Matt Hedges is having his best season yet in 2014, earning a new contract extension and drawing calls for USMNT inclusion. He had another fantastic game on Saturday against TFC turning into an offensive juggernaut with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory.
For his efforts, he's earned a spot in the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for Week 7. Hedges completed 42 of 48 passes on Saturday, had four interceptions and five recoveries according to the OPTA Chalkboard. Hedges has started 62 of the last 64 FCD games dating back to mid-2012 with eight goals scored in that time. He already has two goals scored in the first seven games of 2014 and needs just one more to tie his single-season high.
You could meet some of your favorite FC Dallas players this week with two Meet & Greets scheduled at local Fiesta locations this Thursday, April 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Homegrown players Victor Ulloa and Moises Hernandez will be at the Fiesta at 8060 Spring Valley Road and Colombian duo Fabian Castillo and Jair Benitez will be at the Fiesta at 1200 E. Parker Road in Plano.
In addition to the Meet & Greets, Fiesta and Budweiser are giving fans the chance to win a trip to Seattle to watch FC Dallas take on Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, May 7. Fans can enter to win by texting DALLAS to 839863.
Both FC Dallas and the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team are back in the Gordon Jago Super Group for Dallas Cup XXXV starting on Sunday and the USSF has released their roster for next week's tournament. FC Dallas defender Kellyn Acosta will play for the U.S. in his hometown Dallas Cup as well as defender Shaquell Moore who has been training with FC Dallas this spring.
Stay tuned to FCDallas.com next week for full Dallas Cup XXXV coverage as Luchi Gonzalez's U-18s take on the world beginning with a 12:30PM match on Sunday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl against defending champions Fulham FC of the English Premier League.
CHICAGO (April 9, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 21-player roster for the 35th edition of the Dallas Cup, which takes place April 13-20 in Dallas, Texas. The U.S. is in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group along with U-19 sides from Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, River Plate of Argentina and UANL Tigres of Mexico.
Making its fifth all-time appearance at the competition and first since 2010, the U-20 MNT’s first match will be the marquee game of the opening day of the tournament. Following a pair of Super Group matches and the Welcome World Opening Ceremonies, the U.S. will play River Plate at 6:30 p.m. CT in the Cotton Bowl on April 13. The U.S. then plays its second match less than 24 hours later against Eintracht Frankfurt on the campus of Richland College at 4 p.m. CT.
The U.S. concludes Bracket C play against UANL Tigres on April 16. The location and time of the match will be determined by results in the first two rounds across Super Group Brackets A, B and C with the purpose being to hold the two most potentially dramatic games of bracket play in the Cotton Bowl.
The roster relies heavily on players who have previously been involved in the U.S. Youth National Team program or received a call-up to the current edition of the U.S. U-20 MNT. Nineteen players either took part in the team’s foreign training camp in Verona, Italy last November or its domestic training camp held in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., this past January.
Of the two players receiving their first call-up to the U-20 National Team, only Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City) has previously represented the U.S. at the Youth National Team level; Jesus Vazquez (UANL Tigres) is receiving his first call-up at any level for the U.S.
Also a relative newcomer to the Youth National Team program, Luis Felipe (Cruzeiro) is receiving his second call-up to a U.S. roster; his only previous experience with the U.S. came during the U-20 MNT’s recent January camp.
The next event for the U.S. U-20 MNT after the Dallas Cup will be a domestic training camp held at North Carolina State University in May.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Santiago Castano (NewYork Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (9): Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake; Rochester, N.Y.), Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Sullaiman Dainkeh (Maryland; Reston, Va.), Trevor Haberkorn (Furman; Roanoke, Texas), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Jesus Vazquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Luis Felipe (Cruzeiro; Ouro Branco, Brazil), Romain Gall (FC Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Benji Lopez (Real Salt Lake; San Diego, Calif.), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Rubio Rubin (Unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven; Albuquerque, N.M.)
- The U-20 MNT roster is made up of players primarily born in 1995, with the exceptions being Luis Felipe, Shaquell Moore, John Requejo Jr. and Rubio Rubin, who were all born in 1996, as well as the only 1997-born player, Erik Palmer-Brown.
- Sixteen players have ties to U.S. Soccer Delevopment academy clubs including: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Jordan Allen (Revolution Empire/Real Salt Lake AZ), Michael Amick (De Anza Force), Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA), Romain Gall (Real Salt Lake AZ), Trevor Haberkorn (Solar Chelsea SC), Benji Lopez (Real Salt Lake AZ), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Moore (IMG Academy), Amando Moreno (New York Red Bulls), Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Zach Pfeffer (FC DELCO), Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal), Ben Spencer (Real Salt Lake AZ/Chivas USA) and Zack Steffen (FC DELCO)
- Acosta and Steffen were teammates on the USA’s 2013 U-20 World Cup team.
