This certainly wasn't your typical Friday at Toyota Stadium.
The light flurries we saw driving to work quickly turned into a snowstorm that we see once every few years here in DFW.
Training in a winter wonderland...❄️❄️❄️ pic.twitter.com/c36oA1QnjW
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 27, 2015
The thing that made this even more surreal was the whole scene playing out as FC Dallas held their final training session before departing for Saturday's last match of the preseason at the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions.
As the snow began to fall, those of us on the social media/digital team of course went outside to document things because snow + soccer is a social media dream. Little did we know, the snow would pick up to the point that practice had to be stopped early as Frisco turned into a late-winter wonderland. Here's the morning through snowcial media and some great pictures from our creative team.
For the first time in 2015, we're opening the Toyota Stadium gates for some FC Dallas soccer on Friday night as we host D.C. United in a special preseason friendly and with all the new gear coming in, we thought "Why don't we have a yard sale?"
Come out to Toyota Stadium early on Friday for our FC Dallas Foundation gear sale inside the WinStar River Club. From 11AM-2PM on Friday and then at 6:30PM when gates open for our preseason match, we will be selling anything and everything you can think of.
We're talking everything from puffy jackets to t-shirts to soccer balls to autographed gear to old lightpole banners....as we said, pretty much anything and everything you can think of.
Stop by and see what we've got, all the proceeds go to the FC Dallas Foundation!
CLICK HERE for a special offer on tickets to Friday's preseason match + one of our first two MLS regular season matches.
What a weekend it was in Austin as FC Dallas got two great games in against two MLS opponents at the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge. Unfortunately, FCD fell just short in their quest for the best trophy in pro sports, but there were still some fantastic moments from the weekend. Here is the weekend in pictures through the lens of Olivia Brestal[and Blas Perez]:
FC Dallas takes another big step towards March 7th this weekend as they compete in the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge. The four-team tournament has three MLS teams plus USL's Austin Aztex and FC Dallas will kick things off at 5:45PM against Columbus Crew SC. Here's a few things to keep your eye on this weekend:
Full squad together
With Matt Hedges back from national team camp, pretty much the full roster for FC Dallas should be in Austin and you will likely see a mostly first team lineup on Friday night. Oscar Pareja said earlier this week that he's looking to get the starters at least 60 minutes and with three weeks under the belt in preseason, it's time to stretch those legs a little bit.
We're all excited to see what Mauro Diaz can do this season and these games will be a fantastic barometer to see how Mauro looks in preseason. The little magician burst out of the gates last year winning MLS Etihad Player of the Month in March and everyone knows if Mauro can stay healthy through a full season, a potential MLS Best XI nomination is on the cards. When Mauro plays, you've got to watch.
Atiba Harris in defense
Last season, Oscar Pareja had a brilliant stroke moving Je-Vaughn Watson to right back with incredible results and he's been experimenting with that again this preseason with Atiba Harris. It's, no doubt, a work in progress, but if Harris, who loves to attack down the right wing and scored the only goal of the preseason so far for FC Dallas, can adapt to the position it could provide huge benefits for FC Dallas.
Next Friday night, February 20th at Toyota Stadium we have a friendly against DC United in the penultimate preseason tuneup for FC Dallas before the season starts on March 7th.
Now for our regular season MLS games, there are regulations in place for just about everything you can think of from sponsors to game presentation to the way the field is mowed....but those don't count for preseason friendlies so we thought we'd have a fun vote to determine which field pattern we will have for the beautiful Toyota Stadium pitch next Friday night.
Below are the four options we can have for Friday night's game. Allen Reed and his groundscrew team need a few days to fully mow in the pattern, so get your vote in before Monday then come out to Toyota Stadium and come back next Friday to see which option won!
Tickets are still available for next Friday's friendly which is complementary for season ticket holders, $10 for general admission & $25 for reserved seating.
Option 1 - Bullseye
Option 2 - Traditional
Option 3 - Checkerboard
Option 4 - Plaid
(Hana Asano/LA Galaxy)
In front of more than 20,000 at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, the US Men's National Team won their first game of 2015 defeating Panama 2-0.
For FC Dallas fans, there was plenty of excitement as forward Blas Perez started, making his 87th appearance in a national team jersey. He went 56 minutes in Sunday's match, playing a typically active game that you see from Perez.
In the second half, a long-awaited moment happened as FC Dallas captain and defender Matt Hedges was brought on in the 72nd minute to make his first national team appearance at any level from youth to senior.
Jon Arnold of Goal.com talked to Matt after the match with Hedges saying “It was really exciting. [Klinsmann[ told us to go warm up and I knew I was going to be getting in. I was buzzing, I was ready.”
The next match for the USMNT is March 25 against Denmark in Aarhus, Denmark while Hedges and Perez now return back to FC Dallas as the full squad is set to head to Austin next weekend for the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge.
