I always enjoy taking in the Reserve League matches and while timing one on the morning after we put our clocks ahead maybe made things a little sleepy, it was a fun morning at the Toyota Soccer Center as FC Dallas downed a very strong Montreal Impact side 2-0.
Without a doubt, the biggest positive of the match for me was seeing Stephen Keel back out on the field playing 90 minutes. The defender had a fantastic game and capped things off with a goal as well. I talked to him after the match for FCDallas.com in an article that also includes highlights from Sunday's match.
While putting together the first social media recap of season this afternoon, I ran across some simply awesome Instagram videos providing unique views of FCD goals, particularly Mauro's scorcher. I didn't want them to get lost in the many Tweets/Instagrams, so here they are. As always, tag your Instagrams & Tweets with #DTID to possibly get them included in our weekly social media recap!
It's that time of year again!
Mauro Diaz's fantastic 46th-minute free kick is a nominee for Week 1 AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. Mauro's game-winning goal was his second of his young career and his fourth career FC Dallas goal in just 511 minutes. In addition, Mauro's free kick was the first direct free kick scored by FC Dallas since Jair Benitez's identical goal against Colorado on August 11, 2012.
WATCH: GOTW Week 1
The countdown is at 0 days! We've finally reached the big season opener at Toyota Stadium vs. Montreal Impact pres. by AdvoCare! Since there are just so many things going on in and around Toyota Stadium, we thought we'd compile a list of ten things you need to know both about tonight's game and the goings on around the stadium.
1. Get there early for our Lamar Hunt scarfing ceremony! Former FC Dallas goalkeeper and new member of the Time Warner Cable Sports broadcast team, Kevin Hartman, will be our honorary scarfer tonight and the ceremony is set for 7:00PM sharp so get there early for the best spot!
2. We've got your pre-game meal covered! Grab a friend and stop by brand new MLS partner Chipotle who are offering BOGO at all DFW locations today only for anyone wearing FC Dallas gear!
3. If you don't feel like driving to the game tonight, we've got two different options for you! Take the FCD Express from one of four spots around Dallas County and you can grab a ticket + ride for $25 or a round trip ride for only $10. Also, Uber has partnered with FCD for this game to offer a FREE $30 credit for all first-time customers.
4. If you do drive to the game and you're lucky enough to have a Toyota, our stadium partners Toyota are offering FREE upgraded parking for all Toyota drivers in the Camry Gold lot, adjacent to the Dr. Pink field directly NW of the stadium. Parking, as always, is free for all attendees in our other lots around Toyota Stadium!
5. On the field, FC Dallas will be looking to win on opening night for the third straight year. Star forward Blas Perez is back for his third season with the club and is targeting big things in 2014 with no major international duty scheduled.
6. For our opponents, Montreal, some undisciplined actions in their 2013 playoff loss to Houston will result in some missing pieces for tonight's match. Star forward Marco Di Vaio, scorer of 20 goals last season, will be out on suspension and we discussed what that means in our Toyota Keys to the Match.
7. This season, our popular drumline, FC Drum, returns and they're doubled in size! Along with FC Drum, we're introducing a new group of DJs to Lamar's Tailgate in 2014, The LHK, as heard on 106.1 KISS FM. The LHK & FC Drum have worked together on a DJ/Drum mashup right after the scarfing ceremony on the north concourse that you're not going to want to miss!
8. Our brand new 2014 home jersey presented by AdvoCare will be on display in our newly-renovated team store in the northeast corner of the stadium and new to Toyota Stadium in 2014 is a completely new, second team store on the south end of the stadium. It's going to be a little bit chilly tonight so be sure to buy our 2014 March Scarf of the Month. Supplies are VERY limited!
9. Speaking of weather, our friends over at CBS 11 tell us that while it might be a little bit chilly, any rain in the forecast will be gone well before game time! You wouldn't miss out on the home opener because it's a little cold would you? That would be a very Houston thing to do.
10. We are Red for 90. We'll see you tonight! There are a few tickets left if you still need some.
We're excited to show you a new feature coming to FCDallas.com & Toyota Stadium pre-game each week, our Keys to the Match driven by Toyota.
Each week, Scott Brown and I will break down the biggest keys to each match and we started this week with Montreal. We talk about the impact(no pun intended) of Di Vaio's absence, the importance of defensive cohesion and jumping on Montreal early.
A new video element you'll see on FCDallas.com and our YouTube page this year will be quick hit video bites previewing the upcoming match with FCD players.
Our first quick hits segement comes from new team captain Andrew Jacobson looking ahead to tomorrow's big match vs Montreal.
You know the season is here when Drew Epperley's "Know Your Enemy" pieces are back on Friday before matchdays. Today, Drew takes a look at the Montreal Impact who have a new coach in Frank Klopas and a new, but familiar name in Heath Pearce.
Late last week when the new TV deal with Time Warner Cable was announced, I had the opportunity to talk to Kevin Hartman for the first time in quite a while. Kevin is a guy who commands respect and certainly gives it back when it's earned and I couldn't be more excited to have him as a part of the FC Dallas broadcast team.
While I was a member of the independent press, Kevin was, without a doubt, a go-to-guy after countless practices and games as someone who would always tell it like it is in an eloquent, clever and experienced way. There's not a doubt in my mind that his style will carry to the booth seamlessly. 2014 is going to be a great year both on the field and in the booth.
P.S. I'll always take any opportunity to post what might be the best picture in FC Dallas history.
ESPNFC's Taylor Twellman & Alexi Lalas, AKA Big Head Red Head, are doing a series of MLS team previews which I highly recommend. Today they're breaking down FC Dallas. You've got to love Alexi's prediction of "I predict FC Dallas will win a playoff game before the Dallas Cowboys."
Last night at the city council meeting at Frisco City Hall, Mayor Maher Maso welcomed VP of Ticket Sales Kris Katseanas and FCD defender Walker Zimmerman to the proceedings as he officially declared every Friday before FC Dallas weekend home games as Red Friday Frisco.
Head to www.redfridayfrisco.com to see what it's all about and watch the video below to let Kris explain things.