FC Dallas has arrived in United Arab Emirates after the overseas flight and some pictures have begun coming in via Instagram!
Things are going to be pretty slow at FCDallas.com over the next couple weeks as World Cup Way shuts down for the holidays before stepping full throttle on the gas as we barrel towards the 2014 season in the new years. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to take a final look back at 2013 over the next couple of weeks and relive some of the great content churned out by the FCD digital team over the last year(or maybe it's just a cheap ploy to up our page view numbers in the final days of the year).
Either way, over the next couple weeks we'll take a stroll down memory lane.
2013 FCDallas.com Year in Review: Preseason
The country came to a stop in late December 2012 as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shocked us all. In an effort to help restore some normalcy to the community, the soccer world organized "Soccer Night in Newtown" and two FC Dallas players took part in the event. In addition, midfielder Bobby Warshaw wrote a fantastic blog about why he participated in the event.
In mid-January, FC Dallas made one of the biggest signings of the year, bringing in Peruvian national team goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to man the nets. The 27-year-old 'keeper came highly recommended from a former FCD fan favorite.
“[Sala] recommended this player and for the last two months we’ve been in touch,” Clavijo said. “We sent our goalkeeper coach out there to see him, talk to him and watch him train and everything checked positive."
On January 17, FCD selected Walker Zimmerman with their first round draft pick and Scott Brown caught up for him with a Q&A on draft day.
"I just want to get there and work hard and learn from my veteran teammates. I’m just going to try and make Dallas home and do my best to get on the field and to play well and do all I can."
2013 was a banner year for goalkeeper Chris Seitz and it all started with a solid preseason that earned praise from the coaching staff.
“This is probably the most fit I’ve seen him come in for preseason.”
The end of January was dominated by an on-again off-again transfer saga involving star winger Brek Shea. On January 29th, it looked like the deal had fallen through and Shea would be staying with FCD.
“I talked to Brek – we did everything we possibly could, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen,”
Then, just hours before the international transfer window closed on January 31, the deal was pushed through and Shea headed to EPL side Stoke City FC.
“This is one of those bittersweet situations,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We are very excited for Brek to take this important step in his career, but we’re also going to miss him here. This will be a good, fresh challenge for Brek, and we believe he is well-prepared and ready to make an impact for Stoke.”
FCD made one of the biggest splashes of the preseason in early February making a sensational double-signing of forwards Kenny Cooper and Eric Hassli.
"Kenny has long been a fan favorite here and we couldn’t be happier about welcoming him home to Dallas. Eric is an exciting player who we know our fans will enjoy watching."
From Mexico, it was on to the Rose City where FCD played three games in the Portland Preseason Tournament including a 1-0 win over the hosts through a Blas Perez goal.
FC Dallas is on its way home Monday afternoon from Cancun after winning all three preseason matches against Mexican teams. The following are photos from the final training sessions of FC Dallas' weeklong stay in the sunny resort town.
FRISCO – FC Dallas will have its first scrimmage of the 2013 preseason this Saturday at 10 a.m. against the University of Memphis.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman said the club always gets requests from college programs to scrimmage, and FCD was able to work out a time to play Memphis this weekend.
“Memphis has been one of those teams that have worked hard with us in the past,” Hyndman said after training on Monday.
FC Dallas defeated Memphis 6-0 in a 2012 preseason scrimmage.
Hyndman said he looks forward to seeing FCD playing 11 vs 11 after two weeks of training sessions.
Hyndman currently plans to play an approximate Starting XI in the first half and get time for remaining players in the second half.
Fans are welcome to watch the scrimmage for free. It will be on the adidas Field and fans will be able to watch from outside the field fence.
FC Dallas will take on a familiar opponent in their third and final group match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic this evening. Dallas faced off against Toronto four times last season between the MLS regular season and the CCL group stage - twice in Frisco and twice at BMO Field.
FC Dallas won each of the first three matches by a score of 1-0, but FCD fans will remember the fourth meeting all too well. Toronto came down to Texas and handed Dallas a 3-0 loss that put TFC through to the quarterfinal stage of the 2011-12 CCL and eliminated FCD from the tournament.
Tonight will be the first meeting since that match, and once again, advancement is at stake. The winner of tonight's match advances to the final to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night. In the event of a draw, FCD would still advance to the tournament championship on goal differential.
The match kicks off at 5 p.m. CT and will be streamed on MLSsoccer.com's live Channel 2. Or, you could make your way down to Trinity Hall at Mockingbird Station where they'll be having a watching party in conjunction with the release of the 2012 FC Dallas kit. It'll be your first chance to buy the new kit, and what better way to break it in than cheering FCD on to the Disney Pro Soccer Classic final for the second straight year?
We all know how important it is to stay cool during training, as Bruno Guarda displays to the right. But it looks like Ricardo Villar (below) might've taken cooling off a little too far at a recent training session. Click the picture of Ricardo to see a full Facebook photo gallery of the team's trip to Cancun.