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.
Hear from Pareja, Michel & Hedges after Saturday's big win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
FC Dallas is finally back home on Saturday night for our first home game of the fall against Vancouver Whitecaps FC pres. by Cricket Wireless. Here's everything you need to know before heading to Toyota Stadium on Saturday night:
1. Saturday's match is Hispanic Heritage night presented by Cricket Wireless at Toyota Stadium! Cricket wants to see your pictures at Saturday's game! Tweet your best selfie to @FCDallas @MiCricket with #cricketnation and your seat location. Some selfies will be featured on FC Dallas social media throughout the game.
2. Miss Texas USA Ylianna Guerra will be scarfing the Lamar Hunt Statue so be sure to arrive early for that ceremony around 7:00 on Lamar's Tailgate.
3. Saturday's an all-day affair as we head to downtown Dallas in the morning for the Dallas Heart Walk as a part of Team #BR19. We'll see you there!
4. It's also our fall College Night on Saturday night and all our DFW college students can score $12 endline tickets at the box office Saturday night by showing their student ID. We've already got hundreds of college students joining us for this fun night, so be sure to bring your student ID to Toyota Stadium!
5. Saturday's match has tons of playoff implications as FCD can take a huge step to qualifying for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win. Currently five points separate FCD and Vancouver. Check out our look at the playoff race.
6. While parking is always free for everyone at Toyota Stadium, our Toyota drivers out there can enjoy FREE upgraded parking in the Camry Gold Lot tonight. The Camry Gold Lot is directly NW of the stadium adjacent to the Dr. Pink field.
8. It's going to be a brilliant fall evening in Frisco as highs are expected in the mid 70's with clearing skies throughout the day setting the stage for what should be a gorgeous night. You might want to bring a light jacket or get one of our new FCD fall line jackets in the team store!
9. Saturday's game is set for a 7:30PM kickoff and will be broadcast in HD locally on TXA21 as well as 100.7FM(English) & 1270AM(Spanish).
10. We're looking at another really nice crowd for Saturday's match, but there are still tickets available by clicking here.
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 USL PRO regular season wrapped up last weekend meaning both Jonathan Top and Cobi Span will soon be returning to FC Dallas from their year-long loan spells.
Top should be back with FCD as soon as this week as Arizona United SC's season has come to a close. AZ United finished ninth in the 14-team league just one spot below the playoff line having earned 33 points from 28 matches in their inaugural season.
For Top, his loan spell to Arizona was certainly a success as the 21-year-old Homegrown saw his first extended minutes as a professional appearing in 21 of 28 games for Arizona. Top finished as the expansion side's leading scorer with 12 points(5 goals + 2 assists) as well as tied for the team lead in goals with five this season.
While Top had five goals to his name this season, one stands out above the rest and that was his August 16th strike vs Pittsburgh. The curling effort won USL Pro Goal of the Month for August.
Span headed to playoffs with Orlando City
In their final season before making the jump to MLS, Cobi Span and Orlando City won their third regular season title in four years earning 62 points from 28 games, seven points ahead of second place Sacramento.
Cobi enjoyed a nice season with the Lions, appearing in 19 matches while scoring three goals in the regular season starting in a right wing role for most of his matches. Orlando City goes in search of their USL PRO championship starting this weekend with a quarterfinal playoff match against Harrisburg on Saturday night at 6:30PM.
For years, we've seen the potential in Fabian Castillo knowing that he was capable of simply taking over an MLS game on his own, but we will all look back at the summer of 2014 as the time when Fabian took that next step from good to great.
The 22-year-old Colombian, amazingly now in his fourth season with FCD, had four goals and two assists in the month of August, earning him a nomination for Etihad MLS August Player of the Month. While Fabian was truly fantastic in the month, with his master-class against San Jose, and an August that saw him score or assist on game-winning goals in three of five matches, he really deserves your vote as something of a lifetime achievement award for the summer of 2014.
Except for this past Saturday's 1-0 loss to Chicago, Fabian had a goal or assist in every single game he played in the month of June, July and August. Let that sink in for a moment. A full Texas summer(kind of) with your name on every single score sheet.
And it wasn't just in MLS either, as Fabian lit up the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup scoring in all four rounds of FCD's semifinal run including the pulse-pounding late equalizer against Philadelphia in the semifinal.
In all, from June to August, the tally for Castilo in MLS and LHUSOC was ten goals and five assists in 11 games. It really doesn't get much better than that and while the LA Galaxy duo have the more impressive stats in August, Fabian Castillo gets my admittedly biased vote for Etihad MLS Player of the Month and he should get yours too.
The FC Dallas defense had another solid showing on Friday night against Real Salt Lake. They were just minutes away from their second-straight shutout before allowing the late deflected goal to Olmes Garcia, but still held on for another great win.
Defender Zach Loyd, continuing his fantastic play this season, has earned his second MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week award in the last three weeks for his efforts against RSL!
Friday's game against Real Salt Lake pres. by Toyota is arguably the biggest MLS match we've seen at Toyota Stadium in quite some time with first-place RSL coming in with a national TV audience set to watch. There are a million reasons you want to be out here on Friday night, but another one is our presenting partner for Friday night's game wants to give you a chance to win a weekend with a Toyota!
Stop by the Toyota activation on Lamar's Tailgate on the north concourse and enter to win. We will text winners every 15 minutes during Friday's game and you could win:
-A full-size Toyota 3-day weekend car rental
-A VIP package for the FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps match on Saturday, September 13th with two club tickets, pre-game sideline passes, a parking pass, two FCD scarves & two FCD t-shirts.
-An autographed FC Dallas jersey
-An autographed FC Dallas ball
-A $100 gift card to the FC Dallas team store
Be sure to stop by the Toyota tent on the north concourse on Friday night and you could win!
It's back to school time for college students across the area, and we want to send you back to class in style! Look out for the FC Dallas Soccer Tour including our inflatable goal(at most events), FC Dallas giveaways including koozies, sunglasses & t-shirts, a chance to win tickets to the LA Galaxy game & a team autographed ball as well as information on our upcoming college night on Saturday, September 13th against Vancouver.
Here's our full DFW college campus tour: