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US National Team

16 December 11:58 am

The USMNT is returning to Toyota Stadium for the first time since March 28, 2007 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup curtain-raiser and it's both a long overdue return and a well-deserved reward for the Dallas sports fans who have taken soccer support to another level in the last year.

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You sold out Toyota Stadium for the largest American crowd to watch the USWNT in 2014, packed downtown Dallas three times for USMNT 2014 World Cup watch parties, set all-time attendance records at Toyota Stadium for FC Dallas games and brought the support for FCD to a new level during our MLS Cup Playoff run and now you have a red, white and blue matchup to look forward to this summer.

While the USMNT has played twice at Toyota Stadium, it is fair to say neither match was the marquee game we will see at Toyota Stadium on July 7th as the national team begins their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quest which Jurgen Klinsmann has called "the number one priority for the senior National Team in 2015."

Let's take a look at the two other times the USMNT has played at Toyota Stadium:

February 19, 2006 - USMNT 4, Guatemala 0

The first-ever visit of the national team to a brand new Toyota Stadium(then Pizza Hut Park) was played in absolutely frigid winter conditions as anyone who was at the USWNT game against New Zealand can relate to. It was even colder than that.

HIGHLIGHTS: USMNT 4, GUATEMALA 0

A USMNT squad beginning their 2006 World Cup preparation featured a mix of both young and old with Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan making his debut while stalwarts like Brian Ching, Frankie Hejduk and Ben Olsen also suited up for Bruce Arena's team.

A surprisingly robust crowd saw Ben Olsen open the scoring with a beautiful volley with Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Chris Klein rounding out the scoring.

(If you can name that full starting XI, you're a true US Soccer old schooler).

March 28, 2007 - USMNT 0, Guatemala 0

Just a year later, Guatemala returned to Toyota Stadium for another friendly against the USMNT, though this one was played on a Wednesday night with what can only be described as a weakened USMNT squad beginning to prepare for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The weekend matchup saw fan favorite Kenny Cooper and others like Frank Simek and Justin Mapp make some of their only USMNT appearances in the goalless draw.

 

12 December 3:33 pm

Just one more camp stands between Tab Ramos' US U-20 National Team and CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying set to begin on January 9th in Jamaica.

Kellyn Acosta has once again been called in to camp in Honduras which will be the final tune-up before things get really serious. Here's the release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Dec. 12, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a roster for the USA’s final foreign training camp of the year from Dec. 15-22 in Honduras.

Nineteen players are headed to the camp, which will feature matches against the Honduras U-20s on Dec. 18 and 21 at Morazan Stadium in San Pedro Sula. The Dec. 18 game kicks off at 4 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET) and the Dec. 21 match at 2 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET).

This is the U-20 MNT’s final foreign training camp of the year before turning its focus on the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship starting Jan. 9 in Jamaica.

The USA roster for Honduras features nine of the 10 players who took part in the U-20 MNT’s recent domestic fitness camp from Dec. 3-10 in Bradenton, Florida.

The group also includes midfielders Russell Canouse and Romain Gall, who are the only two players to feature in all seven of the U-20 MNT’s international matches this year. Canouse leads the team with six starts and Gall is tied for third on the U-20s with two goals, both of which came during the USA’s 4-3 victory against Russia’s U-21 national team on Nov. 12 in Marbella, Spain.

The goalkeeping tandem of Santiago Castaño and Zack Steffen has accounted for six of the USA’s seven starts this year. Steffen, who officially signed with Bundesliga club SC Freiburg on Friday, has posted shutouts in both of his matches – a 4-0 win against Bermuda and a scoreless draw against Australia en route to the NTC Invitational title – and Castaño had a clean sheet during the USA’s 1-0 win against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 15.

The USA roster includes 18 players with ties to the Development Academy.

The U-20 MNT is 4-1-2 in international competition and 10-2-2 overall in 2014.

