Midfielder David Ferreira recently did an interview with Spanish media outlet MARCA.com in which the former MLS MVP discussed his highly-anticipated return from injury last month and what FC Dallas needs to do to finish the season strong.
Ferreira also discusses the impact of Colombian players in Major League Soccer, the latest Colombian national team selection and the recent rise of countryman Radamel Falcao.
Click here to read the full interview in Spanish on MARCA.com.
Below are a few translated excerpts from Ferreira's interview:
On his feeling since returning in early July...
"I feel good. I’m getting better little by little and I’m trying to get back to a higher level where I will be able to help the team return to our objective of making the playoffs."
On turning the season around for FC Dallas...
"It’s really a matter of developing a good soccer team. We have gotten better the last couple of games but we know that we can’t afford to lose more points at home. That is the objective."
On Colombian players in MLS...
"I believe it’s important. The Colombian players that have passed through the league have left a name. Because of this, MLS teams have collected many Colombian players. We hope that more will come."
The FC Dallas U-14 Pre Academy team coached by Francisco Molina claimed the U.S. Club National Premier Leagues Champions Cup in Waukegan, Ill. on July 31. A national tournament open to all of the regional premier league champions, FC Dallas U-14s advanced to the competition by winning the Texas Pre Academy League’s U-14 division with an undefeated record of 16-0-5.
The U-14s opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over South Carolina United Battery on Friday, July 27. Goals were scored by Weston McKennie, who scored 10 goals in the regular season, and leading scorer Christian Ramirez, who tallied 19 goals to lead the U-14s during the regular season.
The next day FC Dallas faced HBC Fusion of New York. Richard Tapia and Bernie ZuaZua scored in that game to give the U-14 side its second straight 2-0 win. The team's final group stage match was a must-win against the Chicago Fire. Ramirez came through in the match, putting away a cross from teammate Eric Davies to give FC Dallas a 1-0 win and a spot in the semifinals.
FCD met DMS of California in the semifinals on the morning of Monday, July 30. After 70 minutes of scoreless regulation time, the sides played two 10 minute overtime periods. The breakthrough came in the second overtime when Ramirez scored his third goal of the tournament off a ZuaZua corner kick to give FC Dallas a late 1-0 lead. Minutes later Delfino Garcia put a shot on goal that the DMS 'keeper deflected, but Tapia pounced on the rebound to put the game away with a 2-0 win.
FC Dallas faced the New York Red Bulls in the championship game on Tuesday, July 31. New York dominated large portions of the match, but the Dallas defense held strong to maintain a scoreless match through regulation. Early in the first overtime period, FC Dallas established possession and strung together a series of passes that ended with Jessi Najera playing a through ball to Tapia. Being chased by two Red Bulls defenders, Tapia didn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a shot that beat the New York goalkeeper to give FCD the 1-0 lead in overtime. After some stellar defending in the dying minutes, FC Dallas won the match with yet another shutout to claim the championship.
After an undefeated season that started in Sptember of 2011, the U-14s won five games in five consecutive days without allowing a goal against and outscored their opponents 8-0 to win the national title.
Christian Ramirez - 3
Richard Tapia - 3
Bernie ZuaZua - 1
Weston McKennie - 1
The Complex at FC Dallas Stadium hosted the firs-ever FC Dallas MoneyGram Nations Cup last month, and the tournament had a great turn out. The tournament was played in a round robin format consisting of 16 select teams representing their respective countries and/or continental regions. Identifying soccer as the common language among all nationalities, FC Dallas in conjunction with DFW International created this World Cup-style tournament to provide the international community in DFW a chance to play and celebrate the Beautiful Game. Take a look at pictures from this year's tournament below.
Full match highlights from FC Dallas' 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.
SAVE: Kevin Hartman denies Rapids defender Luis Zapata.
SAVE: Brek Shea's shot caught and held by Matt Pickens.
GOAL: Omar Cummings scores on the pass from Conor Casey.
GOAL: Fabian Castillo sends in a cross that's headed home by Carlos Rodriguez.
GOAL: Rodriguez returns the favor by setting up Castillo's game-winner with some help from David Ferreira.
Full match highlights from FC Dallas' scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
BLOCK: Jason Hernandez blocks Fabian Castillo's shot on goal.
