Here are your Toyota Keys to the Match as we break down Saturday's huge match in Los Angeles:
Everything's comin' up Dallas this week in MLS; after FCD beat Vancouver 2-1 this weekend, the team moved up in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings and Blas Perez was named Player of the Week and nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week.
And now Perez, Homegrown midfielder Victor Ulloa and centerback Matt Hedges have been named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week. Here's what the staff at the league site had to say about the FCD trio:
D: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – The Dallas central defense was physical, sharp and organized all evening in their 2-1 win over Vancouver, and Hedges was a main reason why.
M: Victor Ulloa (FC Dallas) – The kid is legit. He was very effective in the center of the park against Vancouver and deserves more hype than he's gotten so far.
F: Blas Pérez (FC Dallas) – Relatively few theatrics and measured efficiency from the Canalero, which worked well given his recent efforts – two games in a week – with Panama. Crazy golazo to boot.
In case you haven't heard Blas Perez is coming off a pretty good week. Not only did the Panamanian forward score twice in the Copa Centroamericana while on international duty, but he also bagged a brace for FC Dallas in a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday to earn an MLS Player of the Week award.
Super Raton has a chance to win another award based on his stellar week as his first goal against Vancouver is nominated for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. You can watch the video above to check out the "competition" if you want, but you might as well save yourself the time and just vote for Blas now.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays. For complete coverage of the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week — including an archive of all of this season's nominees and winners — click here.
Hear from Pareja, Michel & Hedges after Saturday's big win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
FC Dallas earned a critical 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Stadium Saturday night. The first half highlights include a RIDICULOUS goal by Panamanian forward Blas Perez who just rejoined the club from national team duty. Seriously though, check out that goal:
Vancouver leveled the match in the second half when forward Erik Hurtado blasted a shot past Raul Fernandez on the counter attack. But Super Raton had the last word, tucking home a rebound off a free kick to earn himself a brace and three more points for FC Dallas:
Scott and Daniel preview FCD's huge Western Conference battle this Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
Tick...tick...tick...We're nearing the end of the 2014 MLS Regular Season! It's becoming more and more apparent that this is a six-horse race for five spots in the Western Conference. Here's the weekly look at the Western Conference playoff picture as the MLS week gets underway tonight:
1. Seattle Sounders FC
51 points(+13 GD) - 8 games remaining - Last match: 4-2 win at Chivas USA - Next match: 9/12 vs Real Salt Lake - Last 5: W-W-W-D-L
Three wins on the bounce for Seattle Sounders FC who easily dispatched a hapless Chivas USA side before enjoying the weekend off. A tough match at home against Real Salt Lake awaits Seattle who can put RSL pretty much permanently behind them in 2014 with a win.
2. LA Galaxy
50 points(+27 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-2 draw at Montreal - Next match: 9/14 at San Jose - Last 5: W-D-W-W-W
A draw at lowly Montreal on Wednesday will be some dropped points the Galaxy will want to have back. A point behind Seattle with one more game played suggests the Sounders are still in the driving seat for Supporters Shield, but the teams still have a game left against each other. LA has a tough Cali Clasico on Sunday, a game in which Landon Donovan is suspended.
3. Real Salt Lake
46 points(+10 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 win vs FC Dallas - Next match: 9/12 at Seattle - Last 5: W-T-L-W-W
Real Salt Lake scored a huge 2-1 win over our FC Dallas last weekend, a win that creates some daylight between them and FCD for that third playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Supporters Shield certainly isn't out of reach for Jeff Cassar's side, but they'll need a huge result in Seattle this weekend to keep those hopes alive.
4. FC Dallas
42 points(+10 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake - Next match: 9/13 vs Vancouver - Last 5: L-L-W-W-W
FCD lost their second consecutive road game at RSL last weekend, a result that likely ends Supporters Shield hopes. With RSL playing at Seattle and a favorable home matchup, however, that four point gap to third place could definitely be tightened this weekend. A win over Vancouver would all but clinch a playoff spot for
5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
37 points(+1 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-0 win vs San Jose - Next match: 9/13 at FC Dallas - Last 5: W-D-L-L-D
Vancouver finally broke their winless and scoreless streak in a much-needed 2-0 win at home against San Jose on Wednesday night. The Whitecaps are back above the dreaded red line, two points up on Portland with equal games played so the next seven games are going to be a dogfight.
