For once, there's no argument when it comes to where FC Dallas should stand in the MLS Power Rankings; pundits across the board have ranked FCD number one. The folks at MLSsoccer.com ranked Dallas number one for the first time this season, citing the play of goalkeeper Rauls Fernandez and playmaker David Ferreira as reasons for FCD's rise.
Avi Creditor at SportsIllustrated.com and Ives Galarcep with Soccer By Ives both kept FC Dallas on top of their rankings, with both noting the contributions of a healthy David Ferreira to FCD's success. The rankings on ESPNFC.com and Goal.com both pointed out that Dallas' win was a special milestone for head coach Schellas Hyndman while keeping the club ranked number one. And Yahoo! Sports and the Bleacher Report also both named FC Dallas as the top team in Major League Soccer after week eight.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez and defender George John were ranked among the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 performers for Week 8 in Major League Soccer following the team's 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Perez checked in at number four in this week's Castrol Index after scoring his third goal of the season in Week 8 and registering four shots on goal vs. Whitecaps FC. Super Raton's goal came in the 50th minute of the match after he got a head to Kenny Cooper's deflected shot and redirected the ball past goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
John landed at number 11 in this week's Index. The big center back played the full 90 minutes against Vancouver and was occupying defender Brad Rusin on FCD's corner kick attempt in the 29th minute, during which Rusin scored an own goal following David Ferreira's service. John also made a goal-line clearance in the 41st minute to help maintain the clean sheet.
Castrol Index Week 8 Top 20 Performers
|1||Thierry Henry||Forward||New York Red Bulls||90||New England Revolution||2,056|
|2||Jack McInerney||Forward||Philadelphia Union||76||D.C. United||1,583|
|3||Jimmy Nielsen||Goalkeeper||Sporting Kansas City||90||New York Red Bulls||1,521|
|4||Blas Pérez||Forward||FC Dallas||89||Vancouver Whitecaps||1,451|
|5||Nick Rimando||Goalkeeper||Real Salt Lake||90||Chivas USA||1,381|
|6||Michael Gspurning||Goalkeeper||Seattle Sounders FC||90||Colorado Rapids||1,351|
|7||Dan Kennedy||Goalkeeper||Chivas USA||90||Real Salt Lake||1,329|
|8||Andy Gruenebaum||Goalkeeper||Columbus Crew||90||Chicago Fire||1,319|
|9||Donovan Ricketts||Goalkeeper||Portland Timbers||90||San Jose Earthquakes||1,293|
|10||Marcelo Sarvas||Midfielder||LA Galaxy||90||Sporting Kansas City||1,258|
|11||George John||Defender||FC Dallas||90||Vancouver Whitecaps||1,183|
|12||Patrick Nyarko||Midfielder||Chicago Fire||86||Columbus Crew||1,147|
|13||Gonzalo Segares||Defender||Chicago Fire||90||Columbus Crew||1,142|
|14||Jeff Larentowicz||Midfielder||Chicago Fire||90||Columbus Crew||1,134|
|15||Javier Morales||Midfielder||Real Salt Lake||90||Chivas USA||1,114|
|16||Jonny Steele||Midfielder||New York Red Bulls||90||New England Revolution||1,094|
|17||Lionard Pajoy||Forward||D.C. United||90||Philadelphia Union||1,091|
|18||Aurélien Collin||Defender||Sporting Kansas City||90||New York Red Bulls||1,063|
|19||Austin Berry||Defender||Chicago Fire||90||Columbus Crew||1,059|
|20||Justin Braun||Forward||Toronto FC||90||Houston Dynamo||1,010|
You can see the full Castrol Index report from Week 8 here.
Full match highlights from FC Dallas' 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
SAVE: Blas Perez tests Joe Cannon early.
GOAL: David Ferreira's corner kick goes in off Brad Rusin's back.
GOAL-LINE CLEARANCE: George John hustles back to clear Matt Watson's shot off the line.
GOAL: Perez beats Cannon with a header off Kenny Cooper's deflected shot.
George John may have scored the game-winning goal against the LA Galaxy, but center back partner Matt Hedges' defensive performance Saturday earned him Team of the Week honors for Week 7. Hedges had a game-high nine clearances and posted a succesful pass rate of 94% (identical to John's), completing 30 of 32 passes. Hedges was also named one of MLSsoccer.com's top three Men of the Match in the post-game recap.
DF: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – George John may have gotten the goal and the glory in FCD’s 1-0 win over the Galaxy, but Hedges was the best defender on the field, making plenty of timely interventions to keep LA off the board.
See the full Team of the Week here.
It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but getting to participate in team warm-ups is a big step for FC Dallas rookie Walker Zimmerman. The young centerback was drafted in the first round (seventh overall) by Dallas in last January's MLS SuperDraft, but due to a prior groin injury has yet to practice with the squad.
Zimmerman was considered by many to be a risky pick by FCD because his injury prohibited him from participating in the Combine leading up to the SuperDraft. Head coach Schellas Hyndman said his staff scouted the defender during his college career at Furman well enough to know that he was worth the risk.
"We’d seen him play in college and we knew he was with the Under-20 National Team, so we got a lot of reports on him," Hyndman told FCDallas.com after training Wednesday. "The things we really liked about him were his athleticism, his courage and his character. He’s a lot like George [John] and Matt [Hedges], a similar type of player."
Ever since FC Dallas picked him in the first round, Zimmerman has been working tirelessly to return to the field and show the club that it's faith was not misplaced.
"We know it’s frustrating for him and he wants to be able to help the team," said Hyndman. "He works awfully hard and follows his recovery plan religiously and now we’re starting to see a little life in his legs because he’s really excited to join us in training."
Now that he's started participating in warm-ups, Zimmerman's next milestone will be to take part in a full training session. The recovery process may sound tedious, but Hyndman said it's the best way for players to avoid a more severe injury in the long run.
"Sometimes you’re so anxious to get players back onto the field that you can push them too quick," said the gaffer. "Then when they’re in a game situation, their adrenaline’s going high and they want to help the team, but if something goes wrong then they’re set further back again with another injury.
"We want to make sure he’s capable of the demands of the training session, which will then verify to us that he’s capable of the demands of the game."
FC Dallas' 2-2 draw with Toronto FC over the weekend had differing effects on the various power rankings around the online soccer community. The most dramatic change took place at MLSsoccer.com, where the Power Rankings politburo dropped FC Dallas from fifth place to seventh.
The rankings by other sources weren't near as harsh, as ESPN FC was the only other entity that dropped FC Dallas, but by only one spot from first to second. Two sites opinions of the club were unchanged by the draw; Yahoo! Sports kept FCD as its number one and Bleacher Report held Dallas steady at second place. Sports Illustrated, on the other hand, actually moved FC Dallas up a spot from fourth to third after the draw.
What do you think? Who has FC Dallas ranked most accurately?
The NCAA March Madness tournament comes to a close on Monday, so now's the perfect time to check the standings of the FC Dallas Bracket Challenge and see who's got the best shot at winning our awesome prizes. The Final Four will play on Saturday and the championship game will take place on Monday night, so we'll be contacting and announcing our top three winners on Tuesday.
Overall top 10:
1) Thorsr's Bracket (80 points)
2) Jesse's Nice Bracket (78 points)
3) Big C's Bracket (77 points)
3) Shelby's Genius Bracket (77 points)
3) Thorjr3 (77 points)
6) Phil's Third (76 points)
6) Anthony's Agreeable Bracket (76 points)
6) Lloyd's Majestic Bracket (76 points)
9) Mario Valadez's Cool Bracket (74 points)
9) Full Court Press (74 points)
As you can see, it's a tight race at the moment, so be sure to check in on your bracket after the next round to see if you have a shot at one of our great prizes. We'll leave you with the rankings of each of the FC Dallas players who joined our Bracket Challenge. Take a look at where they landed among our 283 entries:
43) Jonathan Top's 2013 Bracket (66 points)
99) Zach Loyd's 2013 Bracket (61 points)
142) Chris Seitz's 2013 Bracket (56 points)
169) Bradlee Baladez's 2013 Bracket (53 points)
169) Walker Zimmerman's 2013 Bracket (53 points)
174) Kyle Zobeck's 2013 Bracket (52 points)
233) Bobby Warshaw's 2013 Bracket (43 points)
242) George John's 2013 Bracket (41 points)
After making five saves in FC Dallas' shutout win over the New England Revolution on Saturday, Peruvian goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was ranked number one in the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 for Week 5. Fernandez becomes the first FC Dallas player to claim the Index's top ranking in 2013.
Captain David Ferreira also made it into the Top 10 this week, as he landed at number nine on the list.
Castrol Index Week 5 Top 20 Performers
|1||Raúl Fernández||Goalkeeper||FC Dallas||90||New England Revolution||1,443|
|2||Mike Magee||Midfielder||Los Angeles Galaxy||90||Toronto FC||1,430|
|3||Robbie Findley||Forward||Real Salt Lake||14||Seattle Sounders FC||1,162|
|4||Eric Avila||Midfielder||Chivas USA||90||Vancouver Whitecaps||1,144|
|5||Devon Sandoval||Forward||Real Salt Lake||90||Seattle Sounders FC||1,101|
|6||Will Johnson||Midfielder||Portland Timbers||90||Colorado Rapids||1,001|
|7||Will Bruin||Forward||Houston Dynamo||82||San Jose Earthquakes||965|
|8||Tally Hall||Goalkeeper||Houston Dynamo||90||San Jose Earthquakes||960|
|9||David Ferreira||Midfielder||FC Dallas||90||New England Revolution||929|
|10||Jon Busch||Goalkeeper||San Jose Earthquakes||90||Houston Dynamo||919|
You can see the full Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 list from Week 5 here.
Tuesday, April 9, FC Dallas will be holding a special training session open to the public at Southern Methodist University's Westcott Field. The session will take place from 5-7 p.m.
The team's practice session will run from 5-6:30, and the last 30 minutes will be dedicated to an autograph session with the players.
The training session will be led by former longtime SMU Men's Soccer coach Schellas Hyndman and attended by former SMU student-athletes Ramon Nunez and Ugo Ihemelu, in addition to the rest of the FC Dallas professional team.
The event will also feature the FC Dallas Promo Girls and team drumline FCDrum, and the club will be providing attendees with free shirts (above, right) and CiCi's pizza (*while supplies last).
PARKING DIRECTIONS: Please note, parking spots are limited on the SMU campus. Fans may park in the Binkley Ave. garage directly north of Westcott Field for a charge of $1.00/HR. Fans should exit at Mockingbird Lane (whether traveling via US-75 or the Dallas North Tollway) toward SMU, turn north on Bishop Blvd and right on Binkley Ave. Please see directions below arriving from Mockingbird Lane.
David Ferreira is in the running for MLSsoccer.com's Top 3 Performers of the Month for his output through five games in March.
The FC Dallas captain scored a goal or an assist in four of FCD's first five matches. Ferreira's lone goal came in the club's only loss of the season, 3-1, to Chivas USA.
El Torito also set up FCD's game-winning goals against the Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution, with his third assist of the month coming on Dallas' second goal in a 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo.
You can vote for Ferriera to be one of the Top 3 Performers of the Month here.