The USMNT is returning to Toyota Stadium for the first time since March 28, 2007 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup curtain-raiser and it's both a long overdue return and a well-deserved reward for the Dallas sports fans who have taken soccer support to another level in the last year.
You sold out Toyota Stadium for the largest American crowd to watch the USWNT in 2014, packed downtown Dallas three times for USMNT 2014 World Cup watch parties, set all-time attendance records at Toyota Stadium for FC Dallas games and brought the support for FCD to a new level during our MLS Cup Playoff run and now you have a red, white and blue matchup to look forward to this summer.
While the USMNT has played twice at Toyota Stadium, it is fair to say neither match was the marquee game we will see at Toyota Stadium on July 7th as the national team begins their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quest which Jurgen Klinsmann has called "the number one priority for the senior National Team in 2015."
Let's take a look at the two other times the USMNT has played at Toyota Stadium:
February 19, 2006 - USMNT 4, Guatemala 0
The first-ever visit of the national team to a brand new Toyota Stadium(then Pizza Hut Park) was played in absolutely frigid winter conditions as anyone who was at the USWNT game against New Zealand can relate to. It was even colder than that.
A USMNT squad beginning their 2006 World Cup preparation featured a mix of both young and old with Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan making his debut while stalwarts like Brian Ching, Frankie Hejduk and Ben Olsen also suited up for Bruce Arena's team.
A surprisingly robust crowd saw Ben Olsen open the scoring with a beautiful volley with Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Chris Klein rounding out the scoring.
(If you can name that full starting XI, you're a true US Soccer old schooler).
March 28, 2007 - USMNT 0, Guatemala 0
Just a year later, Guatemala returned to Toyota Stadium for another friendly against the USMNT, though this one was played on a Wednesday night with what can only be described as a weakened USMNT squad beginning to prepare for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The weekend matchup saw fan favorite Kenny Cooper and others like Frank Simek and Justin Mapp make some of their only USMNT appearances in the goalless draw.
Three FCD players are currently out on international duty right now as Blas Perez is with Panama for the 2014 Copa Centroamericana, Je-Vaughn Watson joined Jamaica for an international friendly at Canada and Jesse Gonzalez plays with the Mexico U-20 National Team at an international tournament in China.
WATCH: Panama 2 Costa Rica 2
Blas Perez and Panama started their 2014 Copa Centroamericana on Sunday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and the man known as "Raton" had a great game for La Marea Roja, scoring and drawing a penalty in Panama's 2-2 draw. Panama had a 2-0 lead against the Ticos before conceding two late goals.
The Copa Centroamericana is a relatively complicated tournament, but we'll do our best to explain the situation as Panama heads into their final group stage game tonight in Houston against Nicaragua. Panama is in a three-team group with the winner advancing to the championship game, 2nd place advancing to the 3rd place match and 3rd place advancing to the fifth place match.
The winner of the Copa Centroamericana championship advances to the 2016 Copa America to be held in the United States, so there's certainly a huge prize on the line with that. The third place game is relatively meaningless as both teams will qualify for a 2015 Gold Cup while the winner of the fifth place game will qualify for the 2015 Gold Cup qualification playoff against a team from the Caribbean Cup.
Panama needs to beat Nicaragua tonight by more than three goals to qualify for the championship game. If they win 3-0, it will go to a coinflip. If they win 2-0 or 1-0 they'll qualify for the 3rd place game while if they lose they will make it to the fifth place game. Clear as mud right?
Je-Vaughn Watson joined up with a young Jamaica squad to face Canada at BMO Field in Toronto on Tuesday night.
The Reggae Boys fell 3-1 to the hosts in Canada's first win in over two years.
Watson played 90 minutes for Jamaica in midfield, but did not get on the score sheet.
Two FC Dallas players will have their eyes looking south tonight as Blas Perez's Panama battles Peru's Raul Fernandez in an international friendly between the sides in Lima. Obviously neither Blas nor Raul who returned to the training field on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's match against Colorado were called in for the game which features mainly domestic teams, but they'll still be rooting on their countries from here in Dallas.
"Obviously Peru!" Fernandez said with a smile when asked who would win tonight. "It’s a great game and they called up a team of guys who are new to the national team to come together and see how they play. It should be a good game."
For Panama, the match is a first for new manager Hernan "Bolillo" Gomez as Panama prepares for September's Copa Centroamerica which will serve as a qualifier for the 2015 Gold Cup.
"It’s the first game of a new cycle for Panama with young players who play locally and are very hungry to wear the shirt of the country," said Perez through a translator. "They’re young players getting their first opportunity to prove themselves to a new coach so it’s a good opportunity for everyone."
As for the friendly rivalry between the two, they diplomatically said they wouldn't put anything on the line for tonight's match since they're not playing in it.
"Since neither of us are playing in the game we won’t put anything on it and just enjoy," said Perez. "We’re brothers here at FC Dallas, so we will just have fun with it."
While on summer break from US Soccer Development Academy play, Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has stayed busy joining up with the Mexico Youth National team to play in the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. Playing in a four-team division with the US, Denmark and Northern Ireland, Mexico needed a win on the last day of the tournament over Northern Ireland to take home the Milk Cup and that's exactly what they did.
Goals from Kevin Gutierrez & Hirving Lozano gave Mexico a 2-1 win over the hosts to win their second Milk Cup in a row. It's tough to find any lineup information, though it does seem as if Gonzalez did not feature in the final match against Northern Ireland. Click here to see highlights from the match including Gutierrez's stunning free kick.
