While the offseason is a time for MLS players to rest and recouperate with pre-season just around the corner, it's still important for players to stay in shape and FC Dallas forward Blas Perez took that to another level last Sunday. Every December, the Panama marathon is held in and around Panama City and this year, for the first time, Blas ran the 21km half-marathon.
"It was a new experience for me as an athlete," said Perez from Panama.
While "Super Raton" is not necessarily known as a speed burner on the field, his time in the half-marathon of 2:00:57 - a little over 9:00 minutes per mile - is certainly a respectable one.
"I thought I did great, especially for it being the first time," said Blas "I want to give a big hug to everyone back in Dallas."
Over 2,000 runners competed in this 38th edition of the Panama Marathon and Blas(@SuperRaton7) took to Twitter after the race retweeting notes from his fans and pictures of himself from the race.
Mis respetos a todos los corredores de fondo/semi fondo, es un gran sacrificio los entrenamientos y luego la competencia un gran logro!
— Blas Pérez (@superraton7) December 1, 2013
(Thanks to David Sakata/Diario Pro for the photos)
To bring in the holiday season, ShopFCDallas.com and the Team Store are offering a series of specials on merchandise from December 3 - December 13. The deals will change daily, offering a different special each day of the week, so you can get your favorite FC Dallas fan everything on their holiday wishlist.
The holiday shopping calendar displays nine days of exclusive deals, including $15 shirts, hats and scarves. The week of deals is concluded with a day of 40% off your entire purchase, which gives you the opportunity to benefit from the specials even if you wait until the last minute.
Today marks the start of the merchandise specials with all shirts marked down to $15. Don't miss your opportunity to get your Toxic Cooper Tee or FC Dallas Elite Tee, normally priced at $30, for half the cost!
If you're looking for an extra $25 Fan Shop Gift Card, tomorrow (December 4) is your day to shop. With any purchase of $50 or more, you'll recieve a gift card as a bonus. So head over to ShopFCDallas.com and grab an 2013 FC Dallas Red Hoodie ($65) for someone special, and score a $25 gift card for yourself!
By spending $60 or more on Thursday, December 12, fans will recieve a free FCD training top or pregame jersey. Go out on December 12 and grab that FC Dallas Presentation Jacket ($75) you've had your eye on all season, and you'll also get the free FCD pregame jersey or training top!
And if you miss out on the first eight days of specials, don't be concerned. Head over to the store or ShopFCDallas.com on December 13 and get 40% off your entire purchase. There's a merchandise special for every person on your holiday shopping list!
For most college students, today begins the week before finals that we all know and love as "Dead Week," and FCD is here to help get you through the week of studying!
Look out for the mobile FCD Tour with free FCD swag, Deja Blue water and Dr Pepper as well as a special 2014 college student season ticket deal
Here's the schedule for the week:
Monday, Dec. 2, 11AM-1PM – Texas Wesleyan University; outside of the Brown-Lupton Campus Center
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 12-2PM – TCU; inside of the Brown-Lupton University Union
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 1-3PM – Collin College Preston Ridge Campus; in the Quad area
Thursday, Dec. 5, 12-2PM – SMU; by the flagpole on campus
This weekend brings the annual Bobby Rhine Invitational back to the Toyota Soccer Center. The U-11 through U-16 tournament brings nearly 50 teams to Frisco with the U-13 through U-16 divisions serving as a qualifier to Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.
With the tournament coming over the weekend of Thanksgiving, we want to encourage everyone to bring new or gently used soccer gear whether it's cleats, shorts, socks, jerseys or even school supplies.
The donations will be going to a special cause as our U-14 Academy team will once again be headed to Bolivia next year for the prestigious Tahuichi invitational. While in Bolivia, the kids will be visiting the Menuts Del Mon Orphanage and donating all the gear collected at the Bobby Rhine Invitational.
The collection box will be set up by the concession stand near field 10 so bring your soccer gear donations to the Bobby Rhine Invitation at the Toyota Soccer Center this weekend!
MLS is one game away from crowning a champion as Sporting KC hosts Real Salt Lake in MLS Cup 2013 and we want you to join us for our second annual MLS Cup watching party at The Allen Wickers Pub & Grill on Saturday, December 7.
Kickoff is set for 3:00PM and we'll have great prizes to give away at halftime including a Mauro Diaz-signed scarf, George John-signed FC Dallas tee, Allen Wickers gift cards and plenty more! We will also be hosting a soccer ball drive to support the FC Dallas Foundation Gear Up Project presented by Albertsons Market.
It's the last MLS game until our March 8 season-opener against Montreal so bring a new or used soccer ball and come out to Allen Wickers on Saturday, December 7 and help us crown a 2013 MLS Cup champion!
The 2014 FC Dallas schedule is out and have we got the ticket plan for you, just in time for the holidays!
With our FC Dallas Holiday Premier Pack, you get tickets to four of our biggest matches of the season. You'll have a seat to our opening day match on March 8 against the Montreal Impact, a battle against Clint Dempsey and the Sounders on Saturday, April 12, our perennialy sold out July 4 extravaganza vs. Philadelphia and the only visit of the LA Galaxy to Toyota Stadium on Sunday, October 12.
