Here are your Toyota Keys to the Match as we break down Saturday's huge match in Los Angeles:
Everything's comin' up Dallas this week in MLS; after FCD beat Vancouver 2-1 this weekend, the team moved up in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings and Blas Perez was named Player of the Week and nominated for AT&T Goal of the Week.
And now Perez, Homegrown midfielder Victor Ulloa and centerback Matt Hedges have been named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week. Here's what the staff at the league site had to say about the FCD trio:
D: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – The Dallas central defense was physical, sharp and organized all evening in their 2-1 win over Vancouver, and Hedges was a main reason why.
M: Victor Ulloa (FC Dallas) – The kid is legit. He was very effective in the center of the park against Vancouver and deserves more hype than he's gotten so far.
F: Blas Pérez (FC Dallas) – Relatively few theatrics and measured efficiency from the Canalero, which worked well given his recent efforts – two games in a week – with Panama. Crazy golazo to boot.
SEGMENT 1: Marc Stein checks in from Spain, lamenting his efforts to get into the Madrid derby -- which turned out to be a very tough ticket.
SEGMENT 2: Steve Davis talks to Gabriele Marcotti (from ESPN FC and The Times) about Champions League group play, which begins this week.
SEGMENT 3: A visit with Reuters' sports reporter Simon Evans. Evans is based in Miami, where David Beckham's plans to establish an MLS expansion team have met one immovable object after another.
SEGMENT 4: Steve Davis makes the case that Major League Soccer's two top performers of the moment are, ironically, about to retire; he's talking about Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry.
In case you haven't heard Blas Perez is coming off a pretty good week. Not only did the Panamanian forward score twice in the Copa Centroamericana while on international duty, but he also bagged a brace for FC Dallas in a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday to earn an MLS Player of the Week award.
Super Raton has a chance to win another award based on his stellar week as his first goal against Vancouver is nominated for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week. You can watch the video above to check out the "competition" if you want, but you might as well save yourself the time and just vote for Blas now.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays. For complete coverage of the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week — including an archive of all of this season's nominees and winners — click here.
Hear from Pareja, Michel & Hedges after Saturday's big win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
FC Dallas earned a critical 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Toyota Stadium Saturday night. The first half highlights include a RIDICULOUS goal by Panamanian forward Blas Perez who just rejoined the club from national team duty. Seriously though, check out that goal:
Vancouver leveled the match in the second half when forward Erik Hurtado blasted a shot past Raul Fernandez on the counter attack. But Super Raton had the last word, tucking home a rebound off a free kick to earn himself a brace and three more points for FC Dallas:
FC Dallas is finally back home on Saturday night for our first home game of the fall against Vancouver Whitecaps FC pres. by Cricket Wireless. Here's everything you need to know before heading to Toyota Stadium on Saturday night:
1. Saturday's match is Hispanic Heritage night presented by Cricket Wireless at Toyota Stadium! Cricket wants to see your pictures at Saturday's game! Tweet your best selfie to @FCDallas @MiCricket with #cricketnation and your seat location. Some selfies will be featured on FC Dallas social media throughout the game.
2. Miss Texas USA Ylianna Guerra will be scarfing the Lamar Hunt Statue so be sure to arrive early for that ceremony around 7:00 on Lamar's Tailgate.
3. Saturday's an all-day affair as we head to downtown Dallas in the morning for the Dallas Heart Walk as a part of Team #BR19. We'll see you there!
4. It's also our fall College Night on Saturday night and all our DFW college students can score $12 endline tickets at the box office Saturday night by showing their student ID. We've already got hundreds of college students joining us for this fun night, so be sure to bring your student ID to Toyota Stadium!
5. Saturday's match has tons of playoff implications as FCD can take a huge step to qualifying for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win. Currently five points separate FCD and Vancouver. Check out our look at the playoff race.
6. While parking is always free for everyone at Toyota Stadium, our Toyota drivers out there can enjoy FREE upgraded parking in the Camry Gold Lot tonight. The Camry Gold Lot is directly NW of the stadium adjacent to the Dr. Pink field.
8. It's going to be a brilliant fall evening in Frisco as highs are expected in the mid 70's with clearing skies throughout the day setting the stage for what should be a gorgeous night. You might want to bring a light jacket or get one of our new FCD fall line jackets in the team store!
9. Saturday's game is set for a 7:30PM kickoff and will be broadcast in HD locally on TXA21 as well as 100.7FM(English) & 1270AM(Spanish).
10. We're looking at another really nice crowd for Saturday's match, but there are still tickets available by clicking here.
Scott and Daniel preview FCD's huge Western Conference battle this Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
Tick...tick...tick...We're nearing the end of the 2014 MLS Regular Season! It's becoming more and more apparent that this is a six-horse race for five spots in the Western Conference. Here's the weekly look at the Western Conference playoff picture as the MLS week gets underway tonight:
1. Seattle Sounders FC
51 points(+13 GD) - 8 games remaining - Last match: 4-2 win at Chivas USA - Next match: 9/12 vs Real Salt Lake - Last 5: W-W-W-D-L
Three wins on the bounce for Seattle Sounders FC who easily dispatched a hapless Chivas USA side before enjoying the weekend off. A tough match at home against Real Salt Lake awaits Seattle who can put RSL pretty much permanently behind them in 2014 with a win.
2. LA Galaxy
50 points(+27 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-2 draw at Montreal - Next match: 9/14 at San Jose - Last 5: W-D-W-W-W
A draw at lowly Montreal on Wednesday will be some dropped points the Galaxy will want to have back. A point behind Seattle with one more game played suggests the Sounders are still in the driving seat for Supporters Shield, but the teams still have a game left against each other. LA has a tough Cali Clasico on Sunday, a game in which Landon Donovan is suspended.
3. Real Salt Lake
46 points(+10 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 win vs FC Dallas - Next match: 9/12 at Seattle - Last 5: W-T-L-W-W
Real Salt Lake scored a huge 2-1 win over our FC Dallas last weekend, a win that creates some daylight between them and FCD for that third playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Supporters Shield certainly isn't out of reach for Jeff Cassar's side, but they'll need a huge result in Seattle this weekend to keep those hopes alive.
4. FC Dallas
42 points(+10 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake - Next match: 9/13 vs Vancouver - Last 5: L-L-W-W-W
FCD lost their second consecutive road game at RSL last weekend, a result that likely ends Supporters Shield hopes. With RSL playing at Seattle and a favorable home matchup, however, that four point gap to third place could definitely be tightened this weekend. A win over Vancouver would all but clinch a playoff spot for
5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
37 points(+1 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 2-0 win vs San Jose - Next match: 9/13 at FC Dallas - Last 5: W-D-L-L-D
Vancouver finally broke their winless and scoreless streak in a much-needed 2-0 win at home against San Jose on Wednesday night. The Whitecaps are back above the dreaded red line, two points up on Portland with equal games played so the next seven games are going to be a dogfight.
6. Portland Timbers FC
35 points(+1 GD) - 7 games remaining - Last match: 3-3 draw vs San Jose - Next match: 9/13 at Colorado - Last 5: D-W-L-D-W
If you're a playoff team, you need to win that game at home against San Jose. All the hard work of their win at Vancouver what somewhat undone by this clunker of a result. With just three of their last seven at home and CONCACAF Champions League complicating the travel schedule, it's really going to be tough on Portland down the stretch. They need a win this weekend.
Note: We dropped the Rapids from playoff contention as their chances are now less than 5%. Sorry guys, the dream is over for 2014.