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."
Welcome to the 5th edition of the FCDallas.com series "Getting Personal". This week I caught up with Urguayan striker David Texeira.
David was born in Salto, Uruguay and lived there for almost his entire childhood. In 2010 when he was 18, he made his professional debut with a top club in Uruguay, Defensor Sporting. A year later he was transferred to FC Groningen, a team in Holland. In 2011, Texeira played in the U-20 World Cup with the Uruguay National Team. FC Dallas acquired David earlier this year. He has started in four games so far this season and has scored one goal for the team.
- What's your favorite soccer memory?
David: I think when I started to play in the first divison when I was 18 years old.
- You played in the Netherlands for a few years...what was your favorite part about being over there besides playing soccer?
David: It was also the life, living in Europe is totally different. Holland is a nice country with nice people and a different culture so it was nice to be over there and meet new people and see new cities. It was great.
- What's your favorite type of music?
David: Latino music of course, we like reggaeton but when I was in Europe I was used to listening to techno because that's what they listen to in Holland. There's a type of South American music called cumbia that I listen to a lot.
- What was it like growing up in Uruguay?
David: It was good, I was with my family and my friends and they've always supported me in soccer since I was 4 years old so it's been a long time.
- Is there anything you like to spend your money on?
David: Not really. I try to save it because this can be a short career so you have to be smart about it.
- What's your favorite part about being here in America so far?
David: I like being in America and as I told you before, it's nice to have a change and see new things and meet new people.
- Do you have a routine before each game?
David: Not really, I just try to relax and save energy and look ahead.
- What's your favorite goal you've ever scored?
David: It was in Europe, it was a side volley goal and I had a hat trick during the game too so I remember that day.
Segment 1: Stein and Steve reflect on a wild final night in World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF, which saw mighty Mexico come perilously close to elimination from soccer's grand stage next summer before being rescued by two late goals in Panama from their old friends south of the border.
Segment 2: American star Landon Donovan says he's not sure Mexico, if the roles were reversed, would have tried so hard to win a game in extra time if it meant helping the United States qualify for the World Cup. Is Landon right? Should the Americans have let Panama close out a 2-1 victory that would have eliminated Mexico? The boys discuss.
Segment 3: The one and only Andres Cantor, fresh off calling Costa Rica's 2-1 victory over Mexico for Telemundo, joins the guys to talk about the state of Mexico's chaos-ridden team after its great Hex escape and yet another coaching change headed into next month's two-legged World Cup playoff with New Zealand.
Segment 4: Clint Dempsey is still looking for his first goal as a Seattle Sounder, but the proud Texan was kind enough to sit down and touch on a number of hot topics after a 2-0 defeat to FC Dallas that threatens to knock Seattle out of the playoffs. The highlights of that conversation are all here.
Letting a two-goal lead slip away with under ten minutes left makes for a long trip home no matter the opponent.
Still, despite coming away from Canada with the solitary point, Zach Loyd knows earning four points from consecutive road games against TFC and New England is an acceptable overall result.
"We come out [of the road trip] with four points, so from that perspective it was a great road trip," Loyd said after Saturday's game. "It was frustrating not to get the six points after being up two goals, but we are very happy to come away with four points. Now, we get two home games where we hope to win both of them and stay at the top of the table."
Before Justin Braun's 85th minute header ended the defensive shutout streak at 272 minutes, the Dallas defense held TFC to just three speculative shots on goal, but unfortunately all that will be remembered is the two late strikes from the home side.
"We got a two goal lead, but we kind of took our foot off the pedal and started sitting in and tried to kill the game instead of continuing to play," said Loyd. "We took a lot of pressure in the last 30 minutes and I tip my hat to Toronto, they were down two goals and they showed a lot of resilience to come back and get two goals."
With LA - a team known for late goals - coming to town on Saturday night, late-game defense will certainly be a focus this week as Dallas looks for three points on Saturday to widen their first-place lead in the Western Conference.
"Going forward with leads we need to not take our foot off the pedal and keep possession," said Loyd.
On Thursday, Dan Hunt joined the FC Dallas Facebook page for his weekly chat with the fans about anything and everything related to FCD. Among the topics discussed include third jerseys, Ajax, and Dan's favorite cold beverage(when he's away from the Budweiser Beer Garden, of course).
Click here to replay the full chat and start thinking of your question for Dan in next week's chat!
Once again, Dan Hunt sat down for his weekly Facebook chat with FC Dallas fans on Thursday afternoon. Hunt answered well over a dozen questions in this week's edition of the chat, and topics ranged from the FC Dallas Academy, to this week's fashion shoot with the players in conjunction with Nieman Marcus, to potential improvements to FC Dallas Stadium and more.
Hunt Sports Group Vice President Dan Hunt sat down for his weekly chat with fans on the FC Dallas Facebook page on Thursday morning. During the chat, Hunt addressed a number of topics in response to fan questions; including the result against Chivas USA, the club's recent television deal, expectations for Kenny Cooper's first season back in an FC Dallas kit and more.
The chats are part of Hunt's recent initiative to be as interactive with FC Dallas fans as possible. The chats take place every Thursday, and you can see all of his answers from this week's chat on the FC Dallas Facebook page here.
A Dallas native, Hunt also wants to interact with FCD fans via his new Twitter account, @DanHuntFCD.
"I want the fans of this club to know how invested I am in the continued growth and success of FC Dallas, and the best way to make sure they know that is for me to talk with them directly," said Hunt. "Social media makes that communication extremely easy for me to let them know that we're all hoping and working for the same thing, and that is for FC Dallas to be a championship team."
Julian de Guzman's last minute heroics against Vancouver have made him the talk of the soccer world this week. ESPN's Jeffrey Carlisle chatted with de Guzman about his revival in Dallas, his time in Toronto and that magical goal that has FC Dallas in the playoff hunt. The entire story is worth your time, but here's an excerpt:
While Toronto limps to another last place finish in the Eastern Conference, de Guzman's arrival has helped revive Dallas' campaign, and his contributions go well beyond his stoppage-time winner last weekend against Vancouver. Overall, de Guzman's play has been sharp, and this is borne out by statistics provided by OPTA. de Guzman's pass completion percentage has been 83.4 percent since joining FCD, compared to just 70.5 percent while with Toronto.
How to explain such a difference then? Is it a case of being surrounded by better players? Is it a matter of style? Or is de Guzman simply in a better place mentally now that his Toronto nightmare is over? It's likely a combination of all three. The arrival of de Guzman in Dallas coincided roughly with the return of several injured players, including 2010 MVP David Ferreira. Just as important, de Guzman feels FCD's playing style suits him better.
FC Dallas midfielder Daniel Hernandez draws inspiration from his younger brother Nico, whose career was cut short by a car accident in college that left him paralyzed from the waist down.