CLEARANCE: Hernan Pertuz clears Chris Wondolowski's chip off the line.
CLEARANCE: Carlos Rodriguez clears Ramiro Corrales' attempt off the line.
TACKLE: Pertuz makes goal-saving tackle on Alan Gordon.
RED CARD: Corrales sees a second yellow and is ejected from the match.
SAVE: Kevin Hartman denies Wondolowski.
SAVE: Matt Hedges and Hartman combine to deny Shea Salinas.
Full match highlights from FCD's 1-1 draw with Toronto FC.
GOAL: Zach Loyd puts in a diving header to give FC Dallas the 1-0 lead.
SAVE: Kevin Hartman denies Ryan Johnson the game-tying goal.
GOAL: Danny Koevermans scores in his fifth straight match to tie it up for Toronto.
SAVE: Hartman makes a late save on Koevermans to preserve the draw.
Two FC Dallas Youth teams qualified for the 2012 U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Championships that began in Greenville, South Carolina this past weekend. The 97 Boys Central team and the 98 Boys Premier team each qualified for the tournament by winning the U.S. Youth Soccer North Texas Soccer State Cup in the U-15 and U-14 age groups, respectively.
97 Boys Central: U-15 Bracket (coached by Francisco Arias)
The 97s had a rough start to the group stage after being shut out in their first two matches. However, the team did manage a big win over eventual group-winners and U-15 Region III champions SAA Real Madrid Miami in their third group stage match.
FC Dallas conceded the first two goals in the match, the second an own goal, to set the stage for an unlikely comeback. The team responded with four unanswered goals scored by Oscar Romero, Jeffrey Withers, Leonardo Franzank and Leonardo Luvizetto. But the win wasn't enough to undo the squad's first two losses as their run ended in the group stage.
98 Boys Premier: U-14 Bracket (coached by Gabby Gentile)
The 98s found more success in South Carolina though, as they've made it all the way to the semifinals of the tournament. FC Dallas opened up the tournament with a convincing 5-0 win over HSC Phantoms, State Cup Champions of Alabama.
FCD took the lead in the first half off a goal by Tony Perez, but the Texas side poured on the offense in the second half. Adan Garcia scored the 98s' second goal just minutes before Junior Chavez made it a 3-0 lead. The fourth goal came off a free kick that Sebastian Venegas sent around the wall from just outside the box and bent into the far post. Bernie ZuaZua wrapped up the scoring with a one-touch goal off a har pass from Matthew Gonzalez. Fino Garcia set up two of FCD's goals to help the team start the tournament on the right foot.
In their second match the Dallas side faced FC Alliance 98 Black from Tennesse. FCD found themselves trailing by a goal midway through the first half after Jacob Helterbridle headed in a long throw-in. But Adan Garcia responded with a valiant individual effort to beat the goalkeeper far post just minutes later to tie the match at 1-1. A scoreless second half saw the match end in a draw and FC Dallas end their second day in South Carolina with four points for second place in the group behind their next opponent, Florida's Pinecrest Premier.
Pinecrest won their first two matches, making the final matchup of the group stage a must-win for FC Dallas if they hoped to win the group. The 98s proved up to the task, as Fino Garcia gave the team an early 1-0 lead after putting away a rebound. Minutes later Chuy Armendariz beat the 'keeper to make it a 2-0 lead. Pinecrest's Tavish Rice cut the advantage in half as he put in a goal off a corner kick towards the end of the first half. FCD put the game away early in the second half though, as Sebastian Venegas scored his second of the tournament to give Dallas the 3-1 win to advance the team to the tournament quarterfinals.
FCD's quarterfinal match against Georgia's GSA 98 Phoenix Red was a dramatic one. The teams went scoreless through both halves of regulation, but towards the end of the second half one of GSA's players received a second yellow to put the Georgia side down to 10 players. The sides remained scoreless through the entire first overtime period until the last minute when Dallas was called for a handball in the box to award a penalty kick to GSA. However, FCD goalkeeper Zach Sodolak made a game-changing save on the spot kick to hold the clean sheet as the match headed into the final overtime period. Junior Chavez played the hero for FC Dallas in the second overtime, scoring two goals to keep the match from being decided in a penalty kick shootout.
The 2-0 win set up a Lone Star State semifinal showdown against South Texas State Cup Champions Texas Rush Premier on Wednesday afternoon for a shot at the Region III Championship match. FC Dallas wasted little time in their semifinal matchup, jumping out to a 1-0 lead over their Houston-based counterparts thanks to an eighth minute goal by Fino Garcia. Garcia scored a brace just 12 minutes later after Junior Chavez sent in a pass that split the Rush center backs. Bernie ZuaZua made it a 3-0 lead five minutes into the second half off a feed from Sebastian Venegas, and 13 minutes later FC Dallas was awarded a penalty kick after Austin Day took a shot that hit the hand of a defender in the box. Adan Garcia buried the spot kick to seal the 4-0 shutout victory for FC Dallas.
On Thursday morning the 98 Boys Premier team faced Florida's Sunrise Elite with the Region III Championship and a berth in Nationals at stake. Sunrise entered the match having won all five of their previous matches while outscoring their opponents 10-2 at the tournament. In a tightly contested final, the lone goal of the match was scored by Sunrise Elite's Alexander Gomez to clinch the 1-0 victory for the Florida side and hand FC Dallas their only loss in the final match of the competition.
"We are very proud of the 97 Boys Central and 98 Boys Premier teams for winning the North Texas State Cup and advancing to the Region III 2012 Southern Regionals," said FC Dallas Youth Vice President Chris Hayden. " It is a great accomplishment to qualify for Regionals and to represent North Texas. It is also extremely important that our teams play an attractive style of soccer, which I know is stressed daily by coaches. These two teams have demonstrated their quality on and off the field all year long and did a great job representing FC Dallas on a big stage."
The FC Dallas U-18 and U-16 Academy teams have qualified for the U.S. Soccer Develoment Academy Playoffs for the third straight year. The event will take place on the Complex at FC Dallas Stadium for the second year in a row, with games being played next Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29.
The FC Dallas U-18s enter the playoffs as the top seed from the Texas Division, having clinched the title weeks ago thanks to an impressive season that saw them go 24-4-3 for 75 points overall. They were drawn into Group 5 along with Sockers FC of Illinois, Real Salt Lake AZ of Arizona, and McLean Youth Soccer of Virginia.
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) June 18, 2012
The U-16s qualified for this year's playoffs as the sixth seeded wildcard after finishing fourth in a competitive Texas Division. They were drawn into Group 1 and will face CASL Chelsea FC Academy of North Carolina, the New York Red Bulls and Georgia United.
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) June 18, 2012
At the end of each season the top two teams from each of the Academy's 10 divisions qualify for the playoffs along with 12 wildcard teams. The wildcard teams are determined by a points per games played average. At the end of the season, 64 teams (32 from each age group) make the playoffs.
The 32 teams in each age group are ranked based on overall points per game and placed into four pods. Teams are then drawn at random from the four pods into eight groups comprised of four teams each.
Each team plays three games during the playoffs, facing their group opponents once apiece. Upon the conclusion of the playoffs the winner of each group will advance to Finals Week, which will take place from July 16-23 in Houston.
Visit FCDallas.com later this week for an in-depth break down of all six FC Dallas opponents and check in throughout next week for full coverage of FC Dallas in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.
Full match highlights from FCD's 3-2 loss at Real Salt Lake.
SAVE: Kevin Hartman denies Ned Grabavoy early.
GOAL: Alvaro Saborio heads one in to give RSL the 1-0 lead.
GOAL: Rookie defender Matt Hedges scores his second goal in as many games.
GOAL: Saborio responds quickly to restore the home side's one-goal lead.
GOAL: Blas Perez sends in a shot that Kyle Reynish can't handle.
GOAL: Nat Borchers scores the stoppage time game-winner after some chaos in the FCD box.
Match Highlights from FCD's 2-1 road loss to the Chicago Fire.
GOAL: Rookie defender Matt Hedges scores the first goal of his MLS career.
GOAL: Sebastian Grazzini strikes from distance to tie the match for the Fire.
SAVE: Sean Johnson denies Blas Perez's attempt from the spot.
GOAL: Marco Pappa follows up Grazzini's PK shot to give Chicago the lead.
MISS: Daniel Hernandez goes just high on his long-range attempt.