FC Dallas plays their final preseason game outside the state of Texas on Saturday when they take on Swedish second division side Jönköpings Södra IF at the IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, FL. FCD will be looking to rebound after their 4-0 preseason-opening loss to Orlando City on Wednesday in a match that saw mostly trialists and reserves get a run out.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on in Saturday night's game which kicks off at 6:00PM(it's unlikely the match will be streamed, but we will let you know for sure on social media closer to game time).
While only a few of the contributors from 2014 saw time against Orlando City SC on Wednesday, Oscar Pareja told Steve Hunt of the Dallas Morning News that first team regulars will be featuring in Saturday's game.
With this being the only match before next week's ATX Pro Soccer Challenge, it's important to get those guys some minutes and for many, this game on Saturday will be their first minutes of 2015 against non-FCD players.
Look out for guys like Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo to have their first minutes of the year and for FCD to be much more competitive in this one.
The youngest player
16-year-old Homegrown midfielder Alex Zendejas who is currently in residency with the US U-17 National Team has had the opportunity to train with FC Dallas this week in Bradenton and by all reports he has impressed.
Alex turns 17 on Saturday and he could be given another opportunity to get some minutes on Saturday night. Alex and the US U-17s begin World Cup qualifying at the end of February in Honduras.
A little bit on the opponents
Saturday's opponents Jönköpings Södra IF, are nearly 100 years old and have spent the last nine years in the Swedish second division.
That's about all I got.
In celebration of our 20th season in MLS, FCDTV will be posting classic highlights every week of our guys taking on that weekend's opponent.
We don't play Columbus until next weekend in Austin so to kick things off we're posting a special Throwback Thursday looking back at our June 25, 2005 3-1 win over Colorado featuring a game-winning goal from a bandaged up Bobby Rhine. FC Dallas Academy coach Luchi Gonzalez also adds a stunning strike.
The 2015 preseason schedule had a harsh opening on Wednesday as FC Dallas fell 4-0 to Orlando City SC in Orlando.
Tony Cascio opened the scoring for the home team in the 13th minute and Kevin Molino doubled the Lions' lead in the 20th minute. Brazilian DP Kaka, making his first appearance for Orlando City, added a goal of his own in the 33rd minute finishing a PK drawn by Martin Paterson. The hosts rounded out the scoring in the 64th minute with a Danny Mwanga goal that sealed the 4-0 scoreline.
Today's FC Dallas team left a number of first team players back in Bradenton at the IMG Academy with the squad mostly comprised of young players and trialists against what was basically a first choice XI for Adrian Heath and Orlando City.
Here's what Oscar had to say about the match:
The purpose in this stage of the preseason is to take a look at the young players to see what they have and what they bring here and you have to go through games like today where it’s hard for them but it’s a good exercise for the players that are here because we need to move and see what the reality of our team and what’s next.
FCD is back in action on Saturday night at the IMG Academy in Bradenton against Swedish second division side Jonkopings Sodra.
FCD first half lineup: Kennedy, Harris, Zimmerman, Saco-Vertiz(g), Hernandez, Bekker, Ulloa(C), Toja, Garcia, Hollingshead, Hoilett
FCD bench: Gonzalez, Marvin Chavez(G), Aaron Meyer(A), Damien Rosales(G), Long Tan(G), Earle, Will Seymore, Texeira, Straccia(G), Camacho(G), Zendejas
*A = Academy | G = Guest player/Trialist
OCSC first half lineup: Ricketts, Boden, Collin, Donovan, Ramos, Molino, Higuita, Kaka, Cascio, Okugo, Paterson
OCSC second half lineup: Edwards, Turner, Gustavo, Redding, trialist, Estrela, Cerén, Heath, Ribeiro, Barrett, Larin
After nearly two weeks of training, the first preseason game of 2015 finally kicks off for FC Dallas on Wednesday morning in Orlando as FC Dallas will face MLS debutants Orlando City SC at 11:00AM .
Whereas last year, FC Dallas took a two-week trip to UAE early in the preseason, Wednesday's game against Orlando City and Saturday's match against Jonkopings Sodra represent the only matches in this preseason that FCD will play outside the state of Texas.
