The 2014 preseason has officially kicked off, and H&R Block wants to get your ready for the new season by giving you the chance to win a trip to Houston to watch FC Dallas take on the Dynamo on Saturday, April 5 and meet All-Star goalkeeper Raul Fernandez. The Sweepstakes runs from now through Saturday, March 15. All you have to do is visit one of the participating H&R Block locations listed below for your chance to win!
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FC Dallas kicked off their participation in the 2014 Copa Chivas on Tuesday, falling 1-0 to Mexican First Division side CF Monterrey.
For those who speak Spanish, the Chivas website has a lengthy writeup of the game in which FCD conceded in the 22nd minute to a Monterrey set piece. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez told the Chivas website that the scoreline was not necessarily indicative of the game and that the team just needs to have a little more concentration at some moments.
FCD continues group stage play today at noon against Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos in a game they need a result from to stay in contention for the semifinals.
(Photo courtesy of Chivas)
You can mark down Saturday, January 25, 2014 as the first official practice of the Oscar Pareja era in at Toyota Stadium. Here are the best pictures from #DayOne:
It was a real treat yesterday to come along as the FC Dallas Foundation dedicated their second field, this time in West Dallas. Here are the best pictures from the ceremony and soccer clinic:
Here are the best pictures from Tuesday's Oscar Pareja introductory press conference with a cameo from first round pick Tesho Akindele:
FC Dallas selected two defenders with their late-round 2013 SuperDraft selections on Tuesday afternoon.
With their third round pick, FCD chose Nicholas Walker, a defender out of Farleigh Dickinson University. From Trinidad and Tobago, Walker started 71 games over four years with the Knights and earned Northeast Conference Defender of the Year honors in 2013. Walker is a two-time NCAA Division I Men's All-North Atlantic Region First Team honoree.
Your Nicholas Walker highlight video:
In the fourth round, FC Dallas selected Ecuadorian defender Ronny Santos Mendoza. Having appeared in 31 games with Ecuadorian first division side Manta FC over the last year, the 18-year-old Santos stands tall at 6-4 and was at the MLS Combine. Your highlight video:
SEGMENT 1: The United States is the first of the 32 countries with tickets booked for the 2014 World Cup to actually arrive on Brazilian soil to start preparing for this summer’s big tournament. Stein checks with Steve to see if Jurgen Klinsmann’s side gets any bonus points for that distinction.
SEGMENT 2: Transfer season is in full swing, so the boys spin through all the big moves involving Americans and Major League Soccer, naturally starting in Toronto with the Jermaine Defoe/Michael Bradley deals and inevitably spending a good chunk of time chatting about the Philadelphia Union’s attempts to bring Maurice Edu home from Stoke City.
SEGMENT 3: American striker Juan Agudelo, on the verge of joining FC Utrecht of the Dutch Eredivisie on loan from Stoke, joins the guys by phone from England to talk about the complicated, long-awaited transfer that has finally made him a European footballer.
SEGMENT 4: ESPN’s Craig Burley dials in at halftime of Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United to talk about his old team’s first-half dominance and all the other latest storylines in the Premiership.
Here's the full transcript of the conference call with FC Dallas first round draft pick Tesho Akindele:
What do you bring to the table for FCD?
I’m a goalscorer, and I think any team could use a goalscorer. I think I can provide assists and I’m also willing to do the work defensively. A lot of players that can score goals aren’t willing to do the defensive work, but I’m willing to work on offense and defense.
Have you had contact with Oscar Pareja?
I’ve definitely run into him a couple times just because he coached in Denver and I was there. I’m excited to play under him because he came to Denver and did really well with the team here so I’m sure he’s going to do well in Dallas. I’m glad I get to be a part of that.
Do you feel like this was a result of your performance at Combine?
It’s all surreal. Right before the Combine nobody was talking about me getting picked, definitely not in the first round and possibly not even until the fourth round. Nobody was talking about me. It just shows you how important every game is. I just had a couple good games. We played three games and I played well and my stock just rose. It rose a lot because of those games. It’s just a surreal feeling to have moved up so much. I’m so excited for this opportunity.
