By Jeremy Villanueva
FC Dallas may not have a home game tonight, but Toyota Stadium will be packed as four international sides begin their Gold Cup journey.
Panama, Haiti, Honduras and the United States were welcomed to Toyota Stadium and Toyota Soccer Center this week as they prepare for tonight’s doubleheader.
“It’s fantastic to see the community involved in the games and to see a training ground full of people coming to see the national teams train and having competition,” FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said. “…[It’s a] real cup, so it’s great to see how our community can take that opportunity. I like it.”
Five players will represent FCD in the tournament, including forward Blas Perez who will essentially play a home game tonight as his Panamanian squad takes on Haiti. Defender Je-Vaughn Watson, forward Tesho Akindele and midfielder Kyle Bekker open their group stage matches for their respective nations Wednesday. Defender Moises Hernandez will join in on the tournament in Guatemala’s first match Thursday.
“The first time they’re going to play in a Gold Cup for Tesho and Mo means a lot for the club to see how these guys are gaining their spot in the international stage,” Pareja said. “With Blas, Je-Vaughn and Kyle, this is the same. We’re still proud to have players who are important in their national team roster.”
Panama and Haiti will kick off the tournament at 6:00 p.m. tonight(FOX Sports 2) followed by the US and Honduras at 8:30 p.m(FOX Sports 1).
It has been over a year since Mauro Diaz had scored an MLS goal at Toyota Stadium, but he made this one worth the wait. The Argentine maestro pulled a page out of Ronaldinho's book sliding one under the wall and into the back of the next giving Dallas a lead they wouldn't look back from.
Mauro's goal has been nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week so give him your vote!
WATCH: GOTW Week 18
By Jeremy Villanueva
FC Dallas’ star duo Mauro Díaz and Fabian Castillo and head coach Oscar "Papi" Pareja were named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 18 after a 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Independence Day. “Super Mauro” played a role in all three goals, including an early free kick sent under the Revolution wall. Castillo extended his goal streak to three games, and Pareja led FCD to its third straight home shutout.
M: Mauro Díaz (FC Dallas) – The "Díaz Show" was on full display against the Revolution, as the Argentine weaved through New England's defense all night, ending up with a goal and an assist.
M: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – The Revolution could not deal with the Colombian's speed on Saturday, as Castillo wreaked havoc all night for FC Dallas.
Coach: Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas) - El Profe had his two stars going full throttle Saturday night as FC Dallas collected their second consecutive win.
Take a look at the fireworks on the field from FC Dallas' 3-0 win over New England Revolution on July 4th:
It's the annual July 4th extravaganza at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night presented by TXU Energy! There's so much going on around Toyota Stadium on Saturday night so here are the 10 things to know about the showdown with New England:
1. Saturday's match and post-game fireworks show are presented by TXU Energy and you'll want to arrive early as the first 5,000 fans receive a pair of light-up bam bam sticks! Who doesn't love something that lights up?
2. For anyone who has been to an FC Dallas July 4th game, you know it gets a little emotional at halftime when the American Fallen Soldiers Project presents the family of a fallen soldier with a painted portrait of their loved one. Our honorary Lamar Hunt Statue scarfer will be Phil Taylor from the AFSP, and you'll want to be by the Lamar Hunt Statue by 7:30 for that one.
3. If there's a little something off about our special match poster, it's because graphic designer Olivia Brestal has created a 3D poster for Saturday's match! Get yours in the team store which comes with a complementary pair of 3D glasses.
4. Meet defender Stephen Keel on the north concourse tomorrow near the TXU Energy oversized chair! Get your picture and autograph with the man himself.
5. Our opponent, New England, won the Eastern Conference last year but has been struggling recently. Get caught up with our Know Your Enemy feature.
6. Our merchandise special for Saturday's match is $5 off the Countrymen/USA flag tees so stop by the store and treat yo' self.
7. Tomorrow's match features the biggest July 4th fireworks show in town pres. by TXU Energy and that should be going off right around 15 minutes after the final whistle. It's going to be over the north end of the stadium so be sure to grab a good spot after FCD takes three points.
8. FC Dallas has been absolutely fantastic at home over the last year with a 13-2-2 record inside the friendly confines of Toyota Stadium in their last 17 games.
9. If you can't make the game, watch live on TXA21 with Mark Followill and Steve Jolley on the call. Remember you can also listen to tonight's game in English on 100.7FM The Word with Steve Davis and don't forget to tune into the post-game show on your drive home from Toyota Stadium. As always, our game is available in Spanish on 1270AM La Voz Del Pueblo with Carlos Alvarado and Rafa Calderon.
10. Tickets are very limited for Saturday's match but you can get yours HERE or you can call 1.888.FCD.GOAL and they'll get you set up with the best remaining seat in the house!
It's nearly time for the huge July 4th match against New England. Carter and Daniel break down the game in Keys to the Match driven by Toyota
As FC Dallas prepares to take on New England on July 4th, here are some numbers to keep in mind:
1 - New England has only won once in their last 10 MLS matches
3 - FC Dallas has won the last three matches between the clubs
2008 - The Revolution haven't won in Frisco since 2008 and are winless in their last five road games
1000 - There will be over 1000 fireworks as part of the post-match fireworks show
8 - FCD will be playing their third game in eight days on Saturday
2 - Fabian Castillo has scored in two consecutive matches for Dallas, can he make it three against the Revs?
7 - Charlie Davies leads New England with seven goals in 2015
257 - New England has commited 257 fouls this season. They have also suffered 257 fouls this season
13 - FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja played 13 games for New England before being traded to the Dallas Burn on May 26, 1998
The FC Dallas design team of Erik Davila & Olivia Brestal has done a fantastic job this year with their match posters and scarves of the month, but this might take the cake.
If the official match poster for Saturday's July 4th extravaganza vs New England looks a little bit off to you, there's a good reason. This week's match poster is a special 3D version bringing Zach Loyd to life(though don't worry, you can also see him on the Toyota Stadium field Saturday night as well).
The poster is available in the FCD Team Store on gameday and, of course, for every poster you purchase for $5, you'll get a pair of 3D glasses to enjoy it in all its glory. Quantities are very limited so be sure to arrive early and get yours before they sell out!
Our July Scarf of the Month is dedicated to the patriotic-filled month in North Texas.
FC Dallas will face the New England Revolution on Saturday, July 4, with the annual post-match fireworks show - one of the largest shows in the metroplex!
Then on Sunday, July 5, the U.S. Women's National Team will play for the 2015 Women's World Cup title at 6 p.m. - be sure to join us for our watch party at the Granada Theater!
Finally, the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will kick-off on Tuesday, July 7, with a doubleheader right here at Toyota Stadium - Panama will get the evening started as they play Haiti at 6:00 CT followed immediately by the U.S. Men's National Team facing Honduras at 8:30!
You don’t want to miss your opportunity to get your one-of-a-kind scarf celebrating America. Be sure to stop by the team store or buy it at the July 4 match-up against New England!
SPECIAL STORE HOURS THIS WEEK ONLY
Wednesday July 1st : 10am – 9pm
Thursday July 2nd : 10am – 7 pm
Friday July 3rd: 10am – 3pm
The U.S. Women will play for the 2015 Women's World Cup title on Sunday evening, and we want you to watch the game with us! We'll be returning to the Granada Theater on Sunday, July 5, for the 6 p.m. kick, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Tex Hooper and the FC Dallas Girls will be on-hand decked out in their Red, White and Blue to give out prizes.
More info to come later in the week, but mark your calendars now!
Please note this is a 21-and-up venue.