Following the Honduras camp, the U-20s will hold a pre-World Cup qualifying camp in Florida before departing for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA opens Group A play at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Guatemala on Jan. 9 at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica (5:30 p.m. ET kickoff).

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Santiago Castaño (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (6): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (North Carolina State; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.),Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
FORWARDS (4): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

 

04 December 4:13 pm

The annual Nike Friendlies were held over the last week in Florida as part of the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase with the US U-17 National Team facing England, Australia & Brazil over a week-long stretch.

Recent FC Dallas Homegrown signing Alejandro Zendejas played a huge part in the Nike Friendlies so let's take a look at his performances:

US U-17s defeat England U-17s 3-1

WATCH: USA 3 ENG 1

In the opening match, the US steamrolled England jumping out to a 2-0 halftime lead before winning 3-1. FCD midfielder Alejandro Zendejas scored the opening goal of the match on a really nice volley in the 11th minute before assisting on the third goal of the match in the 48th minute scored by Christian Pulisic.

Zendejas went 83 minutes in the match playing in an attacking two-way midfielder role for the U-17s.

U-17s come from behind to beat Australia 2-1

In the second match of the week playing a largely changed lineup, the U-17s fell behind early to Australia, but found a 15th-minute equalizer to send the match tied 1-1 at halftime.

Zendejas did not start the match, but subbed in at halftime for the U-17s who found a 69th-minute game-winner from Luca de la Torre to go 2-0 on the week at the Nike Friendlies.

U-17s fall 4-1 to Brazil in final match of Nike Friendlies

The United States needed just a draw against the Brazil U-17s to secure the Nike Friendlies trophy, but fell 4-1 to the South Americans in the final match of the week.

Richie Williams' team conceded an early goal to Evander before Christian Pulisic equalized in the 22nd minute. Another Brazil goal in the 42nd minute would send the hosts into halftime with a 2-1 lead. Two more goals in the second half sealed the emphatic win for Brazil.

Zendejas was once again in the starting lineup for this one playing all 90 minutes for the United States to finish the Nike Friendlies with nearly 2 1/2 full matches played out of the three.

 

03 December 11:56 am

The CONCACAF U-20 Championship which doubles as 2015 U-20 World Cup Qualifying is just around the corner in January and Kellyn Acosta has been called in to a week-long camp in Florida starting today. Here's the official release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will meet for a domestic fitness camp from Dec. 3-10 in Bradenton, Florida.

The group features 10 field players, most who play for Major League Soccer clubs. With a little more than a month before the start of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica, head coach Tab Ramos sees this stretch as a valuable time to keep his side playing at a high rate with the MLS season nearly in the books.

“It’s finally getting down to that time where we have to focus on the final stages of World Cup qualifying,” Ramos said. “At this point, because the MLS season has ended for a lot of teams, we needed to bring the players who are not continuing to train with their teams and do a fitness camp. Some of the players have been off, and we want to have them catch up a little bit with the guys that we have in Europe.

Following the fitness camp, the U.S. U-20 MNT will conduct a foreign training camp in Honduras later this month starting on Dec. 15, followed by a domestic preparation camp before the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (0): None
DEFENDERS (4): Conor Donovan (North Carolina State; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (3): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.)
FORWARDS (3): Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

 

25 June 2:01 pm

Need help getting out of work tomorrow to watch the all-important USA vs. Germany World Cup match? Dr. Tex Hooper has you covered! Just print and fill out the doctor's note below and turn it in to your employer and they'll have no choice but to excuse your absence on Thursday.

And in case you're wondering, the best location to treat WorldCupititus tomorrow will be at the AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center. See you for treatment tomorrow!

20 June 11:57 am

Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Erika Cook and Melissa Janetta work in Business Development and Partnership Marketing for FC Dallas. They've traveled to Curitiba along with FC Dallas Foundation Director Melissa Reddick to do volunteer work with Lionsraw (and watch a little soccer). Give them a follow @2SoleSisters on Twitter and Instagram and keep up with them on Tumblr.

