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.
The USL PRO regular season wrapped up last weekend meaning both Jonathan Top and Cobi Span will soon be returning to FC Dallas from their year-long loan spells.
Top should be back with FCD as soon as this week as Arizona United SC's season has come to a close. AZ United finished ninth in the 14-team league just one spot below the playoff line having earned 33 points from 28 matches in their inaugural season.
For Top, his loan spell to Arizona was certainly a success as the 21-year-old Homegrown saw his first extended minutes as a professional appearing in 21 of 28 games for Arizona. Top finished as the expansion side's leading scorer with 12 points(5 goals + 2 assists) as well as tied for the team lead in goals with five this season.
While Top had five goals to his name this season, one stands out above the rest and that was his August 16th strike vs Pittsburgh. The curling effort won USL Pro Goal of the Month for August.
Span headed to playoffs with Orlando City
In their final season before making the jump to MLS, Cobi Span and Orlando City won their third regular season title in four years earning 62 points from 28 games, seven points ahead of second place Sacramento.
Cobi enjoyed a nice season with the Lions, appearing in 19 matches while scoring three goals in the regular season starting in a right wing role for most of his matches. Orlando City goes in search of their USL PRO championship starting this weekend with a quarterfinal playoff match against Harrisburg on Saturday night at 6:30PM.
For years, we've seen the potential in Fabian Castillo knowing that he was capable of simply taking over an MLS game on his own, but we will all look back at the summer of 2014 as the time when Fabian took that next step from good to great.
The 22-year-old Colombian, amazingly now in his fourth season with FCD, had four goals and two assists in the month of August, earning him a nomination for Etihad MLS August Player of the Month. While Fabian was truly fantastic in the month, with his master-class against San Jose, and an August that saw him score or assist on game-winning goals in three of five matches, he really deserves your vote as something of a lifetime achievement award for the summer of 2014.
Except for this past Saturday's 1-0 loss to Chicago, Fabian had a goal or assist in every single game he played in the month of June, July and August. Let that sink in for a moment. A full Texas summer(kind of) with your name on every single score sheet.
And it wasn't just in MLS either, as Fabian lit up the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup scoring in all four rounds of FCD's semifinal run including the pulse-pounding late equalizer against Philadelphia in the semifinal.
In all, from June to August, the tally for Castilo in MLS and LHUSOC was ten goals and five assists in 11 games. It really doesn't get much better than that and while the LA Galaxy duo have the more impressive stats in August, Fabian Castillo gets my admittedly biased vote for Etihad MLS Player of the Month and he should get yours too.
The FC Dallas defense had another solid showing on Friday night against Real Salt Lake. They were just minutes away from their second-straight shutout before allowing the late deflected goal to Olmes Garcia, but still held on for another great win.
Defender Zach Loyd, continuing his fantastic play this season, has earned his second MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week award in the last three weeks for his efforts against RSL!
Friday's game against Real Salt Lake pres. by Toyota is arguably the biggest MLS match we've seen at Toyota Stadium in quite some time with first-place RSL coming in with a national TV audience set to watch. There are a million reasons you want to be out here on Friday night, but another one is our presenting partner for Friday night's game wants to give you a chance to win a weekend with a Toyota!
Stop by the Toyota activation on Lamar's Tailgate on the north concourse and enter to win. We will text winners every 15 minutes during Friday's game and you could win:
-A full-size Toyota 3-day weekend car rental
-A VIP package for the FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps match on Saturday, September 13th with two club tickets, pre-game sideline passes, a parking pass, two FCD scarves & two FCD t-shirts.
-An autographed FC Dallas jersey
-An autographed FC Dallas ball
-A $100 gift card to the FC Dallas team store
Be sure to stop by the Toyota tent on the north concourse on Friday night and you could win!
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: