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27 January 3:59 pm

It'll be just a little bit longer until Homegrown signing Alex Zendejas joins the FCD first team. 

As expected, he's been called back into U-17 Residency as they prepare for the CONCACAF Championships and hopefully U-17 World Cup. Here's the full release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players to the 2015 Spring Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

In late February and early March, the U-17 MNT will be participating in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the CONCACAF region.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well. We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The U-17 Residency Program roster features 24 players who were with the team during the 2014 fall semester. The four newcomers to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez.

The Residency roster also includes 25 players currently registered with Development Academy clubs, and 27 in all with ties to the Academy.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.), Will Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (9): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matthew Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Texas), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Giuseppe Barone (Crew Soccer Academy Wolves; Grandville, Mich.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)

FORWARDS (8): Pierre Da Silva (Orlando City SC; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL; Durham, N.C.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Elvir Ibisevic (Sporting Iowa; Urbandale, Iowa), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.)

About the U-17 Residency Program:

The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and train in the morning under the guidance of the U.S. U-17 MNT coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily, but also has access to the IMG Academy facilities. The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists who work at the Academy. The IMG Academies include top-of-the-line soccer equipment, Bermuda grass fields, renovated student housing and dining facilities.

Since its inception, approximately 400 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 players have moved on to Major League Soccer and other professional leagues.

The first full-time U.S. Soccer Residency Program began on Jan. 17, 1999, when U.S. Soccer collected 20 of the country’s elite youth players to train year-round.

26 January 4:21 pm

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas will train this week at Toyota Soccer Center before departing on Sunday, Feb. 1, for a stint at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The team is scheduled to return to Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 8.

During its time in Florida, FC Dallas will face Orlando City SC in a friendly on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. CT at ChampionsGate Sports Field Complex. Dallas will then train for two days before facing Swedish second division side Jönköpings Södra at IMG Academy Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. CT.

Interested in traveling? Visit the IMG Academy MLS HQ

FC Dallas players and coaches are available for interviews, only as arranged through FC Dallas Communications, following each training session. Practices vary in length and times are subject to change. Media are encouraged to call FC Dallas Communications ahead of the scheduled times to confirm practice times and player / coach availability.

Weekly Training Schedule (All Times Central)
Date                                Time            Event                              Location 
Tuesday, Jan. 27            10 a.m.         Training                          AdvoCare Field 1
*Wednesday, Jan. 28       9 a.m.           Training                          AdvoCare Field 1
Thursday, Jan. 29           10 a.m.         Training                          AdvoCare Field 1
*Friday, Jan. 30                9 a.m.           Training                          AdvoCare Field 1
Saturday, Jan. 31            10 a.m.         Training                          AdvoCare Field 1
Sunday, Feb. 1                --                   Travel to Florida            --

* FC Dallas will also train at 4 p.m. CT. Only the morning sessions are open to media.

26 January 1:25 pm

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 national team begins its 2015 campaign this week; Marc Stein and Steve Davis talk about what we should expect from Jurgen Klinsmann and his players this year.

SEGMENT 2: Dallas born-and-raised Emerson Hyndman joins us live from Jamaica,  where he just helped the U.S. under-20s qualify for this year's FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

SEGMENT 3: NBC's Robbie Earle visits about a glorious FA Cup weekend and about his son, Otis Earle, joining FC Dallas as its first-round draft choice.

SEGMENT 4: The show hosts hop around the domestic news front, starting with some opinions on whether it's time for U.S. Soccer to finally cut ties with troubled goalkeeper Hope Solo.

25 January 6:35 pm

The players have returned for preseason and the 20th season of FC Dallas soccer is starting to come into focus.

Today, we've released single-game tickets for seven of the biggest games of the season, our 2015 premier matches. Throughout this week we're going to be highlighting each one on FCDallas.com as we celebrate "Marquee Matchups," taking a look towards the 2015 season. Stay tuned each day this week as we highlight one of the seven biggest games coming to Toyota Stadium in 2015.

Marquee Matchups Game One - March 7 vs. San Jose Earthquakes

No matter what sport you're watching, there's nothing like opening day.

Every team is 0-0-0 with championship aspirations and whether you're looking to improve on last season and show that you mean business or simply looking to prove that the previous season was no fluke, the first game of the year is always one you don't want to miss as a fan. There's just something special about that first time you walk through the stadium gates for a new season, getting your first glimpse at the new players while also seeing those familiar faces back on the field for another year. 

BUY YOUR TIX FOR MARCH 7 VS SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

There's all the new signage around the stadium, the new banners outside(which will be awesome) and that first look at the new pump up videos. On March 7 at 7:30PM, it all gets started again, and let's face it: You're not missing this one. 

For FC Dallas, the 2015 season marks the eighth-straight year that FCD will open the season at Toyota Stadium with the team going 3-1-3 in that stretch, having won their last three home openers. 

Who can forget last year's season opener in which Oscar Pareja returned to the place he calls home to see Mauro Diaz produce his first of many master-class performances, scoring a brilliant game-winning free kick early in the second half to seal a 3-2 win over Montreal. It would be the first stanza of Mauro's brilliant March that saw him win Etihad Player of the Month while propelling Dallas to a 4-0-1 start to the season. 

It's opening night. It gives me chills every time. It's going to be a huge crowd coming off last year's playoff drama. You don't want to miss this one.

25 January 6:06 pm

Mexico continued their recent dominance of the CONCACAF U-20 championships winning their third in a row as they topped Panama in PKs on Saturday in Jamaica.

FC Dallas Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez proved to be one of the heroes as the netminder saved two PKs in the shootout that saw El Tri take home the trophy.

Gonzalez allowed just three goals in five games for El Tri posting two shutouts for the eventual champions who easily qualified for the U20 World Cup this summer in New Zealand.

USA books a spot in New Zealand with win over El Salvador

Despite a rough start, the US U-20s rebounded fantastically well and sealed their spot in New Zealand with a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the winner-take-all knockout game.

Though Kellyn Acosta was forced to miss the second half of the tournament, he expressed his excitement on Twitter yesterday after the US qualified. 

23 January 4:19 pm

Day one of the 2015 FC Dallas preseason is in the books and like every first day it was full of optimism as Oscar Pareja and FCD look to improve on their Western Conference Semifinal finish last season. Here's a little bit of news, notes, pics and quotes from today's practice.

Notes: 

  • Today was mainly a fitness day for FC Dallas as the team works under new fitness coach Fabian Bazan. There was a notably long stretching session before the team did some more running drills. After that the balls came out and some short-sided passing drills ensued before the players went on a long run around the complex finishing up with more running inside AdvoCare Field 1. 
  • Yep, it was basically a training full of running. 
  • FC Dallas will continue their week of training in Frisco before departing for the IMG Academy in Florida with two practices on Saturday at 9AM and 4PM and one practice on Sunday at 10AM. 
  • Except for the players away with their respective national teams, nearly everyone was out at training today including all the draft picks, though new midfielder Kyle Bekker was absent and is set to train tomorrow for the first time
  • By my count there were four trialists besides the draft picks at training today including two familiar faces in former FCD Academy standouts Jack Coleman and Damian Rosales. Jack played 17 games at Duke as a senior scoring one goal and one assist while Rosales was a four-year standout at SMU earning Second-Team All-AAC honors as a senior finishing second on the team in goals with six playing in an attacking wing back role.

Quote of the day:

"I’d say that he’s one of the best signings that we can have here. I’m very proud of the club and really grateful for the support of the ownership and front office putting into the project. Fabian is going to help our players tremendously. He’s a high level fitness coach and not just that, but he’s another assistant due to his knowledge about the game so it’s a great package to have."

-Oscar Pareja on new fitness coach Fabian Bazan

Pictures:

Here are some fanastic pics from practice courtesy of Olivia Brestal -

 

 

 

 

22 January 1:53 pm

Let the 2015 preseason begin. 

FC Dallas announced today that they will officially open 2015 preseason camp on Friday, January 23rd at 10:00 A.M. on AdvoCare Field 1 outside Toyota Stadium. 

FCD will continue preseason training with two practices on Saturday, January 24th at 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. with their final practice of the weekend on Sunday at 10:00 A.M., all on AdvoCare Field 1. 

FC Dallas will train in Frisco throughout the next week before heading to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL on February 1st where they will train for a week with games to be announced before returning back to Frisco. 

Here is the full FC Dallas roster as we open 2015 preseason:

Goalkeepers:  Jesse Gonzalez***, Dan Kennedy, Chris Seitz. 
Defenders:  Kellyn Acosta, Otis Earle, Matt Hedges*, Moises Hernandez, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Will Seymore, Walker Zimmerman.  
Midfielders:  Kyle Bekker, Coy Craft, Mauro Diaz, Danny Garcia, Atiba Harris, Jaineil Hoilett, Ryan Hollingshead, Michel, Cobi Span, Victor Ulloa, Alejandro Zendejas**. 
Forwards:  Tesho Akindele*, Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez, David Texeira.
*Currently in training camp with the U.S. Men’s National Team
**Currently with the U.S. U-17 National Team
***Currently with the Mexico U-20 National Team

NOTE: FC Dallas players and coaches are available for interviews,only as arranged through FC Dallas Communications,following the morning training sessions. Practices vary in length and times are subject to change. Media are encouraged to call FC Dallas Communications ahead of the scheduled times to confirm practice times and player / coach availability.

 

22 January 12:32 pm

As you probably already know, FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges and reigning AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele are currently in training camp with the U.S. Men's National Team. Before heading to Santiago, Chile next week for the USMNT's first friendly of the year, the boys have been training in Carson, CA at the StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy.

Our friends at the Galaxy were kind enough to snap some training photos and send them our way this week. So we picked out EVERY photo featuring Matt or Tesho (whether they were the focus of the picture or not) to share with you. ENJOY!

Photo Credit: Hana Asano (Click on photo for larger version)


Headers with Matt!

Kicks with Tesho!

Blurry Matt.

Blurrier Matt!

Tesho lurking in the background.

How many differences can you spot in this photo?

"Do blondes really have more fun?"

Tesho vs. Jermaine! Fourth of July preview, anyone?

Tesho wins!

Blurry Tesho photobomb!

 

21 January 2:57 pm

FC Dallas added another major piece to the 2015 puzzle on Wednesday trading allocation money for Toronto FC midfielder Kyle Bekker. The Canadian has 29 appearances in two years in MLS as well as 13 apperances for the Canadian National Team including seven starts. His last appearance for Canada came in a 0-0 draw against Panama in late November. 

So what kind of player is FC Dallas getting in Bekker? Well we definitely have some information to break down the 24-year-old's game. 

READ: FCD acquires Kyle Bekker, officially signs Atiba Harris

There is certainly a lot of similarities to Victor Ulloa in Bekker's game. They're both two-way midfielders who have a little more defensive tint to their game than offensive, but they do a good job at retaining the ball and getting it to the dangermen. For an FC Dallas midfield that found itself thin as the season wore on last year, Bekker will provide another nice piece of depth that will not only contend for a starting spot on a weekly basis but push a player like Ulloa to be better as well.

Perhaps the best part of Bekker's season to evaluate is an eight-game stretch in early April to early June during which he started every game with Toronto going 4-3-1 in their best eight-game stretch of their beleagured 2014 campaign. In those eight games, Bekker was, according to Squawka, the highest rated player on the TFC roster earning the highest marks in possession as well as showing strongly defensively(see graphic below). It's a small sample size, for sure, but it certainly suggests that the Canadian is no slouch in the center of the park.

He found playing time difficult to find in the second half of the season as Toronto FC nose-dived to the finish winning just two of their last 13 games in a stretch that saw Ryan Nelsen replaced at manager by Greg Vanney. With a new coach and new ideas came the trade of a player that never quite seemed to fit into TFC's plans despite obvious talent. 

According to Squawka, Bekker finished the season with a passing accuracy of 83% of which 79% were forward passes which compares to 85% passing accuracy of Victor Ulloa of which 80% were forward passes so those numbers obviously match up well also. 

Just 24 years old and with two years of MLS under his belt, Bekker is a very low risk and high upside acquisition for FC Dallas that gives more depth in the midfield and another player that could flourish under the tutilage of head coach Oscar Pareja. 

20 January 4:55 pm

 

MLS Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele is now through a week of his first USMNT camp and some great media stories have come in about the FC Dallas forward who still remains ineligible to actually play in a game for the US and has a decision to make about his future. 

Jon Arnold of Goal.com is in Carson at USMNT camp and filed this report on Tesho.

He feels like one of the guys off the pitch as well, though one of the biggest surprises came when he realized the intensity that can come with a national team camp.

"I think a lot of the guys, it’s just crazy the switch that gets flipped," he said. "Like, once training starts, guys get super intense and if you make a mistake everybody’s getting on you. But in the locker room, everybody’s joking around and having a good time."

Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.com is also in California and writes that Tesho is getting a feel for life with the USMNT under Juergen Klinsmann.

"He's doing really well, Tesho," Klinsmann said. "The goal with players like him or Julio Morales (another young dual-national who is also in this camp) or others that came in before is that they may get a feeling for our environment. They may get a feeling for their teammates, how things are run with the U.S. program and then down the road they make their decision. Together with their family, they have to go the direction they feel most comfortable with. I think so far he's having a blast. He's doing fine, he's looking sharp."