone at Toyota Stadium, our Toyota drivers out there can enjoy FREE upgraded parking in the Camry Gold Lot tonight. The Camry Gold Lot is directly NW of the stadium adjacent to the Dr. Pink field.
7. Our new August Scarf of the Month will be on sale for the first time in the team store tomorrow so stop by and get yourself one before they sell out!
8. We could hit triple digits for the first time on an FCD gameday on Saturday, but we're #RedFor90 and ready for it. Will Colorado be ready?
9. Saturday's game is set for an 8:00PM kickoff and will be broadcast in HD locally on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 148 as well as 100.7FM(English) & 1270AM(Spanish).
10. We're looking at another really nice crowd for Saturday's match, but there are still tickets available by clicking here.
Hear from Pareja, Hedges & Tesho ahead of #FCDvCOL with FCDTV's Quick Kicks:
Here's your Keys to the Match pres. by Toyota for Saturday's big game:
Four FC Dallas Academy members had the amazing honor of being called into the Generation adidas ESP Showcase taking place in Portland around the MLS All-Star Game activities this week and for one FC Dallas U-14 Academy member, the experience was made even more special.
Defender Mark Salas was invited to play on the Bayern Munich U-16 team for the second half of one of the ESP Showcase games, an experience he'll never forget.
"It was a great experience because I was playing with older guys who were born in 1998 and in our first game my team was going to play against Bayern Munich but they needed extra players so they invited me to play with them," said Salas. "I played the second half with them and it was a great experience because they’re to me the best club in the world and it was great because they’re really good with the ball. What I learned from them is how important it is to keep the ball in tight spaces with high pressure."
Salas, a defender with US U-15 National Team experience, was also one of four FC Dallas players who had the amazing chance to be taught from one of the best. Bayern Munich's legendary coach Pep Guardiola led the boys for 15 minutes in a 7v7 training session.
"We played 7v7 and he emphasized that if you can play the ball with one touch to do that and to always take quick touches," said Salas. "It was really fun."
Salas and the three other FCD youngsters, Carlos Avilez, Damian Hernandez and Lamar Batista will watch Wednesday's All-Star Game vs Bayern Munich in person before coming back to Dallas on Thursday.
(Salas, Hernandez, Avilez, Batista)
Two FC Dallas players will have their eyes looking south tonight as Blas Perez's Panama battles Peru's Raul Fernandez in an international friendly between the sides in Lima. Obviously neither Blas nor Raul who returned to the training field on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's match against Colorado were called in for the game which features mainly domestic teams, but they'll still be rooting on their countries from here in Dallas.
"Obviously Peru!" Fernandez said with a smile when asked who would win tonight. "It’s a great game and they called up a team of guys who are new to the national team to come together and see how they play. It should be a good game."
For Panama, the match is a first for new manager Hernan "Bolillo" Gomez as Panama prepares for September's Copa Centroamerica which will serve as a qualifier for the 2015 Gold Cup.
"It’s the first game of a new cycle for Panama with young players who play locally and are very hungry to wear the shirt of the country," said Perez through a translator. "They’re young players getting their first opportunity to prove themselves to a new coach so it’s a good opportunity for everyone."
As for the friendly rivalry between the two, they diplomatically said they wouldn't put anything on the line for tonight's match since they're not playing in it.
"Since neither of us are playing in the game we won’t put anything on it and just enjoy," said Perez. "We’re brothers here at FC Dallas, so we will just have fun with it."
We've got some huge games coming to Toyota Stadium over the next week and not the least of which is our big Special Olympics match coming directly after Saturday's MLS match between FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids.
It's the second year of FCD Special Olympics team play and our players have been training hard over the last three months for this match! They've all signed contracts as official FC Dallas players and will look to build on last year's 2-2 draw at Colorado. There are currently six MLS franchises with Special Olympics teams: Portland, Seattle, Real Salt Lake, LA, Colorado and FCD.
We need all our #DTID fans to stay after Saturday's MLS match to cheer on our Special Olympics team. The match will kickoff right around 10:00PM directly after the MLS game and will feature two 20-minute halves. Our game presentation will be exactly like any FC Dallas game with intros, fireworks, drumline and Hooper.
In addition, we're going to have a special social media contest. Tweet or Instagram a picture of you watching the FCDSO match using #SODoubleHeader and we will pick two winners at random to win two tickets to Tuesday's LHUSOC semifinal vs Philadelphia plus a new FC Dallas scarf.
These amazing people and athletes are a huge part of our club here at FC Dallas and we will support them on Saturday just like we will cheer on Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo and the rest of FC Dallas in Saturday's huge Western Conference match vs Colorado pres. by Raytheon!
As the clock neared midnight in Dallas on Tuesday evening, the #MLSAllStar festivities were well underway with the ever-popular Men In Blazers podcast filming live in downtown Portland with a little twist. Roger and Davo had US Soccer President Sunil Gulati and representatives from the four remaining teams in the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup come on stage for the live coin flip to determine who would host the final.
Well by now you probably know that FC Dallas won the coin toss(As assistant TD Luiz Muzzi shows with the fist pump)!
So we now know that if FC Dallas beats Philadelphia next Tuesday, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final will be right here at Toyota Stadium for the first time since 2007! If you don't have your tickets for Tuesday's epic match, you can get a ticket to that and another big game in August for just $25!
You can re-watch the coin flip(At about the 55:00 mark) and no Sunil, it's not two out of three.