- Thirteen players on the team began their time with the U.S. Youth National Team program at the U-14/15 Boys’ National Team level, including: Acosta, Allen, Castano, Delgado, Gooch, Haberkorn, Miazga, Palmer-Brown, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., Rubin, Spencer and Steffen.
- Nine players are signed with professional clubs in the U.S. at either the MLS or NASL level: Acosta (FC Dallas), Allen (Real Salt Lake), Castano (New York Red Bulls), Delgado (Chivas USA), Benji Lopez (Real Salt Lake), Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) and Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven).
- Eight players took part in both of the U-20 MNT’s first two training camps of the current cycle that began last fall, including: Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Miazga, Moore, Moreno, Pfeffer and Requejo Jr.
- Four players only participated in the team’s foreign training camp Verona, Italy, last November, including: Acosta, Gall, Gooch and Spencer, while a further seven only attended the January camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., including: Allen, Amick, Dainkeh, Felipe, Haberkorn and Rubin
By Mohammad Bushnaq
It's Derby Week! FC Dallas takes on their bitter intrastate rivals, the Houston Dynamo, Saturday night for the first (and only) meeting this season between the two clubs. Last season, FC Dallas played well against the Dynamo, notching two wins in both matches and reclaiming "El Capitan" for the DTID faithful.
WATCH: FCD 3, Houston 2
Game 1 - March 17, 2013 - FC Dallas 3 Houston Dynamo 2: FC Dallas came home to Frisco after a rough loss in Southern California to face their mortal enemies, the Orange from Houston. FC Dallas showed up to this match early, finding the net twice in the first half thanks to two set piece finishes by George John and Andrew Jacobson. After the early 2-0 lead, Andrew Driver entered the match and changed the dynamic for the Dynamo. A sloppy clearance by Michel cost FC Dallas the first goal in the 79th minute as Driver drove a shot under the crossbar and in for Houston's first goal of the game. Four minutes later, Raul Fernandez failed to handle a cross in from Cam Weaver and Brad Davis made him pay, bringing the Dynamo back from the dead for a temporary 2-2 result. In the 90th minute, Kenny Cooper was back "with a bang" sending the FC Dallas fans celebrating a St. Patrick's Day win over the Dynamo.
WATCH: FCD 3, Houston 0 USOC
Game 2 - June 12, 2013 - FC Dallas 3 Houston Dynamo 0: The two teams met again three months later in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 16 at Toyota Stadium. After a rather drab first half an hour, FC Dallas took the lead in the 38th minute off of service from the set-piece wizard, Michel. The Brazilian sent a cross in that found Andrew Jacobson in the box. AJ touched the ball to Kenny Cooper and the striker had his second goal against the Dynamo in three months. Just before the clock struck one hour, Michel and Cooper were at it again. Straight from a corner kick, Cooper thundered home a pinpoint Michel cross for his second goal of the game. FC Dallas completed the rout with a sweet lob by Zach Loyd after Jackson caused a fumble by Dynamo keeper Deric. Loyd collected and calmly placed the ball over the keeper and defenders and in the net for the 3-0 lead. With the result, FC Dallas was through to the quarterfinals.
The voting is in and Mauro Diaz has run away with the first Etihad Airlines MLS Player of the Month award.
Having earned over 60% of the vote, "El Magico" is the first FC Dallas player to win POTM since Kevin Hartman in July 2011 and he becomes the sixth player in franchise history to win the award.
Diaz has been truly incredible in the month of March playing 346 of a possible 360 minutes while scoring two spectacular goals and adding an assist(that doesn't count his other assist to Je-Vaughn Watson in the Chivas USA game). Since coming into the league late last year, Diaz has played 14 games with five goals and three assists to his name, averaging a goal or assist every 96 minutes. Those are some truly stunning numbers and even more amazing when you consider he's just 23 years old.
The Argentine is quickly becoming one of the biggest stars in DFW sports and if you don't have season tickets you really need to check out our Mauro Diaz "10 for 10" pack.
We got dozens of GREAT submissions for our Toyota #LetsGoPlaces social media contest and we'd like to wish congratulations to Skyler Thiot AKA @TweetsOfTexas who has won our contest for this Tweet before Saturday's game:
— Skyler Thiot (@TweetsOfTexas) March 29, 2014
As always, thanks to everyone for your submissions!
You may have been wondering why FC Dallas players were wearing black armbands and, if you watched any other games around the league last weekend, why all MLS players were wearing them.
It was a league-wide initiative where players wore armbands with #Kuykenstrong on them in memory of Shawn Kuykendall, a former MLS player who died of a rare form of cancer earlier this year.
For more information on Shawn and how to support the Kuykenstrong Foundation, visit www.Kuykenstrong.com.
Segment 1: The buildup to Wednesday's USA v Mexico friendly is all about Bayern Munich teenager Julian Green, who will be making his debut under Jurgen Klinsmann after committing his international future to the United States -- over Germany -- earlier this year.
Segment 2: ESPN's Alejandro Moreno, former J.J. Pearce HS and Dallas Texans star, returns to the show to assess the Mexico side of things as part of our preview before heading to the desert himself to join Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman in a three-man booth that will call the match in Phoenix.
Segment 3: Former U.S. Olympic captain Brian Dunseth, now an accomplished broadcaster, reunites with the boys to give Dunny his chance to weigh in on Julian Green, David Beckham's latest stadium pronouncements in Miami and other pertinent USMNT/MLS matters.
Segment 4: A World Cup staged exclusively in Texas? Steve and Stein, taking their cues from a Reddit campaign pushing the idea, consider the feasibility of this fantasy actually happening.
We're only through week three of the season and power rankings are tough to put too much stock into, but FCD's case is an interesting one because the national pundits vary wildly on where Oscar Pareja's undefeated team stands in the league pyramid at the moment. Let's take a look at some of the power rankings:
Starting off with Soccer By Ives, Dan Karell has FCD in ninth place, one of the lowest you'll find. Dan says:
"FC Dallas put Chivas USA back in their place when they visited Toyota Stadium on Saturday. Mauro Diaz continues to be the heartbeat of the FC Dallas midfield and a healthy Michel only helps on set pieces."
Liviu Bird of SI.com has FCD a spot higher in 8th saying:
"Dallas had plenty of scoring chances against Chivas but struggled to convert until the second half. Fabián Castillo made a good run from deep on a free kick to give his team the lead, and two more goals followed as Dallas turned a close game into a comfortable result. Óscar Pareja’s team is already clicking better than last year."
The clearly brilliant friends of ours at MLSsoccer.com have FCD jumping all the way up to the top spot in MLS at #1:
A more local take, Kevin Lindstrom at 3rd Degree has FC Dallas in 7th saying:
"While the top record in the West has a lot of FCD fans giddy with excitement, there still remains questions about this club. Injuries again rear their ugly head, and the late, questionable tackle from Thomas put Pareja’s men in a tight spot with what has got to be a frustrated and getting close to desperate Timbers group coming into town for Saturday’s clash. Diaz is the real deal at home, and we saw both wings blossom against a solid Chivas USA side last Saturday..."
ProSoccerTalk has FCD up five spots into eighth this week after Saturday's win:
"Pros – most points in the league; MLS’s best attack; Mauro Díaz and Fabian Castillo; a set-up that is going to give Castillo and Je-Vaughn Watson a chance to embarrass defenders all year. Cons – their schedule; their defense; not knowing whether Watson can maintain Saturday’s level all season. (2-0-1)"
ESPNFC thinks highly of FCD having them at the #5 spot after week three:
"Mauro Diaz continued to blaze a path toward legend status in Dallas, as his influence on Saturday's 3-1 win over Chivas USA was considerable. His through-ball on Je-Vaughn Watson's goal was sublime. The only downer for FCD? Hendry Thomas' red card."
The accolades are rolling in for FC Dallas players after Saturday's 3-1 win over Chivas USA. For the second time this season and second home game in a row, Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo were named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week.
They had this to say about the FCD players:
MF: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – Rampaged through Chivas USA’s soft middle during the first half, and started the scoring by linking up well with his teammates.
MF: Mauro Díaz (FC Dallas) – The young DP bounced back from a quiet performance last week with another strong game, showing he can set teammates up on dead balls as well as the run of play.
Maybe we could've gotten Je-Vaughn Watson at least on the bench for his performance, but we won't complain about getting two players on the list.
The ProSoccerTalk guys also had Fabian and Mauro in their best XI adding a deserved inclusion for Jair Benitez who did a great job with Mauro Rosales on Saturday night.
Jair Benítez, FC Dallas – What was supposed to be a matchup between him and Chivas USA right midfielder Mauro Rosales never materialized. Instead, Benítez used the space he was afforded to have an impact going forward, especially as Dallas turned up the heat in the second half.
Winning is fun.