In addition, click here to view a Facebook photo album from the event featuring more of the awesome celebration photos.
The U.S. Men's National Team takes on Costa Rica tonight (9 p.m. CT, ESPN) in a crucial World Cup Qualifier. If you're looking for a place to watch with friends in a soccer-friendly atmosphere, pay a visit to any one of our Pub Partners from around the DFW-Metroplex. You can see where all of our Pub Partners are located here.
You can visit The Staggering Irishman in North Dallas, where the FC Dallas Girls will be promoting next weekend's Party at the Pubs watch party presented by Budweiser for the FC Dallas match against the New England Revolution at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.
Or you could take in the game at Lemon Bar & Grill in Frisco, where there will also be a live Beatles cover band (A Hard Day's Night). Be sure to get there at 8 p.m. for a special Hope Park fundraiser event. The entire $10 cover charge plus 10% of all food and drink sales will go towards Hope Park, and there will be a blind auction with some awesom items available that will benefit the future Frisco park. The Hope Park project was FC Dallas' 2012 Community MVP, so go out and support a great cause and then support the USMNT!
The Allen Wickers in Plano will also be running some exclusive food and drink specials during the match, including $3 Heinekens and a $6.99 chicken tender basket. And Londoner Frisco will be offering beer buckets (five bottles) for $12.
NEW YORK – Organizers of the Mexican National Team 2012 U.S. Tour announced today that Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX has been sold out for the international soccer match between Mexico and Brazil on June 3. In addition, organizers announced the Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina game on May 31 at Chicago’s Soldier Field is approaching capacity. Limited tickets for that match are still available via Ticketmaster, by calling 1-800-745-3000 and other Ticketmaster locations.
Fans attending both matches are urged to arrive early to avoid traffic and long waits, as well as enjoy Fútbol Fiesta, a 120,000 square-feet interactive soccer fan zone which opens four hours before kickoff just outside the stadium and features live entertainment, sponsor exhibits, celebrities and interactive games.
The game at Cowboys Stadium, presented by Degree Men, will close-out Mexico’s 2012 five-game U.S. Tour. This will mark the third time Mexico plays, and sells out, the state-of-the-art Texas venue since its 2009 inauguration.
From MLSSoccer.com is this recap of the U.S./Cuba match. It wasn't much of a contest. Read the whole recap here, but we've sliced out the details involving FC Dallas' Brek Shea, who started the match and was subbed out in the second half when it became lopsided:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The outcome of the United States Under-23 squad's opening match of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying wasn't in doubt for long. Joe Corona tallied a hat trick, including the opening strike in the 11th minute, in a 6-0 rout of 10-man Cuba at LP Field on Thursday night.
Freddy Adu and Juan Agudelo also scored, and the Americans benefited from an own-goal in a dominating and impressive effort from Caleb Porter's young squad.
The Americans made it 2-0 in the 37th minute. A quick restart on a free kick went to Brek Shea in the left channel, and the FC Dallas star lofted an inch-perfect cross to Agudelo. The New York Red Bulls star was by himself streaking toward the six-yard box, and confidently headed it in.
The US then added their fourth in the 43rd minute. Shea found a through ball on the left side of the goal and curled a cross in for Agudelo, but Diz Pe bungled it into the net before the mohawked striker could pounce.
In their next tilt on Saturday, the US will face a Canadian side that drew 0-0 with El Salvador in a listless opening game.
(Photo courtesy Rick Yeatts)
The U-18s celebrate Danny Garcia's goal against Barcelona at last year's Dallas Cup.
Dallas Cup has officially announced that the FC Dallas U-18 Academy team will be facing the Manchester United Reserves at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday, April 1 in the third and final match of the traditional Sunday triple header on Opening Day of Dallas Cup XXXIII. Man U's Academy squad will be participating in the AEGON Future Cup in Amsterdam Easter weekend, so Dallas soccer fans will be thrilled to hear that Manchester United Reserve coach Warren Joyce will be bringing a roster of age-eligible second-string professionals to Frisco.
"We're going to the Dallas Cup in the US," Joyce told Inside United. "There are a lot of good teams going and we felt it would be valuable experience for this group of boys."
“We are excited to participate again in this year’s Dallas Cup and playing in the Super Group will be a great opportunity to compete against some of the best teams from around the world," said Vice President of FC Dallas Youth Chris Hayden. "Opening up on April 1 against Manchester United, one of the world’s most storied and prestigious clubs, will be a great way to measure our players and team and we are looking forward to the competition.”
FC Dallas will once again be participating in Dallas Cup as members of the Gordon Jago Super Group. Last year they played Barcelona on the Stadium Field, and the year before that they faced off with Chelsea in the stadium.
"(It will be) a great opportunity for the young FC Dallas players to go up against such a famous club team and for the FC Dallas supporters and Dallas soccer fans to cheer them on in such a prestigious game," said Dallas Cup Executive Director Gordon Jago.
The other two opening day games feature 2011 English Premier Academy League Champions Everton FC facing 2012 Copa Sao Paulo semi-finalists from Brazil, Coritiba FC at 1:30 p.m. and French Academy League Champions Paris Saint-Germain vs. Seleccion Nacional de Mexico Sub 20 at 3:30 p.m.