Chandler Parsons wasn’t the only Dallas sports figure trying to recruit someone to the metroplex the summer.
FC Dallas has added another key cog to their midfield in Argentine Ezequiel Cirigliano and his countryman, midfield maestro Mauro Diaz, played a big part in selling Cirigliano on what the Frisco club can offer the 23-year-old.
“They asked me to invite him here,” said Diaz through a translator. “I gave a great recommendation as this is a great place to live, a great team with great coaches and I’m very happy he’s coming.”
Diaz said he and Cirigliano have known each other since they were 13 years old and played together through the ranks at Argentine giants River Plate including one year together in the first team. Their career paths have been remarkably similar as well and Diaz thinks the 23-year-old can be another great addition to a team already competing for the top spot in MLS.
“I’m very happy, he’s a player that I’ve known since I was young. He’s a great player and someone who will bring a lot for FC Dallas,” said Diaz. “He’s a player who knows how to play well with the ball, loves to win and is going to bring a lot of quality.”
“Mauro was a big part of recruiting Ezequiel to MLS on the phone talking and texting him and he helped make this happen for the club,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “Mauro is not the kind of player who would just bring a buddy here, he wants to win and is so competitive. He was really high on the player too and was a huge help in the process so the club is very thankful for that.”
Of course there may have one ulterior motive to the recruiting efforts.
“It adds one more friend to drink mate with,” said Diaz, with a laugh.
Both FC Dallas U-17 and U-18 boys premier teams earned draws in their opening games of the 2015 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday.
97 Boys Premier
A diving header in stoppage time helped the U-18s earn a point vs. Manhattan SC PSG 96 in Group B. After finding themselves down 2-0, the U-18s quickly responded with a Kevin Rodas goal to bring them within one. Matthew Rochowski managed to find the equalizer after putting one past the keeper on a diving header.
Next up for the U-18s is FC Golden State White tomorrow, and LVSA 97 Red on Thursday to round out Group B play. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals.
98 Boys Premier
The U-17s also earned a point today after tying Arlington Impact Red, 1-1. Gerber Chavez scord early for FCD in the 13th minute, but Arlington Impact found the equalizer in the 53rd minute.
FCD will play Sunrise Elite 97/98 tomorrow, and Chicago Magic PSG pre-academy on Thursday to finish group play. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals.
Even after hoisting the U-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship, FC Dallas Academy had more awards to garner.
The Development Academy announced its end-of-year honors, and FCD picked up a handful of individual and team awards.
Winger Devin Vega was named the U-16 Central Conference Player of the Year after finishing the season with a team-leading 21 goals. His teammates Ben Hale (goalkeeper), Reginald Cannon (defender) and Weston McKinnie (forward) were named to the conference’s Starting XI as well.
The U-16s collectively won the best Style of Play for the Central Conference.
As a whole, FC Dallas won the Central Conference's Most Comprehensive Club.
Saturday's heart-stopping win over DC United means FC Dallas is back into a tie for first place at the top of the Major League Soccer standings and it also kept alive a few different streaks going into this Saturday's match vs Portland.
FCD has won four games in a row, which is the longest active streak in MLS and tied with Portland and Vancouver for the longest streak this season. Dallas can take over the longest streak in MLS this season with a win on Saturday. FC Dallas also carries the longest current unbeaten streak at five games in a row.
With his stoppage time goal, Fabian Castillo extended his consecutive games with a goal or assist streak to five in a row which is the longest active streak in MLS and tied for the second-longest this season with CJ Sapong. Only Clint Dempsey has a longer streak with eight.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was finally beaten on Saturday, but not before setting the longest shutout streak in MLS this season at 349 minutes.
The FC Dallas win was their 10th of the season which is tied for the most in MLS and extended their league-best record when scoring first to an amazing 9-0-2.
Despite the ultra-tight Western Conference standings, FCD has solidified their playoff standing and now sit nine points ahead of Real Salt Lake above the dreaded red line.
FC Dallas is now tied with D.C. United at the top of the MLS Standings and alone in first at the top of the Western Conference standings.
- Saturday's match against Portland becomes all the more crucial for Dallas as it's one of 11 remaining games against Western Conference opponents. FCD could extend the gap over the Timbers to six points with a game in hand if they can beat Caleb Porter's side on Saturday night.
For the fourth straight week an FC Dallas player has been named to the MLS Team of the Week. After a stellar home performance in which FCD snagged its fourth straight win, Mauro Diaz claimed his fifth "Team of the Week" honor. This is also the second time he's been named to the team in the past three weeks.
In addition, MLS All-Star Fabian Castillo earned an honorable mention to the team's bench with his late tally in stoppage time to clutch the three home points.
Fresh off of being named to the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star roster, Fabian Castillo scored a stoppage time winner to lift FC Dallas over D.C. United 2-1 at Toyota Stadium.
Castillo's goal has been nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week so give him your vote!
WATCH: GOTW Week 20
Take a look at the highlights from FC Dallas' 2-1 win over D.C. United with Kellyn Acosta's first MLS goal:
As FC Dallas prepares to take on first place D.C. United, here are some numbers to keep in mind:
10,000 - The first 10,000 fans to enter Toyota Stadium on Saturday night will receive an Oscar "Papi" Pareja bobblehead courtesy of MoneyGram!
68 - If Dan Kennedy keeps a clean sheet for at least 68 minutes, it would be the longest shutout streak in MLS this season, reaching 340 minutes.
1 - D.C. United will be without their number one goalkeeper on Saturday. Bill Hamid will miss the next 4-6 weeks due to injury.
5 - Fabian Castillo likes to play at home. He has scored five of his seven goals on the season at Toyota Stadium.
4 - DCU midfielder/forward Chris Rolfe leads MLS in game winning goals with four.
2007 - DCU last won in Frisco in 2007, but FC Dallas has won three of the last five meetings at home between the clubs, drawing the other two.
9 - FC Dallas is undefeated in their last five games at home, haven't allowed a goal in their last three, and have only lost once all season in nine games at home. THIS IS OUR HOUSE!
2 - United hasn't scored in their last two league games. FC Dallas will look to make that three.
1,805 - DCU captain Bobby Boswell leads MLS in minutes played with 1,805.
15 - D.C. United has allowed five of its 18 goals (28%) in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season. DCU has also scored 61% (14 of 23) of its goals in the final 30 minutes.
By Taylor Hester
One FC Dallas team will never forget their trip to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Led by coach Jesse Suarez, the FC Dallas U-15 Pre-Academy team started off the National Premier League Finals hot, winning all three group stage games, outscoring opponents 15-1. Once they reached the knockout rounds, they didn't show any signs of cooling down, winning the semifinal and punching their ticket to the National Championship game.
On Thursday in the first game, Paxton Pomykal and Javier Barajas each scored a brace to lead the U-15s to a 4-0 victory over GPS from Massachusetts, the New England Premier League champions.
On Firday vs. Houston Express, the South Central Premier League champs, FCD won 6-1, with five different goalscorers. Pomykal and Barajas each notched another goal in the tournament, while Rene Arroyo, Jesus Ferreira, Aidan Tibbets, and an Express own goal round out the rest of the goals.
In the final group game on Saturday, FCD defeated the West Florida Flames from the Florida Premier League by a score of 5-0. Pomykal, Ferreira, and Tibbets each got their name on the scoresheet again, while Jomar Reyes scored twice.
In the semifinals on Sunday vs. SC Del Sol from Arizona, the Mountain Developmental League champs, FCD won 4-2 with two goals from Pomykal, and one a piece from Ferreira and Reyes.
Dominating from the beginning of the tournament, it was a shock when FCD found themselves down 2-0 to Chicago Sockers FC, the Midwest League champs, in the National Championship game. But, the U-15s came back in the final 10 minutes of the match, with a goal from Alonso Molina and a late equalizer from Ferreira, eventually defeating Sockers FC on penalty kicks with a game-winning PK from Simeon Salazar.
Finishing undefeated in the Texas Pre-Academy League and winning the NPL Finals, the FC Dallas U-15s can now call themselves National Premier League Champions after an unforgettable year.
FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges was named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 19 after helping FCD earn it's thrid straight shutout and thrid straight win on Saturday in Orlando. This is the defender's second time to make the MLS Team fo the Week this season.
D: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) - Calm but firm, the big center back orchestrated FCD's composed, clean-sheet defensive effort. Third straight shutout, third straight win for the used-to-be-Hoops.