The soccer world woke up Sunday morning to the news Columbus Crew rookie Kirk Urso had died overnight. FC Dallas and members of the team took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
Our thoughts are with the family, friends & teammates of Crew midfielder Kirk Urso after his passing.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 5, 2012
Still can't believe this but lost a good friend and great person today. It was a privelege to play with and know you Cpt. Kirk
— Matt Hedges (@Matt_Hedges) August 5, 2012
mourning the loss of a friend today. RIP, Kirk. Blessed to have known you
— Brek Shea (@BrekShea) August 5, 2012
Kirk you will be forever missed. Praying for your friends and family. It was a blessing to have played together and know you.
— Zach Loyd (@ZachLoyd) August 5, 2012
— Matt Hedges (@Matt_Hedges) August 6, 2012
FRISCO -- Kevin Hartman is seeing the world thanks to two FC Dallas supporters.
Well, the Hartman bobblehead, that is.
And the veteran goalkeeper is more than happy to log on to Facebook each day and find out what his recently released bobblehead has been up to.
“I feel like Flat Stanley,” Hartman said. “It’s been great. I haven’t really had the opportunity to travel to England, which is really weird for someone who’s played professional soccer for 16 years.”
Among the destinations bobblehead Kevin Hartman has visited include Wimbledon, London’s Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Supporters Jon and Brenda Beard are making sure the bobblehead hits all the hot spots.
“It’s cool,” Hartman said. “I’m living vicariously through my bobblehead.”
FRISCO – A future MLS star could take the field on Saturday when 4v4 tournament Futbolito takes place at the Complex at FC Dallas Stadium.
If that thought seems ridiculous, talk to FC Dallas midfielder Ricardo Villar.
He was on a team that won Futbolito nearly a decade ago in Houston.
Villar visited Houston to see his girlfriend at the time and went to a local park to workout and stay in game shape. He had just finished a season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds shortly after graduating from Penn State.
He wound up meeting some local soccer players who were playing a pick-up game in the park.
“I played a little bit with them, they said I could do this Futbolito thing and split the money with them,” Villar said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m not doing anything’.”
Villar and his three impromptu teammates played in 7 matches in one day, winning each one – including the title match.
“We had no subs, it was just four of us,” Villar said. “It was competitive, little short games. Short-sided, small goals.”
Villar remembers the prize money being $500-$700 per person. It wound up being incredibly important cash on hand for him.
He had been waiting for a call from an overseas team to come over and play. A week after winning Futbolito, he got the call.
The money he won was used to buy a one-way plane ticket to Germany.
“It was funny, it was a time in my life where I was almost going away from soccer for good. Not that because of winning I stayed [with soccer]. But I played, took the cash and went to Germany,” Villar said.
Brek Shea is all over Deuce Brand media this week. He's taken over the website, social media and video. It's all for his new Deuce Brand watch, which can be pre-ordered online and will be available in the FC Dallas Team shop by July 4. Check out the video featuring Brek:
FC Dallas' Blas Perez scored twice in the second half Friday night to lead the Panamanian National Team to a 2-0 win over Honduras in the first World Cup Qualifying match of this round for CONCACAF.
After a scoreless first half, Perez opened the scoring with a wicked strike from the top of the box in the 64' to give Panama the lead.
His second goal was even more spectacular - a header off a cross in the 80' to seal the deal.
With the win Panama earned three points and is in first place with Canada in Group C of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, ahead of Honduras and Cuba. Panama faces Cuba on Tuesday and is trying to reach the World Cup for the first time in the country's history.
Blas' two goals are below. Enjoy the very excited announcers:
The editors of MLSsoccer.com chose FCD's George John as the No. 4 centerback in MLS. Watch the video and listen to the compliments thrown at John:
FCDallas.com asked midfielder Ricardo Villar for some thoughts about a match he played in Allianz Arena – the venue of this weekend’s Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Here’s what he had to say on the match and the city:
FC Kaiserlautern vs Bayern Munich in 2006 at a packed Allianz Arena – 68,500 people. We lost 1-0, but the experience was memorable. The feeling of entering that field was incredible, almost as if you were floating. It was the best stadium built to date at the time, right after the 2006 WC in Germany.
I remember walking up in the tunnel just thinking I was going to score on Oliver Kahn that day and my friends and family could see it, since it was live on TV in Brazil, too.
As the teams walked up and met at the tunnel, I stared at him, focused and determined and he just happened to glimpse back back down at me with that gigantic head of his. I don't know why he looked so angry, but it felt like being stared by a lion in the zoo.
Needless to say, I did not come even close from scoring. It also did not help the fact that I came in at right mid against Lahm, who is like a energizer bunny on steroids.
What a city and beautiful stadium to host the final. Few hints from someone who lived in Munich for 5 years for whoever will be heading over:
- Do not drive to the stadium. Take the s-bahn. It is the easiest thing, beats traffic and what a atmosphere!
- Try to reserve if all possible a place at Hugo's Pizza and order either the Truffel Pizza or the salmon and ruccola.
- Hit the Spatenhaus, a typical Bavarian restaurant on the end of Maximilianstrasse. Get the duck with dumplings or the schweinshaxe
- Walk around the English garden If you find time and have a Mass at the Beer Garden, otherwise stop by the Hofbrauhaus downtown.
- If you have time, I would take an hour train to Salzburg, Mozart's city, and sightsee the old town and castle before having dinner at the Casino in yet another castle by the Red Bull stadium. Surf and Turf and Play ;). If you went that far, another 20 minutes to the Mondsee will take your breath away.
- Stop by Red Bull Hangar 7 on your way back and see how Mateschitz plays with planes like we do with Legos.
NEW YORK – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended Seattle Sounders FC defender Leo González one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for endangering the safety of his opponent in the 88th minute of the Sounders game against Philadelphia Union on May 5. González stepped on the leg of prone Union defender Sheanon Williams. (VIDEO)
González will serve his suspension this Wednesday when FC Dallas host Sounders FC 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.
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