Here's three things to watch for as FCD goes 11v11 for the first time against another opponent on Wednsday morning:
First run out
The first game is always a little bit of a touch and go exercise for the first teamers, and you wouldn't expect any of them to get more than 45 minutes of game time. For veterans like Zach Loyd, Victor Ulloa, David Texeira and company, Wednesday's game is a solid first chance to work out the cobwebs and begin to get back into game shape.
With the preseason tournament in Austin next weekend serving as a much more formal preseason experience playing in front of the paying fans, this week in Florida will be a little more relaxed games providing some match fitness under the sun in Florida.
Who earns a spot?
Of course, for guys trying to earn a contract, these games can have huge importance and many times the second halves are much more interesting than the first as the guys trying to earn a roster spot put their best foot forward. Oscar Pareja has a myriad of trialists and draft picks in there including Will Seymore, Jaineil Hoilett, Aurelio Saco-Vertiz, Juan Toja and Ezquiel Straccia, so look out for some of these names and how they do.
Spots are certainly limited, but with Matt Hedges and Blas Perez out on international duty, there will be some playing time that the young guys will look to take advantage of.
The answer to a trivia question
For the opponents Orlando City SC, Wednesday will reportedly be the first match for Brazilian Designated Player Kaka. The 2007 Ballon d'Or winner will make his first appearance of the preseason for Orlando City and FC Dallas will forever be the answer to the trivia question of who was the first MLS team he faced.
Stay tuned to FC Dallas social media tomorrow for full coverage of the match!
The FC Dallas U-18 Academy is down in Guadalajara this week playing in the prestigious Copa Chivas against some of the best teams from Mexico and around the world. FC Dallas has been placed in a group with Chivas Guadalajara and Atlas from Liga MX as well as Urawa Red Diamonds from Japan and Atletico Paranaese from Brazil and matches are 70 minutes long.
The FCD travel roster is a mix of U-18 and U-16 players with many of them having experience from last year's tournament. Here is the full roster:
Santiago Agudelo, Joel Avilez, Ryan Barlow, Reggie Cannon, Eric Davies, Irvin Domingues, Charlie Furrer, Matt Karasinski, Alejandro Martinez, Weston McKinnie, Giovanni Montesdeoca, Eddie Munjoma, Phillip Ponder, Christian Ramirez, Oscar Romero, Jose Livano Salas, Martin Salas, Devin Vega
FCD U-18s draw first match vs Urawa Red Diamonds
In the first match, the U-18s took on Urawa Red Diamonds of the J. League playing to an exciting 2-2 draw. Santiago Agudelo opened the scoring for FC Dallas with a close-range effort in the 21st minute.
FCD would take a 2-0 lead into halftime as Eric Davies scored off a corner kick to double the lead.
The Japanese side finally broke through in the 62nd minute as Mizuki Arai scored his first goal and then in the 68th minute Urawa was awarded a penalty kick that they scored to tie the match.
FC Dallas lineup: 22 Charlie Furrer, 2 Eric Davies, 3 Phillip Ponder, 4 Ryan Barlow, 12 Óscar Romero, 44 Devin Vega, 13 Irving Dominguez, 15 José Salas, 21 Martín Salas, 30 Santiago Agudelo, 9 Christian Ramírez.
FCD U-18s play to a scoreless draw with Liga MX's Atlas
The second match saw FCD take on at Atlas side that won their first two matches and FCD played them to a 0-0 draw in a rainy Guadalajara.
Giovanni Montesdeoca had the best chance of the match for FCD in the first half and the valuable point keeps FCD alive in their quest to make the quarterfinals.
FC Dallas lineup: 22 Charlie Furrer, 2 Eric Davies, 3 Phillip Ponder, 4 Ryan Barlow, 12 Óscar Romero, 33Reggie Cannon, 17 Alejandro Martínez, 15 José Salas, 21 Martín Salas, 23 Joel Avilez, 42 Giovani Montesdeoca.
Through two matches, FCD sits in fourth with 2 points with Atletico Paranaense and Chivas Guadalajara a point ahead of them.
The top two teams from each group plus the two highest ranked third place teams will make the quarterfinals.
FC Dallas plays Chivas Guadalajara at noon on Monday in a match that will be streamed live (WATCH HERE). A win for FCD would put them in with a great chance at advancing to the quarterfinals.
One of the really fun aspects of the 2015 schedule is that LA Galaxy comes to town twice this year. We've already talked about how there is guaranteed drama whenever FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy meet so let's not beat around the bush.
This game is going to be known as the "Gerrard" game.
The Liverpool legend is set to join Los Angeles after the EPL season is over and assuming he takes a few weeks off before linking up with the Galaxy, his trip to Toyota Stadium will be one of the first road games for the scouse superstar.
It's going to be absolutely fascinating to see how Gerrard adapts to life in MLS and there's no better way to introduce Stevie G to how we do things in Texas than a steamy summer Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.
You know this one is going to be sold out and it's going to be a huge game in the standings, so no reason to wait and get your tickets.
FCD graphic design/photography gurus Erik Davila & Olivia Brestal got new camera lenses in the mail yesterday. Expect great things to come. Here are a few pics from Friday's morning training session:
The champs visit Toyota Stadium twice in 2015, with the first match coming on Saturday, May 9 at 7:30PM, the third Premier Match of the season.
Any time the Galaxy come to town, it's an occasion not to be missed, and with a Saturday night kickoff in the middle of spring, this one is definitely going to be a packed house at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas is 3-1-1 in their last five at home against Los Angeles and any time FCD faces the Galaxy, you can bet some late drama is in the cards.
While Landon Donovan has ridden off into the U.S. Soccer sunset and Steven Gerrard doesn't arrive until later in the season, the Galaxy still boast perhaps the most fascinating forward in the league in Robbie Keane as well as Dallas-native Omar Gonzalez; so there's plenty of talent to watch on the other end of the field, but this one is all about FC Dallas.
With this game being the sixth of seven home games in the first 11 matches of the season, FCD has a chance to make a real statement to the rest of the league with this one and you definitely don't want to miss it.
Drama happens when FCD and the Galaxy play (see below). Get the best seat in the house now for the next chapter as single-game tickets are available!
The players have returned for preseason and the 20th season of FC Dallas soccer is starting to come into focus.
Today, we've released single-game tickets for seven of the biggest games of the season, our 2015 premier matches. Throughout this week we're going to be highlighting each one on FCDallas.com as we celebrate "Marquee Matchups," taking a look towards the 2015 season. Stay tuned each day this week as we highlight one of the seven biggest games coming to Toyota Stadium in 2015.
Marquee Matchups Game One - March 7 vs. San Jose Earthquakes
No matter what sport you're watching, there's nothing like opening day.
Every team is 0-0-0 with championship aspirations and whether you're looking to improve on last season and show that you mean business or simply looking to prove that the previous season was no fluke, the first game of the year is always one you don't want to miss as a fan. There's just something special about that first time you walk through the stadium gates for a new season, getting your first glimpse at the new players while also seeing those familiar faces back on the field for another year.
There's all the new signage around the stadium, the new banners outside(which will be awesome) and that first look at the new pump up videos. On March 7 at 7:30PM, it all gets started again, and let's face it: You're not missing this one.
For FC Dallas, the 2015 season marks the eighth-straight year that FCD will open the season at Toyota Stadium with the team going 3-1-3 in that stretch, having won their last three home openers.
Who can forget last year's season opener in which Oscar Pareja returned to the place he calls home to see Mauro Diaz produce his first of many master-class performances, scoring a brilliant game-winning free kick early in the second half to seal a 3-2 win over Montreal. It would be the first stanza of Mauro's brilliant March that saw him win Etihad Player of the Month while propelling Dallas to a 4-0-1 start to the season.
It's opening night. It gives me chills every time. It's going to be a huge crowd coming off last year's playoff drama. You don't want to miss this one.
Mexico continued their recent dominance of the CONCACAF U-20 championships winning their third in a row as they topped Panama in PKs on Saturday in Jamaica.
FC Dallas Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez proved to be one of the heroes as the netminder saved two PKs in the shootout that saw El Tri take home the trophy.
Gonzalez allowed just three goals in five games for El Tri posting two shutouts for the eventual champions who easily qualified for the U20 World Cup this summer in New Zealand.
USA books a spot in New Zealand with win over El Salvador
Despite a rough start, the US U-20s rebounded fantastically well and sealed their spot in New Zealand with a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the winner-take-all knockout game.
Though Kellyn Acosta was forced to miss the second half of the tournament, he expressed his excitement on Twitter yesterday after the US qualified.