After a few hiccups trying to get on wifi, @2solesisters is officially connected! This will be our second night in Curitiba and things are just getting started. Yesterday was mostly a day of travel and as we arrived in Curitiba we had no idea what to expect but the anxiety was shortly laid to rest when we were greeted by the friendliest people. Everyone was in such good spirits and the hospitality from the airport, to the taxi driver, to the hotel staff was awesome. Thank goodness the one word that we learned before we came was obrigada because we’ve used it a lot! As we walked into our rooms we were excited-ish?? to find out that we have bunk beds.. so much room for activities! We finished our first night by meeting up with a few other fellow volunteers from Lionsraw. They were all so nice and we were able to play a couple friendly games of pool. Melissa and I tried not to hustle them too hard. ;)

Game days in Curitiba are off days for Lions Raw so we were able to easily go get our tickets for the match we attended tonight. After shockingly no lines or hassle to get the tickets we ventured out to get our first meal.. only to find that we literally could read nothing off the menu and our communication with the adorable waitress was extremely lost in translation. Somehow we ended up with burgers and fries and we were ok with that.

After lunch we taxied over to the FIFA Fan Fest, which we jokingly said looks a lot like the Byron Nelson. We were able to watch the Italy game on the big screen, but found ourselves in the middle of anxious Ecuadorians everywhere we turned. After Fan Fast we headed to our very first World Cup game at Arena da Baixada. It’s a beautiful stadium for the beautiful game. The energy we were able to experience tonight is something we will never forget, so tonight before we head off to bed to get ready for our busy day of coaching futbol clinics tomorrow we find ourselves chanting “vamos Ecuatorianos que esta noche tenemos que ganar!”

Ciao for now,
Erika

16 June 10:05 am

Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Today's entry comes from Mobile Sales Team Manager Ryan Hurtado from Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday was hands down the most incredible experience as a sports fan. As we stepped into the Maracana for the first time to see our seats were 19 rows from the pitch, I couldn't help but just scream. I think I know how Kevin Garnett felt now in his "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE" moment! Haha.

As a college football player and some one who has really been into soccer for four years, it has been a process that has transformed me. If you said five years ago that I would enjoy soccer more than a football or basketball game, I would have spit my drink out in laughter. So submerging yourself in a sport and culture, working and seeing tons of matches from USMNT live, Brazil vs. Mexico, MLS matches, College and Youth Soccer to now see THE Messi live and have him score a matter of 100 feet away from you in the World Cup, I guess you can say this was my baptism in the religion of footy.

To explain how wild the Argentina fans were would be an understatement. The impromptu chants that took over the stadium were somewhat baffling! Only to have every Brazilian in the crowd respond to their chants to support Bosnia, it made for an atmosphere like I've never felt before. To only think this was game one. I'm not sure how this will compare to today's USA match as we won't be in Natal, but look to join tens of thousands of US fans at the FIFA Fan Zone.

This morning I took in Ipanema with a workout to mentally get ready to be as proud as possible to be American in a foreign county. I have been outside the U.S. before, but this will be the first time where I get to don the Red, White and Blue while also rewriting perception on Americans not only as a culture but as soccer fans. Prepping my full Popsicle Away kit and board shorts should really help the pompous American views!

Portugal vs. Germany kicks soon, here is to hoping for a 90 minute brawl that ends in a draw!

Tchau!

15 June 9:23 am

Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Today's entry comes from Mobile Sales Team Manager Ryan Hurtado from Rio de Janeiro.

After 20+ hours of travel, Bom Dia!

With a few hiccups before we even left and a couple changes on the itinerary, the trek to Rio only became more fruitful (Imagine flying from London to DFW, having three hours to drive to Love Field to take a flight to Houston to only fly north again to OKC. OKC and Rio aren't the right comparison, but you get the idea). After having to squeeze a cab ride through São Paulo to get to another airport for a connecting flight, we saw a hint of Brazil's diversity and culture in a 40 minute drive and this was just scratching the surface.

The first thing that was uncertain in my mind was the reception of my American pride. With the centennial crest on my chest through the whole day of travel and conversations in English, broken Spanish and Portuguese, the courtesies were amazing! All ethnicities were proud, excited and just wanted to joke and talk soccer.

Mexican fans said thank you for allowing them to be there (like we had anything personally to do with it) and we laughed over our shared love for Graham Zusi. To the French we met on the way to Porto Alegre who spoke of MLS, Michael Bradley and how they saw us as dangerous because of Jurgen. The theme was clear that soccer transcends language. Friendly banter was all around, especially as Ghanaians passed and we patted our chests while they chirped "you don't want it again." Well, I didn't have much response there!

With our plans getting us into Rio later than desired, we knew there was a night of Samba and Cachaça ahead of us that wouldn't allow my dumb grin to leave my face. This is all built up by the anticipation of seeing some matches live, which by the pace of the tournament should be wild and entertaining affairs.

I'd be at fault if I did'nt mention the night life in Rio. The night to say the least was incredible. We had some food in Ipanema Beach and proceeded to a botico to watch the Ivory Coast vs Japan match. This botico for no other reason than it was a Saturday turned into a block party, where the smiles, beautiful people and chope were endless. By the end of the night myself and two travel companions made a multitude of friends Brazilian, Dutch, American and in between. This city breathes a life and atmosphere that I've never felt before. Add in the fact it is 75 all the time without humidity and you can imagine why it's hard not to smile the entire time! I am off to the Maracana to see Messi live, time to cross that one off the bucket list.

Tchau, Ryan

08 April 9:37 am

Here’s the show recap from Sunday’s latest episode of Soccer Today presented by Toyota and co-hosted by Marc Stein and Steve Davis on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio:

Now available on iTunes!

SEGMENT 1: The United States' wild 2-2 draw with Mexico -- and Clint Dempsey's hat trick for Seattle in an even wilder 4-4 draw in Portland in the season's first Cascadia Derby -- dominate the early discussion.

SEGMENT 2: Fox Sports host extraordinaire Rob Stone returns to the show to talk Champions League and U.S. national team matters with the guys.

SEGMENT 3: ESPN's Eric Wynalda, fresh off his stint in Phoenix calling the USA-Mexico game alongside Ian Darke and Alejandro Moreno, joins the boys to give his verdict on Julian Green, Jurgen Klinsmann's bigger concern -- think defense as opposed to the forward line -- and everything else topical from the week's big friendly match.

SEGMENT 4: FC Dallas is unbeaten after five games for the first time in franchise history. So Steve breaks it all down for Stein from his vantage point as the team's new radio voice.

20 October 1:42 pm

Here's the show recap from Sunday's latest episode of Soccer Today presented by BB&T and co-hosted by Marc Stein and Steve Davis on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio:

Segment 1: Stein and Steve reflect on a wild final night in World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF, which saw mighty Mexico come perilously close to elimination from soccer's grand stage next summer before being rescued by two late goals in Panama from their old friends south of the border.

Segment 2: American star Landon Donovan says he's not sure Mexico, if the roles were reversed, would have tried so hard to win a game in extra time if it meant helping the United States qualify for the World Cup. Is Landon right? Should the Americans have let Panama close out a 2-1 victory that would have eliminated Mexico? The boys discuss.

Segment 3: The one and only Andres Cantor, fresh off calling Costa Rica's 2-1 victory over Mexico for Telemundo, joins the guys to talk about the state of Mexico's chaos-ridden team after its great Hex escape and yet another coaching change headed into next month's two-legged World Cup playoff with New Zealand.

Segment 4: Clint Dempsey is still looking for his first goal as a Seattle Sounder, but the proud Texan was kind enough to sit down and touch on a number of hot topics after a 2-0 defeat to FC Dallas that threatens to knock Seattle out of the playoffs. The highlights of that conversation are all here.