This certainly wasn't your typical Friday at Toyota Stadium.
The light flurries we saw driving to work quickly turned into a snowstorm that we see once every few years here in DFW.
Training in a winter wonderland...❄️❄️❄️ pic.twitter.com/c36oA1QnjW
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 27, 2015
The thing that made this even more surreal was the whole scene playing out as FC Dallas held their final training session before departing for Saturday's last match of the preseason at the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions.
As the snow began to fall, those of us on the social media/digital team of course went outside to document things because snow + soccer is a social media dream. Little did we know, the snow would pick up to the point that practice had to be stopped early as Frisco turned into a late-winter wonderland. Here's the morning through snowcial media and some great pictures from our creative team.
The season is nearly upon us and Friday night at Toyota Stadium, you'll get your first chance to see FC Dallas live and in person as we face DC United in the penultimate preseason match before things get started in full against San Jose. The match kicks off at 7:30PM and general admission tickets are just $10 and available right here.
Here are a few things to watch for in Friday's preseason match:
At this point, head coach Oscar Pareja is probably very close to set on his opening day lineup and Friday's match will give us a huge clue as to which 11 players will be suiting up on March seventh. In Austin, Pareja played a basically full strength lineup for the first hour of the match and indicated after practice on Thursday that he would have the same strategy on Friday against DC.
Keep an eye out on who starts across the back line as well as who starts in goal. Also, that right midfield position is certainly open, and it will be interesting to see whether Tesho Akindele or Ryan Hollingshead gets the nod on Friday night.
Speaking of Ryan Hollingshead, he's certainly been one of the best performers in preseason so far, earning starts in both preseason matches in Austin while scoring two goals in the 3-1 victory over Columbus.
With the right midfield spot open for battle among players like Hollingshead, Akindele and Coy Craft, the second-year Hollingshead has earned some very important preseason minutes and upped his game big time.
The former PAC-12 Player of the Year is now in his second year as a pro and you should watch him closely on Friday night as his work rate and skill on the bar are among the best on the team. Could he be the breakout player of 2015?
FC Dallas and DC United are meeting for the second time in six days on Friday and while they are both just preseason games, familiarity should certainly bring about a nice competitive game. Sunday's matchup was a physical affair that saw plenty of fouls and midfield play with most of the chances falling to Fabian Castillo and FC Dallas.
If FCD can again limit the DC chances to solo efforts from Fabian Espindola and Chris Rolfe while getting the ball to the feet of Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, Dallas should have plenty of opportunities to get the first home crowd of the season on their feet.
For the first time in 2015, we're opening the Toyota Stadium gates for some FC Dallas soccer on Friday night as we host D.C. United in a special preseason friendly and with all the new gear coming in, we thought "Why don't we have a yard sale?"
Come out to Toyota Stadium early on Friday for our FC Dallas Foundation gear sale inside the WinStar River Club. From 11AM-2PM on Friday and then at 6:30PM when gates open for our preseason match, we will be selling anything and everything you can think of.
We're talking everything from puffy jackets to t-shirts to soccer balls to autographed gear to old lightpole banners....as we said, pretty much anything and everything you can think of.
Stop by and see what we've got, all the proceeds go to the FC Dallas Foundation!
CLICK HERE for a special offer on tickets to Friday's preseason match + one of our first two MLS regular season matches.
Dr Pepper Dallas Cup has announced four more teams for the prestigious Gordon Jago Super Group at Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXVI and for the fifth time in six years, the FC Dallas U-18 Academy has been invited to the Super Group.
The FC Dallas U-18s, who just returned from the Copa Chivas where they went 0-1-2 in a group against Chivas Guadalajara & Atlas of Liga MX plus Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds, are currently 7-4-2 in the US Soccer Development Academy U-18 Frontier Division. Many U-18 players have been training with the FC Dallas first team through their MLS preseason schedule, and will head into Dallas Cup XXXVI with plenty of previous experience in the tournament.
"I think it’s good for the U-18’s," said head coach Francisco Molina. "It gives them something to look forward to. Right now in the standings we’re not doing great, there’s no excuses, but it’s an extra motivation for the boys to know that they’re going to be in the Super Group and represent the club and the Academy well."
Last year, FCD won one of three Gordon Jago Super Group matches in a tough group with Fulham FC, Coritiba and Brommapojkarna, and has achieved the semifinals of the Super Group once in four previous appearances.
"They are probably a half a step ahead of us just because of the culture," said Molina about playing international opponents. "We’re working very hard to get there, but they’re still a half a step ahead but I think the boys will be motivated and well prepared to represent the club."
FC Dallas joins Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy as MLS academies in the Super Group with international sides Everton FC(England), Valencia CF(Spain), Corinthians(Brazil), Coritiba(Brazil), Tigres(Mexico) and River Plate(Argentina) all confirmed as Gordon Jago Super Group participants.
Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXVI begins on March 29th and runs through April 5th. Stay tuned to FCDallas.com for full coverage of the annual international tournament.
The FC Dallas U-16s traveled to Houston last weekend for the final round of qualifying in the 2014-2015 Generation adidas Cup with matches against the Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and Sporting KC to decide who would advance to the International Division Championship bracket of the annual tournament.
FC Dallas won all three matches, defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-1 behind goals from Gio Montesdeoca, Eddie Munjoma, Weston McKinnie and an own goal.
They followed that up with a 1-0 win over Chicago Fire on Saturday through a Brandon Terwege goal that clinched qualification into the International Division and then defeated Sporting KC 1-0 through another Montesdeoca on Monday in very difficult weather conditions to clinch the #1 seed in the group.
Since the GA Cup is a U-17 tournament, the FC Dallas team is a combination of U-16 & U-18 players, and they went 4-0-1 in qualifying matches allowing just two goals in the five games. They will play for the GA Cup Championship right here at the Toyota Soccer Center in early April.
FC Dallas U-15's & U-13's sweep Houston Dynamo
The FCD U-15 & U-13 teams were also in Houston this weekend for TPAL league play against the Dynamo.
The U-15s moved to an astounding 10-0-1 in league play defeating Houston 4-0 behind goals from Jommar Reyes, Carlitos Garcia, Paxton Pomykal and Mandel Steward.
The U-13s also defeated the Dynamo 3-2 with goals coming from Luis Pacheco, Roel Pena and Dante Sealy. The U-13s are 7-1-3 on the year and lead their division by five points.
Both teams will host Texas Rush at the Toyota Soccer Center this Saturday at 12PM and 2PM.
What a weekend it was in Austin as FC Dallas got two great games in against two MLS opponents at the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge. Unfortunately, FCD fell just short in their quest for the best trophy in pro sports, but there were still some fantastic moments from the weekend. Here is the weekend in pictures through the lens of Olivia Brestal[and Blas Perez]:
FC Dallas takes another big step towards March 7th this weekend as they compete in the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge. The four-team tournament has three MLS teams plus USL's Austin Aztex and FC Dallas will kick things off at 5:45PM against Columbus Crew SC. Here's a few things to keep your eye on this weekend:
Full squad together
With Matt Hedges back from national team camp, pretty much the full roster for FC Dallas should be in Austin and you will likely see a mostly first team lineup on Friday night. Oscar Pareja said earlier this week that he's looking to get the starters at least 60 minutes and with three weeks under the belt in preseason, it's time to stretch those legs a little bit.
We're all excited to see what Mauro Diaz can do this season and these games will be a fantastic barometer to see how Mauro looks in preseason. The little magician burst out of the gates last year winning MLS Etihad Player of the Month in March and everyone knows if Mauro can stay healthy through a full season, a potential MLS Best XI nomination is on the cards. When Mauro plays, you've got to watch.
Atiba Harris in defense
Last season, Oscar Pareja had a brilliant stroke moving Je-Vaughn Watson to right back with incredible results and he's been experimenting with that again this preseason with Atiba Harris. It's, no doubt, a work in progress, but if Harris, who loves to attack down the right wing and scored the only goal of the preseason so far for FC Dallas, can adapt to the position it could provide huge benefits for FC Dallas.
Next Friday night, February 20th at Toyota Stadium we have a friendly against DC United in the penultimate preseason tuneup for FC Dallas before the season starts on March 7th.
Now for our regular season MLS games, there are regulations in place for just about everything you can think of from sponsors to game presentation to the way the field is mowed....but those don't count for preseason friendlies so we thought we'd have a fun vote to determine which field pattern we will have for the beautiful Toyota Stadium pitch next Friday night.
Below are the four options we can have for Friday night's game. Allen Reed and his groundscrew team need a few days to fully mow in the pattern, so get your vote in before Monday then come out to Toyota Stadium and come back next Friday to see which option won!
Tickets are still available for next Friday's friendly which is complementary for season ticket holders, $10 for general admission & $25 for reserved seating.
Option 1 - Bullseye
Option 2 - Traditional
Option 3 - Checkerboard
Option 4 - Plaid
(Hana Asano/LA Galaxy)
In front of more than 20,000 at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, the US Men's National Team won their first game of 2015 defeating Panama 2-0.
For FC Dallas fans, there was plenty of excitement as forward Blas Perez started, making his 87th appearance in a national team jersey. He went 56 minutes in Sunday's match, playing a typically active game that you see from Perez.
In the second half, a long-awaited moment happened as FC Dallas captain and defender Matt Hedges was brought on in the 72nd minute to make his first national team appearance at any level from youth to senior.
Jon Arnold of Goal.com talked to Matt after the match with Hedges saying “It was really exciting. [Klinsmann[ told us to go warm up and I knew I was going to be getting in. I was buzzing, I was ready.”
The next match for the USMNT is March 25 against Denmark in Aarhus, Denmark while Hedges and Perez now return back to FC Dallas as the full squad is set to head to Austin next weekend for the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge.
FC Dallas completed their week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida with a 1-1 draw against Swedish second division side Jönköpings Södra IF.
Atiba Harris opened the scoring with FCD's first goal of the preseason with just over ten minutes left in the first half with the Swedish side equalizing just minutes later to send the match into halftime tied 1-1.
Neither side could find a goal in the second half as substitutions were made with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
FC Dallas will play the rest of their 2015 preseason slate at home in the state of Texas with the next matches scheduled for next weekend in Austin as part of the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge.
FC Dallas will face Columbus Crew SC in a semifinal on Friday afternoon at 5:30PM and either play in the third place or championship match on Sunday afternoon.
FC Dallas lineup: Seitz, Harris(Rosales, Zimmerman, Loyd(Saco-Vertiz), Hernandez, Ulloa(Hoilett), Michel, Diaz(Chavez), Castillo(Hollingshead), Akindele(Toja), Texeira(Bekker)