CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Members of United States national soccer team pose before the friendly soccer match against Costa Rica at The Home Depot Center on September 2, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The relationship between US Soccer and the Dallas area in the past decade has been a strange one to say the least. Outside of Bradenton and Carson, there's almost no city that sees more of the youth national teams with many visits from women's and mens teams to the fantastic facilities up in Frisco. Not only the U20s and U17s, but the Development Academy as well with Frisco hosting the USSDA playoffs for the second straight year in June.
However, this partnership on the youth level has not translated to much of a look from the federation for a visit from the professionals. The Men's National Team has taken just two trips to FC Dallas Stadium for underwhelming and under-attended friendlies with rosters featuring names like Justin Mapp, Chris Klein and Eddie Johnson. While there was a high-profile USA-Mexico 2004 friendly at the Cotton Bowl, you'd have to hit the heydays of Wynalda and Lalas to find the last time the Red White and Blue played a meaningful game in Big D.
July 22, 1993. Cant Help Falling In Love by UB40 was the #1 song in the country, Jurassic Park had just finished a long run at #1 in the box office and the US Men's National Team played their last competitive game in north Texas, a 1-0 defeat of Costa Rica in the Gold Cup semifinals thanks to a 103rd minute golden goal from Cle Kooiman. While it is understandable for a city with such a large hispanic population to not host a big World Cup Qualifier against a Central American country, surely there is something wrong when nearly 20 years have passed since the US has played a meaningful game in the 5th largest media market in the country.
The truth is that while FC Dallas has lagged behind the rest of MLS in attendance, the national team is a whole other animal and the metroplex hasn't been given a fair chance at showing what kind of support they can muster up for the Yanks. Rather than pouting at the misfortune, however, Dallasites have been given an opportunity to prove themselves in the next few weeks with upcoming friendlies for both the USWNT and US Men's Olympic squad.
So far it looks like DFW is doing a fantastic job. The women's game against New Zealand is already close to capacity with reports of less than 2,000 tickets available for the game earlier today. That game is going to sell out and if you don't get tickets now you're going to miss out on something special this Saturday in Frisco.
The job is not done, however, as a crucial friendly for the men against Mexico awaits at the end of February. Get your tickets now, wear your jerseys and make a lot of noise at both games. The USSF will be watching and you have the opportunity to make a case to have FC Dallas Stadium be one of the spots in the mix for 2014 World Cup Qualifying and beyond.