We haven't crowned a 2013 champion yet, but for FC Dallas fans, today is the day that focus turns to next season as we unveil the full 2014 schedule. Here are a few highlights:
Spring into soccer
You're going to have a bunch of opportunities to see FCD at home early in the year. Five of the first seven games in 2014 are at home. In addition, the first two games away from Toyota Stadium are road-trippable affairs at Sporting Kansas City and Houston, so for die-hard FC Dallas fans, catching the first seven games of the year is a realistic proposition.
Saturday nights in Frisco
Whatever plans you have for Saturday nights from March through October, you might want to adjust them. 12 of the 17 home games in 2014 are Saturday night affairs including five of the first seven games. Also returning in 2014 are the popular 8:00PM kickoffs during the summer.
Friday night's alright for soccer
One interesting feature of the 2014 schedule is the appearance of two Friday night kickoffs. FCD has only played two Friday games in the history of Toyota Stadium with one of those coming on the traditional Fourth of July game. One of the two Friday night games this year will be the July 4 game against the Philadelphia Union while on Friday, August 22, Dallas will host Real Salt Lake.
Only twice this year will FCD have the much-maligned three match weeks and both of them fall in an incredibly busy month of May. Dallas will play seven games in all through the month of May with grueling three-match weeks on May 4-10 and May 17-24.
Western Conference showdown
In an effort to enhance the run in to the playoffs, MLS has backloaded the schedules with intra-conference matchups. 13 of the final 14 matches of the season will pit FCD against Western Conference foes including two matches against both Los Angeles and Vancouver in the final two months of the season.
World Cup break
As we did in 2010, Major League Soccer will be shutting down for two weeks during the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage. FC Dallas will not take the field between Wednesday, June 11's match at Portland and Saturday, June 28's match in Columbus. In addition, FCD will not hit the Toyota Stadium field in MLS action for almost a month between June 7 and July 4, though a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game or two could hit Frisco during that month.
So who's ready to kick off the season?
The MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Finals will finish this weekend, with Sporting Kansas City hosting the Houston Dynamo Saturday night on the NBC Sports Network and Real Salt Lake visiting the Portland Timbers on ESPN Sunday night. RSL enters the second leg with a two-goal advantage after their 4-2 win at Rio Tinto Stadium two weeks ago, while Kansas City and the Dynamo played to a 0-0 draw in Houston.
FC Dallas players Matt Hedges and Eric Hassli, along with the FCDallas.com editorial staff, made their Conference Finals predictions two weeks ago, but it's still anybody's guess which two teams will wind up playing for the MLS Cup.
Let us know in the comments what your predictions are and who you think will lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
POR vs. RSL
LEG 1: RSL 4-2 POR
LEG 2: 11/24 @ 8pm - ESPN
SKC vs. HOU
LEG 1: HOU 0-0 SKC
LEG 2: 11/23 @ 6:30pm - NBCSN
Raul Fernandez has outlasted all 35 MLSsoccer.com Save of the Week winners with his week 19 stop against Gyasi Zardes and Los Angeles. Through your votes Raul has earned a spot in the Save of the Yeek championship round! He's up against some stiff competition so we need every one of your votes to get Raul the MLSsoccer.com Save of the Year!
Last night in Stockholm, Cristiano Ronaldo captivated the soccer world with a heart-stopping hat trick, single-handedly punching Portugal's ticket to World Cup 2014 in Brazil in a 3-2 win over Sweden. While Frisco, Texas is about as far from a UEFA World Cup Qualifier as you can get, one member of the FC Dallas staff shared the field with Ronaldo long before the Portugese attacker was considered the best player in the world.
"I was doing pre-season with the Columbus Crew. I had just been traded from San Jose and I was with them for three months in pre-season," said under-18 head coach Luchi Gonzalez. "We were in Portugal for two weeks and played some exhibitions, one of which was against Sporting Lisbon in their training facility. I remember there was some hype about it, a young Portugese player who as the next big thing, Cristiano Ronaldo."
Ronaldo spent most of his formative years at the Portugese giants from Lisbon who have developed some of the biggest stars in world soccer.
"I see him warming up on their side. He’s 18 and I’m 22 and he’s got the orange [Nike] Vapors and you could tell he was very technical," said 33-year-old Gonzalez, who played for three different MLS clubs in his career. "We played the game, I don’t remember the exact score, it might have been 1-1."
Ronaldo's meteoric rise to stardom had began just months earlier as Ronaldo debuted with the Sporting first team in late 2002. In early August 2003, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal and just over a week later would be sold to Manchester United for a reported 15 million Euro.
"I remember him taking people on the wing. I think [Columbus Crew defender] Duncan [Oughton] cracked him a few times, because he was a handful, but you could tell there was something there that was special. He did a lot of the stepovers then. He just had a change of speed, a good cross, it was clear that he was a different level and he was young and fearless. Literally a month later, I read that he got sold to Manchester United and I saw his debut and sure enough it was him and he was a beast. Still a skinny frame and nowhere near the machine he is now, but it was pretty cool."
The rest is history.
In addition to our merch specials, look out for up to 60% off group ticket packages for 2014 that are only available on Friday morning at the team store!
Located in the Northeast corner of Toyota Stadium, the FC Dallas Team Shop is North Texas’ top location for fans to supply themselves with apparel and merchandise including all of the latest FCD products and the opportunity to personalize their official adidas Major League Soccer jerseys by printing names and numbers on the front and back.
Phone Number: 469-365-0260
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Game days: Opens at 2 p.m.
SEGMENT 1: Amid all of the World Cup qualifying matches taking place in various corners of the globe, Stein and Steve kick off the morning by reflecting on the United States' nil-nil draw in Scotland in the penultimate match of 2013 for Jurgen Klinsmann's side.
SEGMENT 2: Fresh off broadcasting the Scotland/USA game live from Hampden Park, Soccer Today favorite Derek Rae returns to the show to share some of his impressions of the U.S. national team ... Brek Shea and Sacha Kljestan specifically.
SEGMENT 3: Native New Zealander Duncan Oughton, now an assistant coach to countryman Ryan Nelsen at Toronto FC, joins the boys for the second straight week to discuss the Kiwis' daunting World Cup playoff series with Mexico. Is there any way they can make things competitive in the home leg in Wellington after absorbing a 5-1 rout in the first leg at the Azteca?
SEGMENT4: Cristiano Ronaldo v Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi's latest leg injury and the array of good international matches on show Tuesday are the prime topics on the table before the final whistle blows on another Soccer Sunday.
In celebration of 11/28 being our national day of Thanksgiving, we are offering a special season ticket promotion for $1,128. You choose between one of two great package options(Click the picture above to order):
Option #1 – Two (2) Red Sideline Seats in Section 103* (value of $1,512 – 22% savings)
Option #2 – Four (4) Blue Sideline Seats in Section 131* (value of $2,016 – 45% savings)
Each package comes with a 12-15 lb. turkey, which you can pick up at FC Dallas Stadium on Tuesday, November 26th! While you’re here, you will receive your FC Dallas season ticket scarves and can take your picture in the home team locker room.
- 5-month payment plan applies, making monthly payments as little as $282/month for up to four (4) seats
- All season ticket holder benefits apply, including Meet the Team Day, STH Gifts, all Merchandise/Concession benefits, and more
*season seats sold in this package will be located above row 15
**offer expires Friday, November 22nd at 5:00 pm
We're through Week 2 of Movember 2013 and the boys' 'staches are coming along nicely from where they were a week ago. Remember, you can join the Movember movement by joining or donating to the FC Dallas Team HERE.
With the offseason in full effect, we haven't received updated mugshots from all the guys yet, but we're happy to share the Week 2 pictures we have.
We're down to the final 16 of the MLSsoccer.com Save of the Year competition! Raul Fernandez had three saves nominated and while we're still waiting to see if one of them advanced to the round of 16, we know that two of the Peruvians saves have made it to the second round. In fact, they're matched up against each other in today's vote!
Now here's where it gets tricky, we don't want to vote equally and have neither of them advance so we're encouraging all FCD fans to vote for Raul's save vs. Los Angeles to up the votes for that one and get Superman into the final round of Save of the Year voting! You can vote through 1:59AM on Thursday, November 14 so get to clicking!
The end-of-season voting continues as Michel now needs your help getting out of the second round of the 2013 AT&T Goal of the Year competition. In order to advance to the semifinals, the Brazilian's Olimpico needs your vote to get past strikes by Will Johnson, Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio in Group 5.
Voting for Groups 5-8 is open until 11:59 pm PT on Tuesday, November 12 - that's 1:59 am CT on Wednesday, November 13 - so start voting NOW!