After FC Dallas' 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids ealier this month, the FC Dallas Special Olympics team played the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics squad in the second match of a doubleheader that evening.
The event was a resounding success, and one part of what made it all possible was the volunteerism of a handful of FC Dallas Youth players. With 10 players on the roster, the Special Olympics team needed a few volunteers in order to accomodate an 11v11 full-field game.
They got the extra players they needed in FC Dallas U-18 ECNL players Jordan Mulnix, Makenna Johnson and Ashley Bishop and ECNL U-23 forward Hannah Higgins [above, bottom row, left four].
"It was an incredible atmosphere," said Higgins, a recent University of Texas graduate who has played for FCD's U-23 team for the past three summers. "I know the [Special Olympics players] were super excited to get out there and play."
Higgins' younger brother is a Special Olympics athlete and her father is president of the Flower Mound Special Olympics. She said as soon as the opportunity came up she knew she wanted to help any way she could.
"I definitely try to give back to Special Olympics," she said. "Whenever I can I try to go out and help coach my brother’s Special Olympics team or just volunteer, whether it’s hanging out with the kids or coming to cheer them on."
That kind of volunteerism is something encouraged through the PRACTICE program, which is a character-building initiative FC Dallas Youth uses to reinforce traits such as Compassion, Respect and Integrity in players both on and off the pitch.
"It was a really fulfilling experience for me," said High School senior Ashley Bishop, a midfielder for the U-18 ECNL team. "[The Special Olympics players] were so pumped to play in the stadium. They were super excited and I think they all had a lot of fun. It was a really good experience for everyone."
With the support from FC Dallas Youth, the front office and the thousands of fans who cheered the team on throughout the match, the Special Olympics athletes got the memorable night they deserved.
"To have the opportunity to play on a professional field in front of professional athletes; I think they felt like superstars that night. For all of us that volunteered, that’s what we wanted; we wanted them to feel like superstars."
It's back to school time for college students across the area, and we want to send you back to class in style! Look out for the FC Dallas Soccer Tour including our inflatable goal(at most events), FC Dallas giveaways including koozies, sunglasses & t-shirts, a chance to win tickets to the LA Galaxy game & a team autographed ball as well as information on our upcoming college night on Saturday, September 13th against Vancouver.
Here's our full DFW college campus tour:
The accolades keep rolling in for FC Dallas this week on the back of their 5-0 win in San Jose. FC Dallas had two players and their head coach named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week, while three FCD players also appeared on the Week 23 Castrol Index Top 20.
On the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week, we saw Fabian Castillo, Tesho Akindele and Oscar Pareja make the weekly best XI. Here's what they had to say:
F: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – Two great solo goals, an assist, and easily the best player on the pitch. Virtually unplayable at times against the Earthquakes.
Coach: Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas) – In what was supposed to be a must-win for San Jose, Pareja and FCD turned the game at Buck Shaw into a laugher.
On the weekly Castrol Index, rookie Tesho Akindele finished in the top spot overall after scoring a hat trick against San Jose. Fabian Castillo finished fifth on the list while goalkeeper Raul Fernandez who earned a shutout in the win finished 10th.
Fabian Castillo was absolutely unstoppable on Saturday night in San Jose notching two goals and an assist in the 5-0 rout of the Earthquakes. Castillo has a goal or an assist in his last 10 MLS/LHUSOC matches and has a career-high eight goal in MLS this season. Castillo's first goal in San Jose, an unbelievable mazy run that beat practically the entire 'Quakes back line, has been nominated for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. This is his third nomination this season.
WATCH: GOTW Week 23
Saturday's 5-0 win at San Jose was pretty epic. Not only did Tesho Akindele make his claim for MLS Rookie of the Year, but Fabian Castillo showed everyone that he's perhaps the hottest attacking player in the league right now. Here's some of the numbers behind FCD's historic win:
-Tesho scored the first rookie hat trick in franchise history and fifth MLS hat trick overall in franchise history [Jeff Cunningham, Bobby Rhine, Jason Kreis & Dante Washington].
-Saturday was the seventh rookie hat trick in MLS history [Brian Maisonneuve, Pat Noonan, Will Bruin, Zack Schilawski, Kekuta Manneh, Harrison Shipp].
-In the match, Tesho broke Aleksey Korol’s franchise rookie record of five goals in a season set back in 2000
-Tesho has scored six goals in his last six games, beating the FCD franchise rookie record for scoring in just his last six games.
-Tesho leads all MLS rookies in goals, one ahead of Harrison Shipp.
-Fabian Castillo has a goal or an assist in ten straight MLS & LHUSOC matches dating back to May 31st. FCD is 7-1-2 in that stretch of games.
-Fabian Castillo currently leads FC Dallas in MLS scoring with eight goals and all competitions with 12 goals.
-Fabian’s two goals on Saturday take him to eight for the season, a new single-season career high for him.
-In this 10-game stretch, Fabian has nine goals and six assists.
-Saturday's win over San Jose coupled with our 1-0 win at Chivas USA on August 3rd mark the first back-to-back road wins since 8/15/12 at Vancouver & 8/18/12 at RSL.
-With 1-0 and 5-0 wins in our last two road matches, FCD marks their first back-to-back road shutout wins in nearly ten years dating back to 5/28/05 at DC & 6/4/05 at RSL
-Saturday’s 5-0 win was the largest road win by margin of victory in FC Dallas franchise history.
-Saturday’s 5-0 win was San Jose’s worst loss by margin of victory in their 519-game franchise history.
-Saturday marked the 10th time FCD has scored at least five goals in franchise history.
-Saturday was the fourth time in franchise history FCD has won by at least a five-goal margin.
-Saturday was the fifth time in franchise history FCD has scored at least five goals on the road.
Five goals. All of them for the good guys. Here's your match highlights:
Scott and Daniel break down this weekend's Western Conference matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Newest FC Dallas Homegrown signing Coy Craft has been called up to the U-18 MNT for a tournament in the Czech Republic starting today. Here are the details:
CHICAGO (Aug. 13, 2014) – U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez has named his 20-man roster that will make the trip to the Czech Republic for the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek from Aug. 14-24.
The roster includes players from 10 states. California has the most representatives with six on the squad. Cameron Carter-Vickers, a member of Tottenham, is the only player currently living and playing abroad. Haji Wright is the sole member born in 1998, as the remaining 19 were all born in 1997.
Four players on the roster recently played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 final. Jorge Ruiz and Malcolm Jones were part of 2014 national champion LA Galaxy. Justen Glad and Sabastian Saucedo led their Real Salt Lake AZ squad to a runner-up finish. Of the 20 players, 19 have ties to the Development Academy.
The U.S. U-18s last saw action at the Lisbon International Tournament and had a foreign training camp in Portugal from May 31-June 11. The U.S. went 0-2-1 over three games, tying Norway on June 6 and falling to Portugal 2-0 on June 8 and Sweden 1-0 on June 10.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham; Westcliff on Sea, Essex), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Mukwelle Akale (Unattached; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Jorge Ruiz (LA Galaxy; Mission Hills, Calif.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Sean Wilson (Philadelphia Union; West Chester, Pa.), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (4): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca Raton, Fla.), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Haji Wright (Unattached; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Here are your match photos from Tuesday's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semifinal courtesy of Olivia Brestal, Erik Davila & USA Today Sports Images: