In front of an enormous crowd of 81,410 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, FC Dallas forward Blas Perez scored in the first half as Panama defeated Mexico 2-1 in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals. This all-important win sends Panama to their second Gold Cup Final where they'll face the United States who cruised to a 3-1 victory thanks to a pair of goals from Landon Donovan, the hottest player in US Soccer.
In the opening match, the United States had little trouble jumping out to a two-goal lead at halftime. Landon Donovan was again the dangerman with a brilliant assist on Eddie Johnson's well taken 11th minute goal before scoring a fantastic goal of his own in the 27th minute.
After Honduras' Nery Medina raised the blood pressure with a 52nd minute goal, Donovan wasted no time in scoring his fifth goal of the tournament just a minute later to put the Catrachos comeback bid to rest in another scintillating performance from Jurgen Klinsmann's men.
In the nightcap, it was Blas Perez on his homecoming to DFW getting things started with a 13th minute goal slammed past Mexico goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. El Tri set the highly partisan crowd on fire when Luis Montes headed home Marco Fabian's brilliant cross in the 26th minute to send the game into halftime tied 1-1.
In the second half, Roman Torres headed home a corner from Gabriel Torres to put Panama up 2-1, a lead they wouldn't relenquish. Perez and Panama will face the United States in the final at 3PM on Sunday afternoon, their second-ever Gold Cup final and second against the United States, a game the Americans won on penalty kicks.
FC Dallas welcomes Stoke City to FCD Stadium on Saturday in the first-ever game between FC Dallas and an EPL side in Frisco. Their trip to north Texas is sandwiched between games in Houston and Philadelphia. New Stoke manager Mark Hughes has released his travel roster for their week-long USA tour:
Stoke City FC Travel Roster
Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic, Thomas Sorensen, Jack Butland
Defenders: Geoff Cameron, Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Erik Pieters, Ryan Shotton, Andy Wilkinson, Marc Wilson, Marc Muniesa, Jordan Keane
Midfielders: Wilson Palacios, Charlie Adam, Florent Cuvelier, Glenn Whelan, Steven N’Zonzi, Matthew Etherington, Michael Kightly, Jamie Ness, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea*
Forwards: Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome, Jonathan Walters, Kenwyne Jones*
*denotes will join club when international duties (CONCACAF Gold Cup) are complete
FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Montreal Impact 0, FC Dallas 0
SAVE: Hassli's spin and shot tipped wide by Troy Perkins
CROSSBAR: Mapp's rocket beats Fernandez, but not the crossbar
SAVE: Beautiful flowing move frees Watson, but his header is straight at Perkins
SAVE: Fernandez gets big to acrobatically deny Mapp
SAVE: Fernandez denies Mapp's chip as time ticks down
This morning, HSG Chairman Clark Hunt had a lengthy chat with 1310 AM The Ticket's legendary host Norm Hitzges. Norm, who can be seen at many FC Dallas games, has commentated on soccer for decades including the Dallas Tornado and Dallas Sidekicks. Listen to the great interview:
This weekend is a rare first for FC Dallas as they'll make their inaugural trip to the city of Montreal for Saturday's match against the Impact. Montreal is the only team in MLS that FCD has never taken a road trip to, so we thought we'd educate you on the city at the heart of French-Canadian culture.
Montreal has been an incorporated city since 1832 and has been one of the economic centers of Canada since the mid-1800's. By 1930, the Montreal metropolitan area contained over 1,000,000 people and today the Montreal metropolita area population nears 4,000,000.
Montreal is renowned for its beautiful architecture and is one of just ten UNESCO Cities of Design in the world and the only one in North America.
Of course, one of the defining features of Montreal is the fact that most of the people speak French as their native language. Nearly 2/3rds of the population primarily speaks French and all it takes is a simple visit to the Impact's website to get a lesson in French.
From a business perspective, Montreal is a booming city and boasts one of the largest inland ports in the world and also remains the home of many of the top video game developers in the industry.
When it comes to sports in Montreal, the conversation starts with the Montreal Canadiens. One of the NHL's original six, the Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times, though they resemble the Dallas Cowboys in that Montreal is mired in a 20-year Stanley Cup drought.
With the Montreal Expos having moved to Washington, the Canadiens and Impact are the only major North American league teams in the city while the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League have won the Grey Cup eight times.
You can catch FCD's first ever trip to Montreal on Saturday at 6:00PM and we encourage you to head to The Pub in Frisco for our Party at the Pubs Watch Party Presented by Budweiser where we will be giving away Gold Cup semifinal tickets, Breakaway Music Festival tickets and much more FCD swag!
We're tracking towards one of, if not the biggest attendance year in FC Dallas Stadium history and the Dallas Morning News' Cheryl Hall talked to HSG's Clark and Dan Hunt about the success and vision of Lamar becoming a reality. It's a great read.
“My dad was always about the fans and the fan experience,” says Clark, 48, chairman of Hunt Sports Group LLC, which owns two Major League Soccer franchises: FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew. “Dad’s dream is becoming a reality. The MLS is ready for prime time.”
Congratulations to Raul Fernandez who won his second MLSsoccer.com Save of the Week award for his big stop on Gyasi Zardes in the 61st minute of Sunday's game in Los Angeles.
"Superman" earned 42% of the vote and sits second in MLS with 69 saves in 17 games, just three behind San Jose's Jon Busch who has made 72 saves in 20 games.
Catch Raul in action this weekend as FC Dallas hosts Real Salt Lake in a Western Conference Top-Of-The-Table matchup. TICKETS
Come check out FC Dallas at two major Dallas events this weekend.
Taste of Dallas
Join FC Dallas on Friday, July 12 out at Fair Park where we will be set up at Taste of Dallas near the Taste Tavern area in the Automobile Building. The yearly event draws over 60 of Dallas' top restaurants and chefs. We'll have promotional items and ticket specials so join us from 4PM - 11PM on Friday night!
Too Hot to Handle 5K/15K
On Sunday, July 14, the FCD mobile team will be out at Norbuck Park at White Rock Lake for the Too Hot to Handle 5K/15K. The Sponsor Village in Norbuck Park will be packed with awesome sponsors, various snacks, live music, and a beer garden so look out for the FC Dallas tent!
MLS W.O.R.K.S has nominated a member of the community from each MLS city to be nominated for the Community MVP Grand Prize and we need your vote!
The FC Dallas nominee is Jacqueline Jenkins. Jacqueline is an advocate of soccer for young adults in need of stimulating, recreational-based activity. For the last eight years Jenkins has served as soccer coach for The Frisco Flyers, a Special Olympics team representing the Greater Dallas region. Coach Jenkins has a passion for the children and young adults on her team unlike any other. She offers her athletes structure, knowledge of the game and a true team experience. Jacqueline, a proponent of good sportsmanship, helps develop confidence and leadership skills.
Her desire to improve the lives of her athletes goes beyond simply coaching the game she loves. In order to provide a well-rounded experience for her team, Coach Jenkins plans annual outings to FC Dallas games and other destinations. Some of her players have even had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of taking the field at FC Dallas Stadium. Known to some of her players as Coach Jackie, Jenkins is always overjoyed by the looks on her athlete’s faces when they have the opportunity to do something as simple as touch the grass that professional soccer players compete on. Her most admirable quality is undoubtedly her passion to deliver soccer to so many and truly make a difference.
CLICK HERE to vote for Jacqueline! For voting, you will have a chance to receive a trip to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Kansas City! Voting runs through this Friday and you can vote as many times as you want so get clicking!
Grand Prize details:
One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $10,000 donation to their charity of choice and a trip to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Trip for winner and one (1) guest to include:
- Accommodations for two (2) nights
- Roundtrip coach airfare
- Two (2) tickets to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park on July 31
- Recognition during 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game
- One (1) 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Gift Bag
The Nominator of the Grand Prize winner and one (1) guest will also receieve a trip to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Trip for the nominator and one (1) guest to include the same elements outlined above for Grand Prize winner*.
*Nominator prize package does not include $10,000 donation.
Voting period is from Monday, July 1 at 11 a.m. ET to Friday, July 12 at 5 p.m. ET