By Mohammad Bushnaq
Top of the table FC Dallas will have their hands full when USMNT veteran Clint Dempsey and his Seattle Sounders visit Frisco this weekend for a meeting between the two Western Conference powerhouses. FC Dallas and Seattle played three matches last year. FC Dallas won the final meeting of the season 2-0 at home having lost the first two matches of 2013 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle by a combined score of 7-2.
WATCH: SSFC 4, FCD 2
Game 1 - May 18th, 2013 - Seattle Sounders FC 4 FC Dallas 2: Top of the table FC Dallas took a trip to the Pacific Northwest trying to extend their nine-game unbeaten streak to ten games. Former FC Dallas man Eddie Johnson opened the scoring, taking advantage of rookie London Woodberry and hitting a half volley past Raul Fernandez. Lamar Neagle doubled Seattle's advantage on a breakaway in the 30th minute after dribbling around Raul Fernandez and calmly slotting the ball home.
After the half, Michel led the charge for the Hoops. First, the Brazilian sent a perfect cross in to Kenny Cooper to give FCD their first goal on the evening. The best set-piece taker in the league was not done with that contribution. Seven minutes after the Cooper goal, Michel sent in a corner kick that was untouched by Gspurning and nestled itself in the side netting. The rare "Olimpico" had FC Dallas back in with a shout, but it was short-lived. EJ struck immediately after the restart putting Seattle back on top for good. Blas Perez was ejected in the 72nd minute for a high elbow and Obafemi Martins put any doubts to bed with an 83rd minute finish. FC Dallas' unbeaten run was over, losing 4-2.
WATCH: SSFC 3, FCD 0
Game 2 - August 3rd, 2013 - Seattle Sounders FC 3 FC Dallas 0: Contrary to the first meeting of the season when FC Dallas was riding in on a nine-game unbeaten streak, the return to CenturyLink Field in the summer was one to try to end a winless streak. Having not won in their last eight matches, FC Dallas had their work cut out for them just knowing they had to travel to one of the loudest stadiums in North America. Another wrinkle that gave Seattle the confidence to come out swinging in this match was the formal introduction of USMNT start, Clint Dempsey.
Seattle rode that wave of optimism from the crowd to a strong start. The capacity crowd was treated to a beautiful glancing header by Obafemi Martins in the 9th minute to give the hosts a dream start. EJ scored his first goal since the last time these two teams met in May, finishing a powerful effort past Fernandez. Brad Evans capped the the final score line at three with a penalty kick after a bleached David Ferreira brought Lamar Neagle down in the box. Seattle, despite a strong Mauro Diaz showing in the second half, took the second of two matches at CenturyLink 3-0.
WATCH: FCD 2, SSFC 0
Game 3 - October 19th, 2013 - FC Dallas 2 Seattle Sounders 0: The final home game of the 2013 season (and the Schellas Hyndman Era) was a victory for FC Dallas. While the first half was frantic, it ended scoreless. 20 minutes in to the 2nd half, Matt Hedges headed home a Michel corner kick to send 15,017 fans into a frenzy. Michel, having already gathered an assist in the game, found himself on the end of a fortuitous bounce to double the FCD lead. David Ferreira had his shot deflected and it fell to Michel who calmly slotted the ball home in the 87th minute to ensure FC Dallas was leaving Toyota Stadium that night with three points for one last time in front of their fans in 2013.
SEGMENT 1: The United States' wild 2-2 draw with Mexico -- and Clint Dempsey's hat trick for Seattle in an even wilder 4-4 draw in Portland in the season's first Cascadia Derby -- dominate the early discussion.
SEGMENT 2: Fox Sports host extraordinaire Rob Stone returns to the show to talk Champions League and U.S. national team matters with the guys.
SEGMENT 3: ESPN's Eric Wynalda, fresh off his stint in Phoenix calling the USA-Mexico game alongside Ian Darke and Alejandro Moreno, joins the boys to give his verdict on Julian Green, Jurgen Klinsmann's bigger concern -- think defense as opposed to the forward line -- and everything else topical from the week's big friendly match.
