With 11 days left in the year, it's time to start the 2nd annual "10 moments that shaped" piece I started last year. The way I pick my top 10 is basically looking at the moments that really shaped the season. Most of them are singular moments that happened on one day, though a couple will be a bit more extended. To decide the list, I looked over news from the entire season to see the things that really got people talking and will be remembered even as we go on into 2013 and 2014.
Today will be the prelude where I mention a few stories that didn't quite make the cut and then for each of the next ten days from December 22-31 we will count down the top 10 moments of the year as we head into 2013.
If you want to take a walk down memory lane, here is a link to the #1 story from last year which contains links to the full countdown.
Thrashing of Portland It all came together for FC Dallas on July 21 as they ended a 7-game home winless streak in style, thrashing the Portland Timbers 5-0. The game highlighted just how dangerous an offensive team FC Dallas could be as Jackson and David Ferreira both notched two assists while Dallas found goals from four different players as well as a Timbers own goal. The huge win pulled FCD back into the playoff discussion.
FCD parts ways with Homegrowns The FC Dallas Academy produced the ACC Player of the Year, two members of the ACC Freshman team of the year, first and second team All-ACC and the Conference USA player of the year. However, the first really disappointing aspect of the academy reared its head late this year as Ruben Luna and Bryan Leyva became the first homegrowns to be cut from the program.
Both showed immense potential, but never really made a huge impact on MLS games and after three years with Leyva and two years with Ruben Luna, they were both cut after the season. Ruben Luna has recently trialed at Correcaminos of the Mexican 2nd division while I've heard a rumor that Leyva has trialed with Atlas, though that is unconfirmed
Matt Hedges Fantastic Rookie Season Where would the FC Dallas defense have been without Matt Hedges this year? The rookie who was drafted #11 overall after leading North Carolina to a national championship didn't take long to be thrust into a starting spot after injuries to Hernan Pertuz and Ugo Ihemelu.
Hedges would go on to start 23 of the final 24 matches of the season, earning a spot in the Rookie of the Year discussion. The central defender looks to be a major part of the FC Dallas defense for years to come, highlighting the long-term success Schellas Hyndman and FCD have had in drafting defenders over the last few years.
Come back tomorrow for moment #10