Best of FCDallas.com in 2013: August, September, October & offseason
After a rough July in which Dallas struggled majorly to score goals, the offense roared back to life in August with nine goals scored in five games with both Kellyn Acosta and Mauro Diaz making their MLS debuts.
FCD and Los Angeles played one of the most exciting games of the season in August, a heart-stopping 3-3 draw.
There was another exciting moment for the team in mid-August as the entire squad crashed the 2013 AdvoCare Success School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington kicking FCD soccer balls to the tens of thousands in attendance. Stephen Keel was rolling for the event as we got our first Keel Cam experience with FC Dallas.
FCDallas.com caught up with Zach Loyd to talk about his durability and how it's been on display through his four years with FCD.
FCD scored a huge win at Chivas USA coming from behind to score three goals late in a 3-1 victory. Head Coach Schellas Hyndman praised his team after the game.
“I think it just comes down to the character of the players and determination of the players,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com by phone from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. “They were determined to come away with three points. A lot of teams would have sat back and said, ‘We’re down a man, let’s get a point on the road and we’ll feel good about it.’
After yet another thrilling home game, a press conference was called for early in September to make a major stadium announcement. FC Dallas and the city of Frisco welcomed Toyota as the official stadium naming rights partner.
“This partnership with FC Dallas is just another demonstration of our love for the Lone Star state,” said Hillyer. “Toyota prides itself in stepping up to be a good community leader and partnering through support of great organizations like FC Dallas. We look forward to a successful long-term partnership with this outstanding team and organization.”
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in September, we sat down with Blas Perez for an in-depth interview.
Back on the academy front, we talked to U-18 head coach Luchi Gonzalez who is part of an 18-month course in partnership with the French Football Federation designed to help our youth and upcoming coaches in MLS.
“You can know the game like a book, but if you don’t know how to stand on the field and adjust space or put in a player in a specific spot or a specific adjustment [it’s useless],” said Gonzalez. “To them it’s an art form, it’s not about what you can put on a paper or writing an essay, it’s how well can you manage a group.”
FCD's playoff hopes came to an unfortunate end after a loss to Chicago, but a day later there was some happy news as the sports hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science was renamed the Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall.
“We know that Mr. Hunt was curious, inventive and fun-loving, and those qualities align perfectly with the museum’s mission of inspiring minds through nature and science,” said Perot Museum Board Chair Carolyn Perot Rathjen. “Our hope is that the Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall will not only inspire learning about the sciences, but represent the important lessons that sports teach.”
Before the home finale against Seattle, long-time head coach Schellas Hyndman announced he would be stepping down after his fifth full season in charge.
The home slate came to a close with an uplifting 2-0 win over Seattle that saw Michel put a fitting cap on his fantastic 2013 season.
“I feel like above the players, above the directors, above the coaches, above everything is the club,” Michel explained through an interpreter after FC Dallas' 2-0 win at Toyota Stadium. “That was my homage to the club. The club opened their doors for me at a tough time for me in my career.”
After the game, the FC Dallas Special Olympics team won their first ever game.
With Hyndman's coaching career coming to a close, we took a look at the top ten moments of the Schellas Hyndman era ahead of the 2013 finale at San Jose.
For that final game, Kenny Cooper, Stephen Keel and a special guest invited everyone out to four final #WatchParty of the season.
After his last game in charge, coach Hyndman encouraged all FCD fans to look to the future.
“What I would like to say to the FC Dallas fans is that this has been a wonderful experience for me for the last five and a half years coaching their team ” Hyndman said. “Our fans should be excited about the future and I look forward to FC Dallas competing in the near future."
As we headed into the long offseason, a chance to take on some fun projects presented itself. We took the homegrowns out to a haunted house in downtown Dallas.
We put together a compilation of all the goals scored in 2013 and profiled Daniel Granados, the assistant equipment manager who has been with the team in one capacity or another since the beginning in 1996.
“I’m responsible for helping players when they get here with apartments, cars, drivers license, the proper visas they need for pre-season, just helping all the foreign players adjust to the city,” said Granados. “Whatever they need, I’m here to help them.”
The inevitable roster decisions came in early December as it was announced that FCD would not be renewing the contract of 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira.
Around Thanksgiving, we profiled academy left back Wilfried Williams and his journey from Liberia all the way to the FC Dallas Academy.
"It was awesome because I’m not only coming here to represent myself, but represent my city because they believed in me and put everything into it for me, so I knew I have to do it,"
In early December, FC Dallas announced the signing of 2013 2nd round draft pick Ryan Hollingshead, a man who's career path has not taken the typical road.
“It was really a rollercoaster over this last year trying to figure out if it’s going to work out or not,” Hollingshead told FCDallas.com. “When they came to me about a month ago, they were basically saying they wanted me out here and I said the same thing that I want to come and want to make this work.”
And finally, we crowned a 2013 Goal of the Year champion.
2013 was certainly a year of ups and downs for FC Dallas but with major sponsorships in place and an exciting young roster, we couldn't be more thrilled to head into the 2014 journey with you here on FCDallas.com. We'll see you at Toyota Stadium in March!