SEGMENT 4: FC Dallas is unbeaten after five games for the first time in franchise history. So Steve breaks it all down for Stein from his vantage point as the team's new radio voice.
Multimedia Manager Aaron Griffin with another one of his fantastic recap videos, this one is titled Texas Derby Supremacy:
Our brand new ShopFCDallas.com Scarf of the Month program has been an overwhelming success with quick sellouts of both March and April's editions.
However, after Saturday's historic win in Houston, we knew we'd have to create a second run of our popular "Come and Take It" scarf, but with a little twist.
Pre-order your "FC Dallas 4, Houston Dynamo 1 "Come and Take It" April Scarf of the Month today! Since the scarves are being special ordered, it will be at least six weeks before they arrive in Frisco and this one-time VERY limited edition order will not be made again. Our first run sold out in less than 24 hours so don't waste any time in pre-ordering yours today because when they're gone, they're gone.
April's exclusive scarf is a nod to Texas history and the Texas Derby (presented by Novo Nordisk).One side of the scarf features the "Come and Take It" slogan that was used during the Texas Revolution of 1835 and is used today to dare the Dynamo to try and reclaim El Capitan which comes together when the scarf is draped around the neck of an FC Dallas fan. On the other side is the "FC Dallas 4 Houston Dynamo 1" scoreline from Saturday's game.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a pre-sale and scarves will not be available for in-store pickup/shipping for six-eight weeks.
Chris Seitz has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week for his 82nd minute penalty kick save on Oscar Boniek Garcia.
Seitz's save was the cherry on top of the 4-1 Texas Derby win and Chris has been huge for FC Dallas all year. Seitz is now 10-3-3 in MLS/USOC dating back to the start of 2013 with a very respectable 1.25 goals against average.
Show your love for his early-season form and vote Seitzy for Save of the Week!
WATCH: SOTW Week 5
It's no secret that the Houston Dynamo dominated the early years of the Texas Derby with a team that won MLS Cup in both 2006 and 2007, but Saturday's emphatic 4-1 FC Dallas win was the exclamation point on tides within the state that have been shifting in recent years. Here are a few interesting stats behind FCD's win on Saturday night:
- Saturday's 4-1 FC Dallas victory was the largest for FCD in the regular season Texas Derby history(Houston defeated FCD by three goals in 2007) while the four goals scored is the most FCD has put past the Dynamo in a match.
- Saturday was the first time FCD has beaten Houston in back-to-back games in MLS play.
- The 4-1 win was FCD's first at BBVA Compass Stadium and marked the first time a Western Conference team has won at the Houston stadium.
- FC Dallas is 5-2-2 against their Texas rivals in MLS/USOC since 2009.
- Je-Vaughn Watson became the fourth player in series history to score twice in one Texas Derby game along with Kenny Cooper, Dwayne De Rosario and Cam Weaver.
- Mauro Diaz became the first FC Dallas player to score two assists in one Texas Derby match. Only Brad Davis has achieved the same feat for Houston.
Recently on one weekday morning, Bubble Soccer USA and FOX4 stopped by Toyota Stadium with the invitation for anyone in the office who was free to come down and play some bubble soccer(tough life, I know). I couldn't pass up the opportunity and we played about an hour of the new craze.
I will echo the comments in the video that it is one of the toughest workouts out there. While getting hit surprisingly doesn't hurt at all, you will wake up the next morning very sore as you work pretty much every muscle in your body trying to play soccer while holding up a relatively heavy balloon while constantly watching your periphery to make sure you don't get destroyed.
I highly recommend bubble soccer to anyone who has a chance to play. Here's Richard Ray's report:
Here are your match photos from Saturday's thrilling win over Houston:
Here's all the highlights from FCD's huge 4-1 Texas Derby win over Houston:
Hear from Chris Seitz, Zach Loyd & Oscar Pareja on Saturday's Texas Derby in this week's Quick Kicks: