The CONCACF U-20s are in full swing down in Jamaica and FC Dallas players have played a big part in the tournament as Mexico and the USA look to qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Let's take a look at how both of our FC Dallas professional players have done as well as a quick look at an Academy player making headlines.
Jesse Gonzalez and Mexico U-20s perfect through three games
It's been a fantastic tournament for Jesse Gonzalez and the Mexico U-20s who look set to cruise to one of the two automatic qualifying spots.
Mexico is a perfect 3-0-0 in the tournament with an astounding +13 goal differential. FC Dallas Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has played every minute of all three games in goal for Mexico allowing just one goal for El Tri.
The Mexican U-20s won their first match against Cuba by an astounding 9-1 scoreline, following that up with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Canada. In their third match of the tournament, Mexico impressively dispatched of Honduras by a 3-0 score to solidify their spot at the top of the group.
Judging by the highlights, Gonzalez hasn't had a ton of work in his two shutouts, though stiff tests await in El Salvador and a potential U-20 Championship game. Mexico can clinch the top spot in the group and a place in the 2015 U-20 World Cup with a win over El Salvador on Monday.
Up and down for Kellyn Acosta & USA U-20s
Team captain Kellyn Acosta and the US Soccer U-20s have had an up and down tournament so far in Jamaica going 1-1-1 and finding themselves in third place in the group with two matches left.
In their first match against Guatemala, the United States led 1-0 late in the match before FCD Academy player Andy Ruiz scored surely the goal of his life on a 20-yard volley to send the game to a 1-1 tie.
The next match was a crucial game against a very good Panama side that the United States surprisingly dropped 1-0 leaving them in a tough position near the bottom of the group.
USA bounced back with a huge 8-0 win over lowly Aruba that shot the US back up to third in the group standings. Kellyn Acosta started and played the first two matches for the US U-20s as captain.
The United States certainly has their work cut out for them in the next week with games against hosts Jamaica on Sunday and Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday. The US needs to finish at least third to qualify for the one-game knockout round with the winner advancing to the U-20 World Cup.
FCD Academy's Ruiz leads surprising Guatemala U-20s
RUIZ Golazo vs US
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the CONCACAF U-20s has been Guatemala and FCD Academy midfielder Andy Ruiz scored the goal everyone was talking about in the 1-1 draw against the United States.
Guatemala has followed that up with wins over Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica giving them a great shot to either win the group or finishing second.
Ruiz has played every minute of the three matches scoring the goal against the United States.
Guatemala has games against Aruba and group-leading Panama left with two wins securing them the top spot in the group and a berth in the 2015 U-20 World Cup.
By Demetrio Teniente
Our second Marquee Matchup of 2015 is Saturday March 28 vs. Seattle Sounders FC and do we really need to tell you why this match is going to be awesome?
Now, we know you haven't forgotten how FC Dallas and Seattle squared off five times last year, including an epic showdown in the Western Confernce semifinals where, thanks to the newly instituted away goals tie-breaker, Seattle advanced past FC Dallas to become the first Supporters' Shield winner to advance past the first round since 2011.
And we also know that revenge is sweet.
Kudos to Seattle for their accomplishments, but they spoiled FC Dallas' return to postseason play after a three-year hiatus, so Dallas will be looking for retribution when these two teams square off on March 28.
Also, the Sounders coming to town brings the opportunity to see two Texas products in former FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper and USMNT super star Clint Dempsey as they battle against our guys in what is always a closely-fought duel.
Cooper logged a total of five seasons with FCD and is ranked seventh among active players with 72 career goals as well as second on the all-time FC Dallas scoring charts. Dempsey is the current captain of the U.S. National Team and is a seven-year veteran of the English Premier League. Last season he made 26 appearances for Sounders FC in his first full season back in MLS after signing mid-2013.
It will also be your only chance to catch Sounders FC at Toyota Stadium. With memories of last season's playoffs resonating on the pitch, there should be no shortage of excitement heading into this matchup.
By Demetrio Teniente
FCDTV: Meet Otis Earle
With the 15th pick in the 2015 MLS Super Draft, FC Dallas selected 22-year-old defender Otis Earle from UC Riverside. To help you get to know him a little better we found everything the internet says about him, so you wouldn't have to.
First things first- here is his UC Riverside bio. Coming into the draft, MLS believed Earle to be the best outside back available, here is their article detailing his rise from relative obscurity.
And the Riverside Press Enterprise ran a feature on Jan. 14 delving into Earle's path to the draft.
Top Drawer Soccer's Travis Clark had a great Q&A with Earle talking about his life growing up with a famous father and his move to America.
Finally, give a look to a great Fox Sports profile of Earle that will help you get to know him a little better before preseason starts next weekend!
Twitter is so great. Yesterday, #FiveWordsToRuinADate was trending throughout the day so we had some fun with it and asked our loyal #DTID followers to give us their best #FiveWordsToRuinADate FC Dallas style...here were some of the best responses:
FRISCO - The 2015 MLS SuperDraft is just a couple days away and one of the most exciting things about the draft is you never know what can happen.
Last year, we saw FC Dallas trade from the #5 pick down to the #10 pick and then back up to #6 all in a whirlwind ten-minute span with the club ending up with their target, future Rookie of the Year winner Tesho Akindele, plus some allocation money to boot.
Who knows what will happen this year as FCD currently holds the #15 overall pick, though that could certainly change depending on trades and everything else. Let's take a look at the possible scenarios that could play out on Thursday at 11:30AM.
FC Dallas trades up, snags a top pick
When you look back historically at the draft - especially in the last few years with Homegrown signings taking some of the better players out - you have a pretty good success rate in the first 10 picks. Typically seven or eight of the first 10 picks work out to be solid MLS players. While FC Dallas currently sits outside that threshold, it may not take a whole lot to move up.
With just five Generation adidas players this year (GA players not counting against the salary cap), it's going to take a high draft pick to snag one of those coveted underclassmen. Oscar Pareja had plenty of success in the past in drafting Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown, so maybe another one in UCF forward Romario Williams could be in the cards. If Pareja and Fernando Clavijo really want to go big, NYCFC's #2 overall pick has been rumored to be on the trading block and attacking midfielder Cristian Roldan out of Washington has been described as a special player by many.
"There has to be a bunch of little things that gel together and it’s difficult to define each of them, but when I see players and especially the guys in the draft I look for players who I can smell [success] and see them fitting into the culture of the club first."
That's what Oscar Pareja had to say about his draft strategy. He lets his assistants do much of the legwork to vet potential draft picks and he then sees who fits in the best. You get the feeling that if there's someone he really likes, he's going to do what he needs to get him and I think we can all agree if there's someone that Pareja likes, then he's someone we'll all like.
Dallas stands pat, goes for someone at #15
With the arrival of Pareja just days earlier and a high draft pick, the 2014 draft was one of the more exciting ones for FC Dallas in recent history. It's very possible we won't see the same fireworks in 2015 and FC Dallas may stick with their one pick and go for whichever guy fits in best.
While the success rate for the #15 pick certainly isn't what it is for earlier picks, there have been plenty of good players found at or after #15 with solid MLS'ers Dom Dwyer, Justin Meram and Collen Warner going in the last few picks of the first round since 2010. FC Dallas drafted George John at #14 overall in 2009 and he certainly turned out to be a great player, so there's plenty of reason to be optimistic with #15.
Dallas trades their pick, exits the room quietly
FCD currently has just one pick for Thursday's SuperDraft as the club's second round pick was traded to Houston in exchange for Je-Vaughn Watson in early 2013. So if Oscar and the staff decide there aren't any attainable players that meet their standards, we could see Dallas trade the pick for some allocation money, future picks, another player or international slots.
As mentioned, without a second round pick, that would likely mean Dallas would walk away from Philadelphia without any new players and, given the already young nature of the team, it wouldn't be a huge surprise.
If you were in Oscar or Fernando's shoes what would you do in this situation?
SEGMENT 1: Marc Stein and Steve Davis begin reviewing one of the biggest off-season news weeks in Major League Soccer's 20 years; first up is the ongoing Frank Lampard PR fiasco.
SEGMENT 2: A good chat with Owen Coyle, the former Bolton, Burnley and Wigan manager who has recently been named to the Houston Dynamo's head coaching position.
SEGMENT 3: FC Dallas attacker Tesho Akindele, Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year for 2014, someone soon to join his first U.S. national team camp, joins the show live.
SEGMENT 4: Show producer Tyler Kern joins as the hosts talk about Monday's Ballon d'Or announcement; the hosts also discuss Jozy Altidore's potential transfer window move.
The FC Dallas U-14s continued their journey in Bolivia at the Tahuichi Mundialito, defeating Olimpia of Paraguay on penalty kicks to advance to the final stage of the prestigious tournament.
The back-and-forth game saw Jesus Ferreira open the scoring in the 20th minute, but Olimpia hit back for two goals before halftime to take a 2-1 lead.
Brayan Padilla scored an incredible curling goal to tie the score and with 12 minutes left, Bryan Reynolds put FC Dallas in from 3-2.
Olimpia would score the game-tying goal with just five minutes left and the two sides went to penalty kicks which FC Dallas won 4-3 to advance to the final round.
In the final round, four teams play a round robin series of matches to determine the champion. FC Dallas, the Colombian national team, Cerro Porteno and Tahuichi will face off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the top team winning the championship.
2015 FC Dallas schedule desktop wallpapers:
It's the moment every FC Dallas fan has been waiting for and the moment when the 2015 season starts to come into focus. The 2015 FC Dallas schedule is out and it's definitely got some interesting notes to it so let's break things down:
Home sweet home
Just like last year, FC Dallas opens with five of the first seven at Toyota Stadium. Obviously things can change a lot in an offseason, but five of FCD's first seven are also against teams that missed the playoffs last year, so Oscar Pareja's side will definitely be looking to get out of the blocks quickly.
Early season matchups against Kansas City, now of the Western Conference, and 2014 MLS Cup Playoff foe Seattle Sounders FC will both be home games that fans will certainly circle on the calendar as can't-miss games.
Friday, I'm in love
Perhaps the most noticeable change in the 2015 schedule is the introduction of the weekly Friday night game. Last year FCD had just one Friday night game, but this year there are weekly Friday night games to be broadcast nationally on the Univision family of networks and FC Dallas is a major player in these.
Eight of the first 17 games in 2015 will be played on Friday nights with six of those coming on the road. Personally, I'm looking forward to a little Friday happy hour away game action.
We knew it was coming, but it's still great to see both Kansas City and Houston back on the schedule three times each year. The Texas Derby, presented by Novo Nordisk, will no doubt be spiced up by the return of three games against our rivals to the south each season. While our series with Kansas City may not have quite the same grit to it, our fans are surely looking forward to having more games against a team that is within driving distance.
NYC comes to town
For the second-straight year, the New York Red Bulls will visit Toyota Stadium on Friday, May 15 while new MLS side NYC FC comes to Frisco on Saturday, September 12. Yes, NYCFC will visit late in the season meaning Frank Lampard could be making a stop here...maybe. We'll see.
So which road trips are you making in 2015? We're exactly two months away from First Kick!
The FC Dallas U-14s are currently in Bolivia playing in the annual Tahuichi Mundialito representing Texas and the USA.
In their first match on Sunday, Chris Hayden's team played against Tahuichi, the host club, in front of more than 20,000 people after the opening ceremonies at the Estadio Ramon Tahuichi Aguilera.
According to Hayden, the team played mostly defensively through the first 20 minutes but settled down and nearly took the lead late in the half when Jesus Ferreira hit the post. FCD conceded two goals in quick succession right before halftime.
In the second half, they conceded once more to fall to a 3-0 defeat.
The U-14s bounced back on day two with a 3-0 win over Brazilian side Corumbaense.
Carlos Garcia opened the scoring in the first half before Adrian Morales and Garcia scored to seal the 3-0 win in the second half.
1-1-0 in the tournament, FCD closes out the group stage against Amador Plaza from Panama today. They'll play one more match after that to determine final seeding.
SEGMENT 1: Show co-hosts Marc Stein and Steve Davis dive right into the week's two news biggies: Steven Gerrard signing up with MLS and Frank Lampard electing to delay his own league entrance.
SEGMENT 2: Former Liverpool legend Steve Nicol, now an ESPN FC analyst, talks about fellow Anfield icon Gerrard and his choice to leave the club this summer.
SEGMENT 3: National soccer journalist Tom Dart, who spent the bulk of his writing career in England, goes deeper into the Lampard and Gerrard stories.
SEGMENT 4: Show producer Tyler Kern joins in as we all discuss Gedion Zelalem and the young Arsenal prodigy's choice (announced this week) to play for the United States rather than Germany.