It's playoff time in MLS and all the action started last night as Seattle Sounders FC dropped the Colorado Rapids 1-0 to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals vs their rival Portland Timbers. Tonight the Houston Dynamo host Montreal in the Eastern Conference Wild Card game at 7:30PM on NBC Sports Network.
In all, the MLS Cup Playoffs feature 15 pulse-pounding games and earlier yesterday, MLS released the full playoff calendar culminating in MLS Cup on Saturday, December 7 at the stadium of the highest remaining MLS Cup Playoff seed. For fun, we polled a couple of the FCD players to give us their predictions on what's going to happen over the next six weeks and added our own picks as well.
Let us know in the comments what your predictions are and who you think will lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
Seattle vs. Colorado
(Wed. 10/30 @ 9:30 pm CT - NBCSN)
Houston vs. Montreal
(Thurs. 10/31 @ 7:30 pm CT - NBCSN)
It was a banner weekend for FCD's loanees last weekend with four goals scored and some huge wins. Here's the roundup:
HIGHLIGHTS: Strikers 6, Silverbacks 2
Forward Bradlee Baladez doubled his goal tally for the season scoring twice in Fort Lauderdale's 6-2 thumping of Atlanta. Baladez entered in the 64th minute and subsequently scored the Strikers' final two goals in the 67th and 83rd minutes of the big win. Baladez has four goals in ten appearances this season for the NASL side. Fort Lauderdale encourages you to vote Baladez for NASL Play of the Week!
Goalkeeper Richard Sanchez tallied his fifth win of the season in goal for the Strikers who have two games left in the season.
Warshaw scores twice in Sweden
In Sweden, Bobby Warshaw continued his red-hot time with Angelholms FF. Warshaw scored the first two goals of Angelholms' 5-2 win over Varnamo, their second-straight win and fifth-straight game unbeaten. Warshaw has six goals in seven appearances for the Superettan side that sits comfortably in mid-table with two games left to play.
Down in Costa Rica, Saprissa defeated Limon 5-1 moving back into first place in the league, though Moises Hernandez did not feature in the game.
It's been a very solid sophmore season for Matt Hedges and the UNC-graduate capped 2013 with a game-winning goal in Saturday's 2-0 win over Seattle. For his efforts, Hedges has been named to MLSsoccer.com's team of the week for week 34, the next to last week of the season. Matt tied for the game-high with 12 clearances in Saturday's win and with a likely start ahead of him in this weekend's season finale will finish with 33 appearances and 32 starts in 34 MLS Regular Season games.
MLS had this to say about Hedges' performance:
DF: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – Not only did Hedges lead the FC Dallas defense to a clean sheet in Schellas Hyndman's home farewell, a 2-0 win over Seattle, he got forward to open the scoring and spark the Dallas attack after a choppy first hour of play.
The seasons are winding down in both the NASL, Costa Rica and Sweden where FCD's loaned players are spread out.
HIGHLIGHTS: Rowdies 2, Strikers 1
It was a disappointing Saturday for Fort Lauderdale who were eliminated from Soccer Bowl contention by their rival Tampa Bay Rowdies in a 2-1 loss.
Richard Sanchez started and made three saves in the loss while Bradlee Baladez came on for the last 12 minutes of the match. Sanchez has started and played every minute of all 11 matches of the Strikers fall season with 14 goals allowed in his 11 starts. For Baladez, a minor mid-season injury meant some missed time but has appeared in nine of 11 matches including three starts and two goals scored.
Three matches remain in the Strikers' season which ends on November 2.
Bobby Warshaw and Angelholms FF were idle last weekend as most European leagues took the weekend off for FIFA international dates and they have three games left remaining in their season which also ends on November 2.
Down in Costa Rica, Moises Hernandez and Saprissa fell to 2-1 to Carmelita on Saturday falling out of first place in the Costa Rican First Division. Moises Hernandez did not play in the game. Saprissa has five games remaining in their season before a likely appearance in the playoffs.
Degree Men is our title sponsor for Saturday's home season finale against Seattle Sounders FC and they want to see you DO:MORE to support FC Dallas in the final Toyota Stadium match of the season!
They have team-signed jerseys and balls to give away in conjunction with our Fan Appreciation Day and all you have to do to be entered to win one is post a picture on Twitter or Instagram of how you DO:MORE to cheer on FC Dallas using the hashtag #DoMoreDTID. Winners will be randomly selected from all entries and each winner will receive an FC Dallas team-signed jersey or team-signed ball from Degree Men! The contest is open from 12:00PM on Thursday, October 17 to 12:00PM on Tuesday, October 22 and winners will be notified on Tuesday afternoon.
Degree Men will also be handing out free FCD player faces to the first 5,000 fans through the gates so grab your player face on Saturday, send us a picture showing that you DO:MORE to support FC Dallas and you could win some FCD-signed gear!
Kenny Cooper loves to play the Chicago Fire as a member of FC Dallas. There can be no doubting that.
Cooper scored two more goals against Chicago on Saturday night to up his career tally against the Fire to eight goals in eight matches, making him the all-time FCD leading scorer against their Brimstone Cup rivals.
For his effort, Cooper was named to the MLSSoccer.com week 33 Team of the Week.
Said MLSsoccer.com about Cooper: FW: Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas) – Unfortunate to be on the losing end after a commendable two-goal effort against Chicago to make it three goals in two games for the big striker. His resurgence may have come too late to save Dallas this season, but it should bode well for his and the team's chances in 2014.
A late comeback wasn't enough for FCD tonight with Dallas falling to Chicago 3-2, eliminating Schellas Hyndman's men from MLS playoff contention. Here's all the highlights from tonight's match:
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Chicago Fire 3, FC Dallas 2
GOAL: Anangono puts the Fire in front off a nice header from a corner kick
GOAL: Magee inadvertently deflects a shot past Seitz
GOAL: Anibaba's brilliant strike puts the Fire up 3-0 early in the second half
GOAL: Kenny Cooper starts FCD comeback using his body to create a goal
PENALTY: Jackson taken down in the box
GOAL: Cooper scores his third goal in two games off a penalty kick
SAVE: Seitz keeps FCD alive with a breakaway save
For DFW-area college students, we've got an awesome promotion on Saturday night that we're expecting over 500 students around the area to attend.
It's FC Dallas college night offering all college students the opportunity to not only get a college priced ticket, but a dedicated college zone with $2 Beer, $2 sodas, $2 hotdogs, a live DJ, a FIFA 14 gaming center and more!
A limited quantity of $8 tickets remain, so purchase early to secure a deeper discount.
For all 21+ students, all tickets give admission into the Budweiser Beer Garden.
All tickets will be available at the North Box Office will call and must be picked up by the purchaser with a VALID COLLEGE ID ONLY
CLICK HERE to reserve your college night ticket!
If you watched MLS or NFL games around the country last weekend, you no-doubt saw plenty of pink around the field celebrating breast cancer awareness month and that pink is coming to Frisco.
For Saturday's game against Chicago, you'll see lots of pink around the field including special pink match balls, pink corner flags, jerseys with the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon and pink goal nets like these in Seattle.