6. Portland Timbers FC
35 points(+1 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 3-3 draw vs San Jose - Next match: 9/13 at Colorado - Last 5: D-W-L-D-W
If you're a playoff team, you need to win that game at home against San Jose. All the hard work of their win at Vancouver what somewhat undone by this clunker of a result. With just three of their last seven at home and CONCACAF Champions League complicating the travel schedule, it's really going to be tough on Portland down the stretch. They need a win this weekend.
Note: We dropped the Rapids from playoff contention as their chances are now less than 5%. Sorry guys, the dream is over for 2014.
Three FCD players are currently out on international duty right now as Blas Perez is with Panama for the 2014 Copa Centroamericana, Je-Vaughn Watson joined Jamaica for an international friendly at Canada and Jesse Gonzalez plays with the Mexico U-20 National Team at an international tournament in China.
WATCH: Panama 2 Costa Rica 2
Blas Perez and Panama started their 2014 Copa Centroamericana on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and the man known as "Raton" had a great game for La Marea Roja, scoring and drawing a penalty in Panama's 2-2 draw. Panama had a 2-0 lead against the Ticos before conceding two late goals.
The Copa Centroamericana is a relatively complicated tournament, but we'll do our best to explain the situation as Panama heads into their final group stage game tonight in Houston against Nicaragua. Panama is in a three-team group with the winner advancing to the championship game, 2nd place advancing to the 3rd place match and 3rd place advancing to the fifth place match.
The winner of the Copa Centroamericana championship advances to the 2016 Copa America to be held in the United States, so there's certainly a huge prize on the line with that. The third place game is relatively meaningless as both teams will qualify for a 2015 Gold Cup while the winner of the fifth place game will qualify for the 2015 Gold Cup qualification playoff against a team from the Caribbean Cup.
Panama needs to beat Nicaragua tonight by more than three goals to qualify for the championship game. If they win 3-0, it will go to a coinflip. If they win 2-0 or 1-0 they'll qualify for the 3rd place game while if they lose they will make it to the fifth place game. Clear as mud right?
Je-Vaughn Watson joined up with a young Jamaica squad to face Canada at BMO Field in Toronto on Tuesday night.
The Reggae Boys fell 3-1 to the hosts in Canada's first win in over two years.
Watson played 90 minutes for Jamaica in midfield, but did not get on the score sheet.
The thing about good ideas is that once one is created, people are going to copy it.
Our friends up north in Vancouver had one of the best ideas of last season with their Whitecaps FC Fish Cam, in fact the idea was voted Best Social Media Activation of 2013 at the MLS year-end awards.
With the Whitecaps coming to Toyota Stadium for their only visit of 2014 on Saturday night, and the wild success of our Toad To Brazil 2014 World Cup live streams, we thought what better time than to try our hand at an FC Dallas Fish Cam!
Vancouver has visited Toyota Stadium four times since joining the league in 2011, earning exactly zero points from those four matches, so we thought we'd stream the audio from those four matches throughout the day on Wednesday to go with our little fishies swimming to their heart's delight.
But if listening to FCD victories at Toyota Stadium isn't enough for you, we want to get you in to Saturday's big game as we make our push towards the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Wednesday at 10:00AM, 12:00PM, 2:00PM & 4:00PM we will start our four home wins over Vancouver and insert a secret key word on the screen during a goal of each match. Be the first one to Tweet the secret key word @FCDallas using #FCDFishCam and you'll win a pair of tickets to Saturday's match plus a piece of FCD signed gear/! There's four games so that means four pairs of tickets to give away.
To help you out a little bit, here are the four match recap articles from our four wins over Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
October 15, 2011 - FC Dallas 2 Vancouver 0 Prize - 2 tix + an FCD Jumbo Scarf used on LH statue
September 15 2012, - FC Dallas 1 Vancouver 0 Prize - 2 tix + an FCD team-signed poster
April 20, 2013 - FC Dallas 2 Vancouver 0 Prize - 2 tix + an FCD signed Hispanic Heritage poster
September 7, 2013 - FC Dallas 3 Vancouver 1 Prize - 2 tix + a Mauro Diaz signed scarf
Happy watching and don't forget to look out for those key words!