NEW YORK –Today a group of professional soccer players, including FC Dallas' Zach Loyd, Brek Shea and Andrew Wiedeman, made history by banding together to support the cause of ending homelessness through sport. Acting completely independently and charitably across 13 cities in 3 countries, 21 soccer players formed the first-ever independent charitable alliance by active professional athletes. The Sport for Social Change Ambassadors program serves Street Soccer USA (SSUSA), a non-profit organization that transfers life and job skills to homeless youth and adults through sports; SSUSA operates programs in 20 U.S. cities and achieves a 75% success rate in connecting their participants to further education, employment, housing, and other services.
The Ambassadors’ purpose is to directly improve the lives of the homeless youth and adults in their community in addition to rallying the community around the cause of ending homelessness. Current SSUSA player, TK Ajiboye, who was homeless in NYC for a year and a half, used the SSUSA program to escape homelessness. In support of TK, Ambassador and Premier League player Emmerson Boyce flew from England to attend TK’s recent graduation from community college. “Having professional soccer players supporting me was an unbelievable feeling,” TK said, “getting support like that makes me want to do more for others.”
Ambassadors’ social change efforts extend to on-the-field performances as well. The first Ambassador, league leading scorer for two consecutive years Chris Wondolowski, makes his difference by donating $100 dollars for every goal he scores. So far he’s second in the league with eight goals in eight games and his club, the San Jose Earthquakes, have matched his pledge. Fans in the Bay Area have also supported Wondolowski’s efforts with donations for each goal.
Ambassador and New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty has led the recruitment of Ambassadors. “As professional athletes, we are leaders on and off the field. Soccer is a team sport, so we know what it means to support others, so we want to share that with the community. In the end, fighting homelessness and poverty needs to be a team sport as well.”
MLS teams have followed the players’ lead and are actively supporting the cause in New York, Dallas, D.C., and San Jose. The full list of the first wave of Ambassadors can be viewed at www.streetsoccerusa.org/press_and_media/Ambassadors and includes:
Eddie Ababio – Colorado Rapids
Juan Agudelo – New York Red Bulls
Eric Avila – Toronto FC
Johnny Borrajo – New York Red Bulls
Emmerson Boyce – Wigan Athletic (England)
Jeb Brovsky – Montreal Impact
Jon Busch- San Jose Earthquakes
Kenny Cooper – New York Red Bulls
Stephen Keel – New York Red Bulls
Zach Loyd – FC Dallas
Dax McCarty – New York Red Bulls
Lee Nguyen – New England Revolution
Heath Pearce – Chivas USA
Chris Pontius – DC United
Kofi Sarkodie – Houston Dynamo
Brek Shea – FC Dallas
Clyde Simms – New England Revolution
Kirk Urso – Columbus Crew
Michael Videira – Chicago Fire
Andrew Wiedeman – FC Dallas
Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
FC Dallas is selling up to 150 travel packages for the June 16 Texas Derby match against the Houston Dynamo.
For $40 you will get a seat on a chartered bus down to Houston on match day, have a ticket for the FC Dallas section in brand new BBVA Compass Stadium and a ride back immediately after the match.
This is a one-of-a-kind package being offered for the only match FC Dallas and Houston will play this season.
To ensure you get a seat, click and order now.
FC Dallas Stadium is one of the busiest entertainment venues in North Texas according to the Dallas Business Journal, ranking No. 5 in their listings. A total of 1.5 million patrons visited the complex last year. Check out the slideshow on the DBJ website to see the company FC Dallas Stadium is in.
Thanks to everyone who showed up to our second Party at the Pubs event on Saturday at Trinity Hall. It was a great time thanks to you, the fans.
Full match highlights from The Home Depot Center.
Brek Shea converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Pat Noonan (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner.
Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Blas Perez draws a foul in the penalty area.
Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Full match highlights from FCD's 1-1 home draw with Real Salt Lake.
SAVE: Fabian Castillo gets in one-on-one with Nick Rimando.
CALLED BACK: Bobby Warshaw's goal negated by offsides call.
GOAL: Brek Shea gives FCD the lead after he buries the penalty kick.
SAVE: Chris Seitz denies Paulo Jr. to maintain the shutout.
GOAL: Emiliano Bonfigli ties the game for Real Salt Lake.
COUNTER: Seitz comes off his line to deny Alvaro Saborio a chance on goal.
Ricardo Villar helped Make-A-Wish this morning on WFAA-TV Ch. 8's Good Morning Texas. Villar gave a personalized FC Dallas jersey to cancer patient Jordan in a surprise visit live on the air. Villar also gave Jordan the jersey he wore in the season opener vs New York Red Bulls when he scored the game winning goal.
NEW YORK – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended FC Dallas forward Blas Pérez one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for endangering the safety of his opponent when he elbowed Jordan Harvey in the 29th minute of the April 21 game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Pérez will serve his suspension this Wednesday when FC Dallas hosts Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Fines collected will be donated to the charitable partners of MLS W.O.R.K.S. and the MLS Players Union.
Brek Shea spent Sunday in Portland for an adidas commercial shoot. Our Jason Minnick shot these behind-the-scenes photos.
Two FC Dallas Academy products - Boyd Okwuonu and Danny Garcia - along with FCD player Jonathan Top spent last week at the US U-20 camp. The two academy products discussed their experience with Top Drawer Soccer.
Defender Boyd Okwuonu, who has played with the U.S. U17 and U18 teams, enjoys the formation.
“It’s more aggressive, we’re more attacking,” he said of the 4-3-3. “We have a different mentality in this formation, we’re going out there taking risks, going forward.”
With the qualifying process just under a year away, there’s still a chance for players to impress. But according to forward Danny Garcia, there was still a sense of urgency heightened the intensity of the camp, as it’s play well or go home.
“There is a difference because everyone has to put everything in it,” he said. “It’s all or nothing in the camp because either you do great and get called back, or do poor and don’t get called back.”
For Garcia, who has scored 17 goals in 19 games for FC Dallas U18s in the Development Academy, the camp was another opportunity to measure up against some of the best talents the U.S. player pool has to offer.
“It’s given me a chance to see how I’m doing, how my level is, how skillful I am compared to the other players in the Academy, in college or even in Europe,” he said.