The MoneyGram Nations Cup was held at FC Dallas Stadium last weekend. Here’s a recap of all the action from the knockout rounds:
In the quarterfinals, Senegal defeated Iran, 2-1, Albania shut out Ivory Coast, 3-0, Cameroon cruised past the Mexico 2 side, 4-1, and Mexico 1 beat USA, 2-0.
In the semifinals, Albania took on Senegal while Mexico 1 played Cameroon. The Albania-Senegal game was played at a slower pace than the other match up, making the battle in the midfield important. Albania’s goal was scored from a set-piece and Albania’s goalkeeper held firm as Senegal tried to equalize in the end, securing an Albania win.
The second semifinal game was a clash of two different styles. Cameroon was very athletic with speed and a lot of technical skill. Mexico had the counter attack ready to go. Mexico went up 1-0 early but Cameroon attacked and took a 2-1 lead before halftime. Mexico scored early again in the second half to make it 2-2. Late in the match, Mexico countered and scored on a good through ball from Tito Salas. It put the pressure on Cameroon to score, but Mexico got another goal late as Cameroon gave them space in the back. Cameroon was awarded a penalty kick late but the Mexico goalkeeper made a diving save to his left and pushed the ball off the crossbar as the whistle blew, signaling a 4-2 victory for Mexico.
The championship match between Mexico and Albania was a matchup of two highly skilled teams. Short, quick passing was on display as both teams had a lot of possession. The winning goal was scored by RJ Luevano on a free kick from 25 yards out in the first half to give Albania the 1-0 lead. Mexico had several scoring opportunities, but the Albania 'keeper saved every one, earning him man of the match honors as his team won the 2013 MoneyGram Nations Cup title.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez only had two shots on goal against Colorado on Saturday night, but he certainly made them count.
The Panamanian sent both shots past Clint Irwin for his second two-goal game in an FC Dallas jersey earning FC Dallas a point away to the Rapids. .
Blas' second goal, a real top-shelf effort from 25 yards, has been nominated for MLS Goal of the Week, so get out there and vote early and often for Blas!
FC Dallas ended their three-match week unbeaten with a 2-2 draw in Colorado. Blas Perez scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season to twice pull FC Dallas from a goal down in the second half earning a positive point that FCD will take into their 10-day break. Here's all the highlights from tonight's match:
FULL HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas and Colorado play to a wild 2-2 draw
GOAL: Atiba Harris opens the scoring in the 56th minute off a Marvell Wynne throw in
GOAL: Blas Perez pulls FC Dallas level in the 61st minute finishing a loose ball in the box
GOAL: Former FCD man Atiba Harris again finds the goal for Colorado sneaking behind the FCD back line
GOAL: Blas Perez again knots things up with this fifth goal of the season, a real cracker from outside the box
With as well as FC Dallas is playing this season, you figure there is sure to be at least an All-Star or two on the roster and this morning Major League Soccer announced the opponent for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game.
Italian giants AS Roma will be taking on the MLS All-Stars at Sporting Park in Kansas City on July 31 (8PM CT, ESPN2, UniMas).
This is the tenth time in MLS All-Star Game history that Major League Soccer will be taking on an international club and for the first time they'll be playing a club from Italy's Serie A.
Of course, Roma is the home club of American midfielder Michael Bradley and their star-studded roster includes player like Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti.
“We are honored to host AS Roma for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. The weeklong events and game will be great for Kansas City as our fans here deserve it,” Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman told MLSsoccer.com. “Our ownership group and organization is setting a strong emphasis on making this the best All-Star game there has been in our league. We welcome AS Roma, a great club with tremendous history, to Sporting Park on July 31st where it will be as loud and passionate as ever.”
Despite a win over a tough San Jose team over the weekend, FC Dallas didn't move much in the weekly MLS power rankings, but then again there's not really anywhere to go when you're #1. The team stayed at the top in two polls, and moved up in one other poll. June will prove to be a key month for the team in regards to records and rankings as they play three of their four league games on the road. For now, Dallas still sits at or near the top of everyone's rankings.
FC Dallas remained the number one team according to MLSsoccer.com:
They weren't great vs. the Earthquakes, but Raul Fernandez sure was. After a shaky (and droppy) start to his MLS career, he's turned into something of a sure - if unorthodox - thing in net. Certainly earned his team at least two points, if not all three.
In ESPN FC’s rankings, Dallas is still sitting in the number three spot:
FC Dallas welcomed back regulars George John and David Ferreira, but it was the goalkeeping heroics of Raul Fernandez late that sealed Dallas' 1-0 win over San Jose. Rookie defender Walker Zimmerman was impressive in his first start.
ProSoccerTalk left FC Dallas at #1 noting how Raul Fernandez was key to the victory
George John was back in the lineup, but goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was the big hero in a 1-0 win over San Jose. Fabian Castillo, slowly learning how to properly deploy all that raw speed, had the Red Stripe’s goal.
Soccer America also kept FCD in the top spot:
FC Dallas rebounded from its 4-2 loss to Seattle a week ago by topping San Jose, 1-0, with a Fabian Castillo goal and another sharp game by keeper Raul Fernandez, who pulled off several big stops in the final minutes.
Avi Creditor of SI.com kept FCD #1 while giving some props to the rookie debutant.
Fabian Castillo's goal has FC Dallas back on the winning track following a one-game slip-up, with the current Supporters' Shield frontrunners taming last year's Supporters' Shield winner, San Jose. Raul Fernandez was heroic in net -- denying the Earthquakes their typical late-game shenanigans -- and rookie and U.S. U-20 center back Walker Zimmerman looked right at home in the heart of the club's defense in his first MLS start.
Finally, Yahoo Sports moved FCD up one spot from last week, putting the team at number two:
Nothing like a clean sheet to erase any memories of a 4-2 defeat. Dallas remains the best side in the MLS West.
After a strong performance in goal against San Jose, the honors are pouring in for Raul Fernandez! Not only was the goalkeeper named to the number two spot in MLSsoccer.com's weekly Castrol Index Top 20 Performers list, but he is also nominated for Save of the Week for his big stop on MLS Golden Boot-winner Chris Wondolowski late in the match!
Fernandez had six stops in the victory, including a couple late match stops to preserve the win. It was Fernandez’s fifth shutout of the season, tied for second-most in MLS.
Make sure to vote for the save by 11:59 PT on Thursday, May 30. CLICK HERE TO VOTE FERNANDEZ!
Castrol Index Week 13 Top 10 Performers
|1||Marco Di Vaio||Forward||Montreal Impact||84||Philadelphia Union||2,430|
|2||Raul Fernandez||Goalkeeper||FC Dallas||90||San Jose Earthquakes||1,593|
|3||Clint Irwin||Goalkeeper||Colorado Rapids||90||Chivas USA||1,402|
|4||Andrew Wenger||Forward||Montreal Impact||90||Philadelphia Union||1,380|
|5||Sean Franklin||Defender||LA Galaxy||90||Seattle Sounders||1,358|
|6||Sean Johnson||Goalkeeper||Chicago Fire||90||Real Salt Lake||1,293|
|7||Donovan Ricketts||Goalkeeper||Portland Timbers||90||D.C. United||1,287|
|8||Robbie Keane||Forward||LA Galaxy||73||Seattle Sounders||1,195|
|9||Nathan Sturgis||Midfielder||Colorado Rapids||90||Chivas USA||1,155|
|10||Graham Zusi||Midfielder||Sporting Kansas City||90||Houston Dynamo||1,079|
If you happened to look at Twitter on Sunday night(and follow anyone related to North American soccer), you knew something crazy was happening down in Mexico City.
After a 1-0 Cruz Azul victory in the first leg of the Liga MX championship, Club America was still in decent position as they hosted the second leg of the final at the famous Estadio Azteca. Things didn't go well early for Las Aguilas as a red card and a goal from Colombian forward Teo Gutierrez had Cruz Azul up a man and two goals on aggregate.