This is called the Premier Pack for a reason, however, and we're not stopping there. We're going to let you pick two more additional matches of your choice.
Perhaps you'd like to see Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls come to town plus a huge conference matchup against Oscar Pareja and the Colorado Rapids. Or maybe you'd like to go for a Cascadia double with Caleb Porter's Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps. It's up to you!
That's right, tickets to the six biggest games of the season and it's all starting at just $96!
Skip the fruit cake this year and treat your family and friends to an FC Dallas Holiday Premier Pack because the season will be here before you know it!
We haven't crowned a 2013 champion yet, but for FC Dallas fans, today is the day that focus turns to next season as we unveil the full 2014 schedule. Here are a few highlights:
Spring into soccer
You're going to have a bunch of opportunities to see FCD at home early in the year. Five of the first seven games in 2014 are at home. In addition, the first two games away from Toyota Stadium are road-trippable affairs at Sporting Kansas City and Houston, so for die-hard FC Dallas fans, catching the first seven games of the year is a realistic proposition.
Saturday nights in Frisco
Whatever plans you have for Saturday nights from March through October, you might want to adjust them. 12 of the 17 home games in 2014 are Saturday night affairs including five of the first seven games. Also returning in 2014 are the popular 8:00PM kickoffs during the summer.
Friday night's alright for soccer
One interesting feature of the 2014 schedule is the appearance of two Friday night kickoffs. FCD has only played two Friday games in the history of Toyota Stadium with one of those coming on the traditional Fourth of July game. One of the two Friday night games this year will be the July 4 game against the Philadelphia Union while on Friday, August 22, Dallas will host Real Salt Lake.
Only twice this year will FCD have the much-maligned three match weeks and both of them fall in an incredibly busy month of May. Dallas will play seven games in all through the month of May with grueling three-match weeks on May 4-10 and May 17-24.
Western Conference showdown
In an effort to enhance the run in to the playoffs, MLS has backloaded the schedules with intra-conference matchups. 13 of the final 14 matches of the season will pit FCD against Western Conference foes including two matches against both Los Angeles and Vancouver in the final two months of the season.
World Cup break
As we did in 2010, Major League Soccer will be shutting down for two weeks during the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage. FC Dallas will not take the field between Wednesday, June 11's match at Portland and Saturday, June 28's match in Columbus. In addition, FCD will not hit the Toyota Stadium field in MLS action for almost a month between June 7 and July 4, though a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game or two could hit Frisco during that month.
So who's ready to kick off the season?
Raul Fernandez has outlasted all 35 MLSsoccer.com Save of the Week winners with his week 19 stop against Gyasi Zardes and Los Angeles. Through your votes Raul has earned a spot in the Save of the Yeek championship round! He's up against some stiff competition so we need every one of your votes to get Raul the MLSsoccer.com Save of the Year!
Last night in Stockholm, Cristiano Ronaldo captivated the soccer world with a heart-stopping hat trick, single-handedly punching Portugal's ticket to World Cup 2014 in Brazil in a 3-2 win over Sweden. While Frisco, Texas is about as far from a UEFA World Cup Qualifier as you can get, one member of the FC Dallas staff shared the field with Ronaldo long before the Portugese attacker was considered the best player in the world.
"I was doing pre-season with the Columbus Crew. I had just been traded from San Jose and I was with them for three months in pre-season," said under-18 head coach Luchi Gonzalez. "We were in Portugal for two weeks and played some exhibitions, one of which was against Sporting Lisbon in their training facility. I remember there was some hype about it, a young Portugese player who as the next big thing, Cristiano Ronaldo."
Ronaldo spent most of his formative years at the Portugese giants from Lisbon who have developed some of the biggest stars in world soccer.
"I see him warming up on their side. He’s 18 and I’m 22 and he’s got the orange [Nike] Vapors and you could tell he was very technical," said 33-year-old Gonzalez, who played for three different MLS clubs in his career. "We played the game, I don’t remember the exact score, it might have been 1-1."
Ronaldo's meteoric rise to stardom had began just months earlier as Ronaldo debuted with the Sporting first team in late 2002. In early August 2003, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal and just over a week later would be sold to Manchester United for a reported 15 million Euro.
"I remember him taking people on the wing. I think [Columbus Crew defender] Duncan [Oughton] cracked him a few times, because he was a handful, but you could tell there was something there that was special. He did a lot of the stepovers then. He just had a change of speed, a good cross, it was clear that he was a different level and he was young and fearless. Literally a month later, I read that he got sold to Manchester United and I saw his debut and sure enough it was him and he was a beast. Still a skinny frame and nowhere near the machine he is now, but it was pretty cool."
The rest is history.
In addition to our merch specials, look out for up to 60% off group ticket packages for 2014 that are only available on Friday morning at the team store!
Located in the Northeast corner of Toyota Stadium, the FC Dallas Team Shop is North Texas’ top location for fans to supply themselves with apparel and merchandise including all of the latest FCD products and the opportunity to personalize their official adidas Major League Soccer jerseys by printing names and numbers on the front and back.
Phone Number: 469-365-0260
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Game days: Opens at 2 p.m.