We're still a few weeks away from the big tournament in Brazil, but a mini-World Cup comes to Toyota Soccer Center this weekend with the third-annual MoneyGram Nations Cup.
The MoneyGram Nations Cup was organized in 2012 to promote outreach and unity in the local DFW community through the game of soccer and in 2014 we will celebrate the third year of the tournament. 16 teams have been drawn into four groups in a World Cup-style tournament that will determine the 2014 MoneyGram Nations Cup champion.
All group stage games will take place on Saturday, May 31st throughout the day leading up to the FC Dallas vs. San Jose game, and the knockout round semi-finals and finals will be on Sunday, June 1.
Admission is free to all games and we encourage all FC Dallas fans to come out early on Saturday afternoon to take in a little bit of the soccer carnival atmosphere! There will be plenty of fun for the kids with face painting, balloon artist and a soccer-shaped bounce house as well as pizza from Cici's sno-cones and other treats!
On Field 10, the Ultimate Soccer Experience will be set up with different interactive stations including soccer bowling, soccer basketball and a 1-on-1 competition while an EA Sports FIFA 14 station offers the chance to win bragging rights over your friends.
In addition, everyone who attends the MoneyGram Nations Cup will have the opportunity to win a brand new 2014 FC Dallas jersey by Tweeting your most creative photo from the 2014 Nations Cup using #NationsCup14 and here at FCDallas.com we have a special contest where you can win an FCD prize pack featuring a Raul Fernandez signed ball!
FRISCO - Tomorrow in Lisbon, another UEFA Champions League winner will be crowned and perhaps the biggest Atletico Madrid fan lives right here in Frisco and patrols the midfield for FC Dallas.
Midfielder Peter Luccin, who was back on the bench for FC Dallas in Wednesday's loss in Los Angeles after missing the last six weeks with a leg injury, spent three years with Los Colchoneros from 2004-2007, having played with current Atletico coach Diego "Cholo" Simeone in that first 2004-2005 season.
"I played for years at Atletico Madrid and I can’t explain what is happening over there because they have very, very good players," Luccin said after training a couple weeks ago. "But for me it’s a team thing and a “Simeone” thing, the coach who does a very good job."
Last Saturday at the historic Nou Camp in Barcelona, Atleti won La Liga for the first time since 1996 with a 1-1 draw against Barcelona and Luccin says a third team infringing on the normal big two of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spanish soccer is definitely a good thing.
"It’s always been just two teams, but it’s good for the champoinship because last year it was so easy. It’s Real Madrid and Barcelona 20 points ahead," said Luccin. "So now we know and understand there’s another team. It’s amazing, but Atletico Madrid is a very good and historic team. Now the thing is changing and it’s good for the championship."
As for Simeone, currently the toast of European soccer, Luccin says that his teammates always knew the man known as "Cholo" would one day be a manager.
"I played one year with him and he was an aggressive player, a very passionate player and of course I could see he would be a coach one day," said Luccin. "Everyone thought he would be a coach. He does a very very good job…we can see 11 players running 90 minutes and it’s not easy. There’s good technique, but the fitness is so important with that team."
Looking ahead to Saturday's UEFA Champions League Final, the man who spent a good portion of his life in Madrid says he's happy that both the city's teams are in the final and, surprisingly said he likes both teams. However, there's no question who Luccin is cheering for on Saturday.
"I’m a big, big, big fan. It’s a little bit strange to say I like both teams, but I’m happy to see both teams in the final," said Luccin. "It’s strange. If you talked to any Atletico fan, it would be hard, but me, I like Madrid. I like the city so I like both teams but I want to see Atletico Madrid win the Champions League
It's a quick turnaround this weekend as FCD plays at RSL on Saturday night. Here's your Toyota Keys to the Match:
Scott & Daniel break down the biggest talking points in tonight's match vs LA Galaxy with our Toyota Keys to the Match:
MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek & Matt Doyle break down the key points of Saturday's game:
Saturday's match against Chivas USA is the second opponent this season that FC Dallas will be seeing for the second time in 2014 after facing Seattle for the second time last week.
Last time out, FC Dallas and Chivas USA played to a physical, rough-and-tumble, 3-1 win for FC Dallas. After a relatively dull first half, the match sprang to life in the second half as Mauro Diaz, Hendry Thomas and Fabian Castillo combined to produce the first goal of the match in the 71st minute.
Just seven minutes later, a trademark pass from Diaz sprang Je-Vaughn Watson free on goal and the Jamaican made no mistake rounding Dan Kennedy and scoring to put Dallas up 2-0. Things got interesting just a few minutes later as Erick "Cubo" Torres pulled Chivas USA within a goal at 2-1, but Michel's late free kick goal sealed all three points for FC Dallas who are 6-2-6 all-time against Chivas USA at home.
Saturday's final visit from Chivas USA kicks off at 7:30PM and tickets can be purchased here(TICKETS - FC Dallas vs Chivas USA - Saturday, May 17, 7:30PM ).
Here's your Toyota Keys to the Match for Saturday's game vs Chivas USA:
You've seen bubble soccer and now a new soccer-related sports mashup is hitting golf courses around the area called Footgolf! It's a combination of soccer and golf and it's something you're definitely going to want to try out.
Lake Park Golf Course in Lewisville is the first footgolf course in DFW and they've partnered with us to create a fun weekend at the end of May. Come out and play a round of footgolf on Friday May 30 and then get a ticket to the FC Dallas game the following night vs San Jose or next weekend's game against Colorado all for just $22!
Raul Fernandez returned to the FC Dallas lineup for the first time in 2014 last week, starting all three games over the seven days of matches. Raul showed why he's known as "Superman" making nine saves over the two games including one of the best ones you'll ever see in Seattle on Wednesday. Two of Raul's saves have been nominated for Save of the Week and as to not take votes away from another, we're encouraging everyone to vote for the save in Seattle as your winner.
WATCH: SOTW Week 10
File this one under awesome. By now, you've likely heard about Chris Seitz's heroic bone marrow donation story, but last night NBC 5 aired the first-ever interview with Seitz's bone marrow recipient, a man from Pennsylvania named Phillip Recuso. Watch the amazing story: