Today is Digital Day across FC Dallas platforms as we get prepped for Saturday's season opener against San Jose. Come back here at 2:00PM(or maybe a couple minutes earlier) to join in our annual online chat with FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja! Everyone who asks a question in today's chat with Papi will be entered to win an FC Dallas team-signed scarf so be sure to stick around because we will pick a winner at the end!
SEGMENT 1: Steve Davis and show producer Tyler Kern help get everyone set for Major League Soccer's 20th season; Who will win the East? The West? Who are the frontrunners for MVP and Golden Boot?
SEGMENT 2: ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno joins us for more MLS talk, including his thoughts on the ongoing labor trouble threatening to derail this week's first kick.
SEGMENT 3: We shift gears temporarily, visiting with ESPN FC's Steve Nicol about Premier League matters, including Sunday's biggie, Liverpool's win over Manchester City.
SEGMENT 4: Show co-host Marc Stein, stranded in the Northeast due to bad weather and unable to join in-studio, checks in by phone. We talk about the prevailing story lines in Major League Soccer's upcoming season.
FCD Week 2015 is kicked in to full gear as we can count the number of days to Saturday on just one hand!
For the second-straight year, Digital Day will take place on Tuesday of FCD Week, with player & technical staff chats throughout the day across FC Dallas digital properties as well as giveaways for you wonderful fans of ours.
Here's the full schedule:
ALL DAY - Giveaways on social media
11:30AM – FCD President Dan Hunt live Facebook chat(LEAVE YOUR ?'s HERE)
- Anyone who asks a question in the chat is entered to win an FC Dallas team-signed ball
1:00PM – Chris Seitz Reddit AMA(LINK COMING AT 12:45PM)
- Anyone who asks a question in the chat is entered to win a Seitz-signed and framed photo
1:30PM - Matt Hedges Twitter Takeover(FOLLOW US @FCDALLAS)
- Anyone who asks a question in the chat is entered to win a Hedges-signed and framed photo
2:00PM – Oscar Pareja FCDallas.com live chat(LEAVE YOUR ?'s HERE)
- Anyone who asks a question in the chat is entered to win an FC Dallas team-signed scarf
4:00PM – Fernando Clavijo live streaming YouTube Q&A(TWEET YOUR ?'s USING #ASKFERNANDO)
- Anyone who asks a question in the chat is entered to win an FC Dallas team-signed jersey
Both Major League Soccer and FC Dallas are no longer teenagers as we enter the 20th season and our Scarf of the Month in March pays homage to that exciting fact.
This adidas-produced scarf shows both where we've been and where we're going.
On one side is the FC Dallas name and logo which we have proudly called our own for the last ten years as well as the brand new MLS crest and our exclusive 20-year patch celebrating two decades of MLS in Dallas.
On the other side is a nod to the past with the Dallas Burn name and logo as well as the former MLS logo. In nine years as the Dallas Burn, we launched MLS in North Texas, winning the 1997 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as making the playoffs in seven out of nine seasons with a squad led by our current head coach Oscar Pareja as well as club legend Bobby Rhine.
Show your pride for the last two decades of MLS soccer in DFW with our March Scarf of the Month.
We've finally reached the final preseason game of 2015 as we sit just a week away from the huge season opener at Toyota Stadium against San Jose on March 7th!
There's still one more important matter, however, as FC Dallas looks to take down the reigning NASL Champions in the second-straight year the teams meet up in the final preseason match.
FC Dallas is 2-2-1 in five preseason matches with last Friday's 3-1 win over DC United still fresh in everyone's mind. Here are three things to watch for on Saturday night and be sure to head to FCDallas.com tomorrow night at 7:00PM to catch all the action from San Antonio.
Barrios' first game
One of the really interesting aspects to Saturday's friendly will be a first chance to see new signing Michael Barrios in his first action with FCD. The speedy winger joined the team for his first practices this week and Oscar Pareja has said he expects him to play a part in Saturday's game.
The duo of Michael Barrios and Fabian Castillo would surely be the fastest pair of wingers in the league and we could see that speed unleashed for the first time on Saturday night.
Loyd back in the mix
Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges provided one of the best center back combinations in the league through the second half of the 2014 season, but the pair hasn't had a lot of time to work together in the 2015 preseason as Loyd has had to sit much of it out with a minor injury. Zach was back in training this week and could end up playing a part in Saturday's game. It's certainly something to watch as significant minutes for Loyd would certainly suggest he's 100% to go for next Saturday's season opener.
The battle for Texas
Last season, FC Dallas locked down the hypothetical Texas championship belt defeating the Houston Dynamo in MLS and LHUSOC play while drawing San Antonio in preseason and also defeating them in LHUSOC play. While Dallas didn't get a chance to play Austin Aztex in the preseason tournament, Saturday's game is a chance to win yet another game against Texan opposition. Which is always important. #KingsOfTexas
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.
The season is nearly upon us and Friday night at Toyota Stadium, you'll get your first chance to see FC Dallas live and in person as we face DC United in the penultimate preseason match before things get started in full against San Jose. The match kicks off at 7:30PM and general admission tickets are just $10 and available right here.
Here are a few things to watch for in Friday's preseason match:
At this point, head coach Oscar Pareja is probably very close to set on his opening day lineup and Friday's match will give us a huge clue as to which 11 players will be suiting up on March seventh. In Austin, Pareja played a basically full strength lineup for the first hour of the match and indicated after practice on Thursday that he would have the same strategy on Friday against DC.
Keep an eye out on who starts across the back line as well as who starts in goal. Also, that right midfield position is certainly open, and it will be interesting to see whether Tesho Akindele or Ryan Hollingshead gets the nod on Friday night.
Speaking of Ryan Hollingshead, he's certainly been one of the best performers in preseason so far, earning starts in both preseason matches in Austin while scoring two goals in the 3-1 victory over Columbus.
With the right midfield spot open for battle among players like Hollingshead, Akindele and Coy Craft, the second-year Hollingshead has earned some very important preseason minutes and upped his game big time.
The former PAC-12 Player of the Year is now in his second year as a pro and you should watch him closely on Friday night as his work rate and skill on the bar are among the best on the team. Could he be the breakout player of 2015?
FC Dallas and DC United are meeting for the second time in six days on Friday and while they are both just preseason games, familiarity should certainly bring about a nice competitive game. Sunday's matchup was a physical affair that saw plenty of fouls and midfield play with most of the chances falling to Fabian Castillo and FC Dallas.
If FCD can again limit the DC chances to solo efforts from Fabian Espindola and Chris Rolfe while getting the ball to the feet of Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, Dallas should have plenty of opportunities to get the first home crowd of the season on their feet.
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.