Talk about challenges of moving from D2 soccer to MLS
Everybody’s facing a difference in level, even the division I guys are going to be playing better opponents. I think in D2 the level wasn’t that bad. We played good teams and I think I showed at the Combine that I wasn’t out of place. It’s definitely going to be harder to play in MLS, but all of us rookies are going to be going through the same thing.
Talk about your playing style
I’m definitely more of a speed guy. With my size, I can play target forward, but through most of my career I’ve been more of a speed guy trying to get behind the defense and get around them on the wings with my speed.
Have you graduated yet?
I have one year left on my degree, but I withdrew from school because I can be an engineer when I’m 55 years old, but my soccer career has an expiration date so I want to get the most out of it that I can.
Was there any indication from FCD that they were going to pick you?
I had an interview with Dallas and they made it seem like they liked me, but I had no idea I would get picked this early. I was definitely thinking somebody would pick me up in the second round or maybe at the end of the first round. I had no idea I’d be the sixth pick, nobody seemed that interested in me. They kind of told me they tried to keep it a little bit secret that they might try to get me early, but I’m glad they did that and I’m just happy now.
Have you been to Dallas?
We played a couple teams in the Dallas area in my college career and I know a lot of people from my school actually live in Dallas, so I’ll know some people over there when I go.
Do you feel like you can contribute right away?
That’s gotta be my goal. I’m going to work hard. I know the level is different. I’m going to have to get used to the speed of play and the smarts of the players, but overall I think I will be able to come in and contribute right away.
Could playing at altitude give you advantage?
I think it might help me right away, but Dallas is a lot hotter and more humid than Colorado. That’s going to be hard to get used to. I think I’ll be in good shape because of my altitude training.
Has it hit you yet?
It’s definitely not going to hit me until tonight. I’m talking to you guys, I have everybody texting me right now so there’s just a lot of business to take care of right now, but once I’m able to relax tonight it’s really going to hit me how early I got picked and just how awesome this opportunity is.
Mom and Dad reaction?
They were screaming right away. I had a couple of my teammates from the School of Mines over, they were all screaming for me. They said they’re proud of me and I just need to keep working hard and stay humble.
Talk about your work ethic
It definitely comes from my parents. Growing up, they didn’t ever let me give up. If times were tough in school or in sports or any situation in my life they made sure that I stuck with it. That was instilled in me as a kid and I still carry those values with me today.
Are you looking forward to playing with anyone?
I’m looking forward to playing with all of them. They’re all professional players and I’m moving into their world. I’m excited to see what they can teach me about becoming a better player.
Fresh off scoring four goals in a 4-4 draw with New England Revolution at December's US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, U-18 forward Coy Craft has been called up to US U-18 National Team camp ahead of an upcoming tournament in the Canary Islands. Craft leads the U-18s with eight goals in ten games despite being the youngest player on the roster. Here's the full release from US Soccer:
CHICAGO (Jan. 3, 2014) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez called 24 players for a week-long training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., to prepare for the upcoming Copa del Atlantico in the Canary Islands.
The training camp runs from Jan. 4-11 and precedes the tournament in Spain, which is scheduled to be played Feb. 4-7.
Twenty-one of the 24 players currently play for U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams while the remaining three also play for domestic-based clubs. Nine MLS Academies are represented, with Real Salt Lake AZ leading the way with three players receiving call-ups.
Five players – Mukwelle Akale, JT Marcinkowski, Erik Palmer-Brown, Tommy Redding and Ben Swanson – saw playing time for the U.S. U-18 MNT that took second place at the Limoges Tournament in France in October. Palmer-Brown started all three matches at the tournament and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 U.S. win over the Czech Republic, while Akale and Marcinkowski earned starts in two games.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Christian Herrera (Real Salt Lake AZ; Las Cruces, N.M.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.), Justin Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (8): David Chavez (De Anza Force; Redwood City, Calif.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids; Longmont, Colo.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic PSG; Oviedo, Fla.), Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Indiana Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic PSG; Orlando, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (6): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca Raton, Fla.), Gerves Fagan (Sereno SC; Peoria, Ariz.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Jorge Ruiz (LA Galaxy; Mission Hills, Calif.), Kendall Stork (Chicago Magic PSG; Barrington, Ill.)