News Update 2/20- To Portland We Go!

DF10 in action against Swedish side AIK - Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason continues with a trip to the Pacific Northwest, Academy affiliation expansion, and a surprise cut from the roster.

Howdy folks! So it's less than 2 weeks until FC Dallas open their season against the Colorado Rapids at Pizza Hut Park....FC Dallas Stadium. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet go to FCDallas.com and grab them up while you still can!

FCD played their first game in Portland Sunday against Swedish side AIK. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in what, by accounts that I've read, was not the best performance from FC Dallas and their new 4-4-2 "diamond" formation. FCDallas.com has their match recap here.

For a much more in depth (and honest) breakdown make sure to check out, if you haven't already, Daniel's take on the game.

Captain obvious alert, but the FC Dallas offense is very much a work in progress. That's not to say the players out there aren't extremely talented, but they're not quite sure how to work together yet. Castillo, Jackson, Cooper and Perez just kind of drifted around and hoped to get by on individual talent and it almost worked a few times, but overall it was not what you want out of your offense. The nice thing is there's so much individual talent that they'll probably get by ok through the first month of the season while things gel.

I'm wondering how much the injury of Luccin is going to effect what FCD want to do this year. Without solid play at DM this scheme is going to have problems I'm afraid. But as we say so often: It's just preseason. There's plenty of time for Panic Mode to set in.

Speaking of DM, make sure to check out Todd Date's interview with (presumed) starting D Midfielder Andrew Jacobson. And Todd asked the question we were all really wanting him to ask.

You’re now sporting the Mohawk again. Is that temporary or will you stick with that look for a while?

Jacobson: I like it, stick with it for sure.

I don't know how many of you guys remember when the team did "Toja Wig Night" and "Duilio Davino Wig Night" (I still have my Davino wig somewhere!) but I'm thinking a "Jacobson Mohawk Wig Night" is in order. Could someone in the front office get on that please? One can only hope right?

Todd also reported yesterday that one of the players expected to back up Jacobson at D Mid, Mickael Tavares has been cut from the team.

Tavares joined the club in Cancun, trained in Frisco for several days last week and joined the club in Portland and saw action in Sunday’s match with AIK Stockholm of Sweden. But according to FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman, he is no longer with the club.

This was a surprising move considering the injury to Luccin. I'm assuming then that, unless Clavijo is bringing in someone else, Bobby Warshaw will be the backup at DM as long as Luccin is hurt. And speaking of Luccin there has been very little information come out about his injury/status for opening day. Stay tuned and we'll let you know when we know something.

I always try to to talk about the Academy and development programs on here and Demetrio Teniente has the story about the announcement by the club that they will expand their Affiliate Program to 4 clubs now spread out throughout the country.

The Affiliate program is comprised of four branches. FC Dallas West Texas (Midland/Odessa/Lubbock), FC Dallas El Paso, FC Dallas Emerald Coast (Northwest Florida) and FC Dallas TRI (Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia) are the four clubs involved in the program and are each benefiting from the additional support.

As I say on here all the time: The growth of developmental leagues and associations in youth soccer can only help to improve the soccer landscape, not only in Dallas, but across the country.

And speaking of youth, the USMNT U20 team (And yes, to me U20 is "youth"!) opened their World Cup qualifying effort on Sunday with a 2-1 win against Haiti. J.R. Eskilson has a great breakdown at TopDrawerSoccer..com.

U.S. held on late against the onslaught of pressure from Haiti. The U.S. play again on Friday against Costa Rica in the second game from group play.

It should be noted that two FC Dallas products, Daniel Garcia and Boyd Okwuonu, are on Tab Ramos' team. Okwuonu was the only one of the two to see any playing time and from what I've read it wasn't pretty. However it must be said that MANY of the starters all played out of position. (i.e. Okwuono played RB as opposed to his normal CB spot) Keep the winning ways going boys and good luck on Friday!

Don't forget that the annual FC Dallas "Cocktails and Cleats" event will be happening on February 28th in Frisco and tickets are still available. Come out to meet the team and have an excuse to wear that suit you keep in your closet for something other than a funeral.

To close I wanted to highlight Demetrio Teniente's first installment of Supporters Corner, highlighting the 4 main supporters groups that can be found being loud and proud at all FC Dallas home games. The first piece in this series is about the Dallas Football Elite.

"The DFE started off with 16 members, and we were at 46 last season, and we are now at 103 season ticket holding members! Overall we have 115 members."

Stay tuned for profiles on all four supporters groups in the upcoming weeks!

As always guys thanks so much for reading and give us your opinions in the comment section below.

Jay Neal

@FCJayBird

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