FC Dallas completed their week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida with a 1-1 draw against Swedish second division side Jönköpings Södra IF.
Atiba Harris opened the scoring with FCD's first goal of the preseason with just over ten minutes left in the first half with the Swedish side equalizing just minutes later to send the match into halftime tied 1-1.
Neither side could find a goal in the second half as substitutions were made with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
FC Dallas will play the rest of their 2015 preseason slate at home in the state of Texas with the next matches scheduled for next weekend in Austin as part of the ATX Pro Soccer Challenge.
FC Dallas will face Columbus Crew SC in a semifinal on Friday afternoon at 5:30PM and either play in the third place or championship match on Sunday afternoon.
FC Dallas lineup: Seitz, Harris(Rosales, Zimmerman, Loyd(Saco-Vertiz), Hernandez, Ulloa(Hoilett), Michel, Diaz(Chavez), Castillo(Hollingshead), Akindele(Toja), Texeira(Bekker)
FC Dallas plays their final preseason game outside the state of Texas on Saturday when they take on Swedish second division side Jönköpings Södra IF at the IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, FL. FCD will be looking to rebound after their 4-0 preseason-opening loss to Orlando City on Wednesday in a match that saw mostly trialists and reserves get a run out.
Here are a few things to keep an eye on in Saturday night's game which kicks off at 6:00PM(it's unlikely the match will be streamed, but we will let you know for sure on social media closer to game time).
While only a few of the contributors from 2014 saw time against Orlando City SC on Wednesday, Oscar Pareja told Steve Hunt of the Dallas Morning News that first team regulars will be featuring in Saturday's game.
With this being the only match before next week's ATX Pro Soccer Challenge, it's important to get those guys some minutes and for many, this game on Saturday will be their first minutes of 2015 against non-FCD players.
Look out for guys like Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo to have their first minutes of the year and for FCD to be much more competitive in this one.
The youngest player
16-year-old Homegrown midfielder Alex Zendejas who is currently in residency with the US U-17 National Team has had the opportunity to train with FC Dallas this week in Bradenton and by all reports he has impressed.
Alex turns 17 on Saturday and he could be given another opportunity to get some minutes on Saturday night. Alex and the US U-17s begin World Cup qualifying at the end of February in Honduras.
A little bit on the opponents
Saturday's opponents Jönköpings Södra IF, are nearly 100 years old and have spent the last nine years in the Swedish second division.
That's about all I got.
In celebration of our 20th season in MLS, FCDTV will be posting classic highlights every week of our guys taking on that weekend's opponent.
We don't play Columbus until next weekend in Austin so to kick things off we're posting a special Throwback Thursday looking back at our June 25, 2005 3-1 win over Colorado featuring a game-winning goal from a bandaged up Bobby Rhine. FC Dallas Academy coach Luchi Gonzalez also adds a stunning strike.
The 2015 preseason schedule had a harsh opening on Wednesday as FC Dallas fell 4-0 to Orlando City SC in Orlando.
Tony Cascio opened the scoring for the home team in the 13th minute and Kevin Molino doubled the Lions' lead in the 20th minute. Brazilian DP Kaka, making his first appearance for Orlando City, added a goal of his own in the 33rd minute finishing a PK drawn by Martin Paterson. The hosts rounded out the scoring in the 64th minute with a Danny Mwanga goal that sealed the 4-0 scoreline.
Today's FC Dallas team left a number of first team players back in Bradenton at the IMG Academy with the squad mostly comprised of young players and trialists against what was basically a first choice XI for Adrian Heath and Orlando City.
Here's what Oscar had to say about the match:
The purpose in this stage of the preseason is to take a look at the young players to see what they have and what they bring here and you have to go through games like today where it’s hard for them but it’s a good exercise for the players that are here because we need to move and see what the reality of our team and what’s next.
FCD is back in action on Saturday night at the IMG Academy in Bradenton against Swedish second division side Jonkopings Sodra.
FCD first half lineup: Kennedy, Harris, Zimmerman, Saco-Vertiz(g), Hernandez, Bekker, Ulloa(C), Toja, Garcia, Hollingshead, Hoilett
FCD bench: Gonzalez, Marvin Chavez(G), Aaron Meyer(A), Damien Rosales(G), Long Tan(G), Earle, Will Seymore, Texeira, Straccia(G), Camacho(G), Zendejas
*A = Academy | G = Guest player/Trialist
OCSC first half lineup: Ricketts, Boden, Collin, Donovan, Ramos, Molino, Higuita, Kaka, Cascio, Okugo, Paterson
OCSC second half lineup: Edwards, Turner, Gustavo, Redding, trialist, Estrela, Cerén, Heath, Ribeiro, Barrett, Larin