However, with just minutes left in the game, America staged a furious comeback. Aquivaldo Mosquera's header gave them hope and then, miraculously, goalkeeper Moises Munoz scored on a diving header with literally the last touch of the game to send things to extra time.
With all the momentum, Club America cruised to victory in the penalties for an historic 11th Liga MX title, now tied with Chivas de Guadalajara for most all-time.
Now here's the really exciting part.
The next time these two "Clasico Joven" rivals meet is at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday, June 30th at 2PM. Given Sunday's legendary game, this re-match is sure to sell out so don't wait and grab the best seats in the house now!
FC Dallas tied a franchise-record tonight moving their home unbeaten streak to 12 games with a gritty 1-0 win over San Jose. The win kept FC Dallas five points clear of second place in the Western Conference.
HIGHLIGHTS: FCD tops San Jose 1-0
GOAL: Ferreira's fourth assist of the season feeds Fabian Castillo for the game-winning goal
WOODWORK: Victor Bernardez hits the crossbar off a rebound
SHOT: Jackson twists and turns a pair of defenders before just missing on a hard shot
SAVE: Busch denies Castillo his second goal of the match
SAVE: Fernandez denies Salinas' shot
SAVE: Fernandez acrobatically denies Wondolowski from close range
After their key plays over the weekend, Kenny Cooper and Michel found themselves among the weekly Castrol Index Top Performers and Team of the Week honorees, respectively.
Michel’s strong play in Saturday’s game against Seattle, including his olimpico goal and his service on Cooper's goal, earned him a spot on MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Read what Nicholas Rosano had to say about Michel below.
MF: Michel (FC Dallas) – His prowess on set pieces was on display once more in Seattle, where he scored an olimpico and delivered an assist for Dallas' other goal on the night. Complemented this with another strong performance in the center of the park.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s goal earned him the #9 spot on the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20. The forward’s set piece goal in the 54th minute put FC Dallas on the scoreboard, setting the stage for Michel's game-tying olimpico.
Castrol Index Week 12 Top 10 Performers
|1||Eddie Johnson||Forward||Seattle Sounders FC||90||FC Dallas||1,838|
|2||Landon Donovan||Forward||LA Galaxy||90||Philadelphia Union||1,683|
|3||Andy Gruenebaum||Goalkeeper||Columbus Crew||90||Toronto FC||1,653|
|4||Lamar Neagle||Midfielder||Seattle Sounders FC||90||FC Dallas||1,568|
|5||Luis Robles||Goalkeeper||New York Red Bulls||90||LA Galaxy||1,415|
|6||Zac MacMath||Goalkeeper||Philadelphia Union||90||Chicago Fire||1,317|
|7||José Correa||Forward||Chivas USA||90||Real Salt Lake||1,236|
|8||Nathan Sturgis||Midfielder||Colorado Rapids||90||San Jose Earthquakes||1,145|
|9||Kenny Cooper||Forward||FC Dallas||64||Seattle Sounders||1,058|
|10||Tim Cahill||Midfielder||New York Red Bulls||90||LA Galaxy||1,023|
We have five pairs of seats for Saturday's match vs San Jose up for grabs in this edition of the FCDallas.com Scavenger Hunt.
The first five entries with all the correct answers sent to email@example.com will win the tickets to Saturday's match. All the answers can be found on FCDallas.com. Remember, only the first five with the right answers win, so get your answers in quick!
- Name the four FC Dallas players who are mentors to students at Hunt Middle School.
- Who is the presenting sponsor of FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday?
- What is the date and time of the Liga MX friendly between Club America and Cruz Azul that will be played at FC Dallas Stadium?
- What is the registration deadline for this summer's Budweiser Adult Summer Showdown tournament at FC Dallas Stadium?
- What are the two stops on the Red Route of the FCD Express?
- Where will the next Party at the Pubs presented by Budweiser be held?
- What are the business hours of the FC Dallas Team Shop?
- How many angles of Michel's olimpico goal against Seattle Sounders FC are shown in "Michel's Olimpico from every angle"?
- Who is the FC Dallas Juniors Coordinator?
- Name every player that has scored a goal for FC Dallas so far this season.