Howdy folks! It may rain all around the DFW Metroplex for the next few days but that just gives you an excuse to lay around and watch some quality footy this weekend.
After starting the season off with 3 points at home last weekend, FC Dallas is getting geared up for the second game of their MLS season with a trip to Los Angeles to face Chivas USA on Sunday. If you can please come out to one of the watching parties at either The Abbey Pub in Fort Worth or The Staggering Irishman in Dallas. It's going to be a blast.
If you were happy with what Brazilian defender Michel showed as a substitute for Jair Benitez in the season opener, Todd Date at 3rd Degree posted a little bit of good news the other day about the situation at left back.
Those who were impressed by how well Brazilian newcomer Michel handled himself in this weekend’s 1-0 win over Colorado at FC Dallas Stadium will be glad to hear FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman say that Jair Benitez, who had to leave the game in the first half with bruised ribs but is now fine, and Michel will battle it out for the starting spot in training this week.
I'm a fan of Benitez but I also realize that he can be a major liability at times (I'm not just talking about PK's either). I'm hoping that Michel is our starter from here on out. Who do you guys think should be starting at LB for FCD?
The news came down on Tuesday that FCD signed 2nd round Supplemental Draft pick Kyle Zobeck to be the 4th Goalkeeper on the FC Dallas roster. Mark Norris at FCDallas.com spoke with both Zobeck and Schellas Hyndman about what this meant for Kyle and the team.
"All of my former teammates got in contact with me," Zobeck said, who played goalkeeper at Valparaiso University. "My family, former coaches. The support came from every direction."
Hydman spoke about what impressed him about the young keeper.
"The more and more pressure we put on him the more he did well," Hyndman said. "We knew we had to pick up another keeper and we thought Kyle could do good enough and continue to develop for us to be that player."
As you all know the next home game for the Hoops will be Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th against the hated Houston Dynamo. The team announced a special ticket package for anyone interested in making it out to the Texas Derby. A sideline ticket for only $18 plus your choice of a special add on. If you don't already have a ticket you need to get on this awesome deal.
Know Thine Enemy
Alicia Ratterree at SB Nation's Chivas USA blog The Goat Parade wrote about what she think are the keys for Chivas against FC Dallas on Sunday.
The team [Chivas USA] has been working on their attack this week in practice, and Chelís closing today's practice to the public means they may make some adjustments ahead of Sunday's game against FC Dallas. Still, whether it is offense or defense, good officiating or bad, the team has to make sure they have poise, individually and as a group, in order to improve on Saturday's performance.
Personally I don't think Chivas have a chance against us on Sunday especially if they play like they did against Columbus last week regardless of the amount of poise they have.
The Reserve League schedule was announced earlier this week and the amount of games this year is impressive. 3rd Degree has the full schedule (which I found oddly absent from the team website) here.
Major League Soccer today announced the full 2013 MLS Reserve League schedule. Among the scheduled matches are 26 interleague matches between MLS Reserve League teams and USL Pro clubs.
If you get a chance to go to any of these games, do it! I know that the Dallas Beer Guardians and the other SG's are even talking about making it out. So should you.
Head over to FCDallas.com and give a read to Demetrio Teniente's piece on the ENCL, the league that the Lady Hoops play in.
The league began in 2009, but it wasn'’t until 2011 that it instituted a full-fledged season. Every under-14 and under-18 team plays between 15 and 18 regular season games in addition to participating in national events. On Saturday, February 23, numerous ECNL teams filled the Complex at FC Dallas Stadium for a winter tournament. The event featured top teams from around the nation and potentially a chance for ECNL players to catch the eye of college coaches.
Demetrio also had a chance to sit down with FC Dallas and Mexico U20 CONCACAF champion goalkeeper Richard Sanchez to talk about his experience in the U20 WC Qualifying Tournament and what it was like playing the US.
"It was an awesome experience," said Sanchez. "This time it was a CONCACAF tournament and we won it. All around it was just great to be back [in Mexico]."
Congratulations to Richard and the entire U20 Mexico team on their victory (even though it was against the USA....). Mexico is one of the odds on favorites to win the U20 World Cup in Turkey this summer and is poised to at the very least impress greatly.
Around The Globe
UEFA Champions League action was in full effect this week and for those living under a rock there was a controversial red card handed out to Nani (video here) in Manchester United's lose to Real Madrid. Not only did the game set a viewership record (via foxsoccer.com) for Fox Soccer Channel but now ESPNFC.com is reporting that the Turkish referee of the game has come out defending his sending off of Nani.
The red card, early in the second half and with Manchester United leading 1-0, left manager Alex Ferguson "distraught" and enraged many Old Trafford players and fans.
"This does not provoke any feeling of sadness in me," [Referee Cuneyt Cakir] told AS.com. "I don't even think about it. I have received more criticism at other times, but I have always gotten up and moved on. I can do it again."
In my opinion it was a clear red card. If you go flying through the air with your studs exposed and hit another player in the chest (regardless of intent) it's a straight red, no questions asked. What did you guys think of the controversial call?
If your still distraught about the call, or just love to hate (or scream at the top of your lungs at) referees, go read SBNation.com's Zach Woosley's article about dealing with his own referee rage and how our views and opinions on referees needs to change. It's fantastic!
In the wake of the controversial red card against Manchester United's Nani and the poorly officiated CONCACAF Champions League match between the LA Galaxy and Herediano, I think it's time for us to step back and reset how we think about referees.
Such a great article. I for one am guilty of having ref rage big time. I'm glad there's now a road to recovery.
ESPNFC.com (via Associated Press) reported this morning that troubled Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified in England and could face a possible jail sentence.
Tevez was banned from driving for six months on Jan. 16 after failing to respond to letters by police in relation to incidents where his car was caught speeding.
"The man was arrested on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified and has since been released on police bail," Cheshire Police said in a statement.
The maximum penalty for driving while disqualified in England is six months in prison.
I highly doubt that Tevez will see any jail time but this is something to keep an eye on over the coming months.
Foxsoccer.com (via Associated Press) reports that former Flemengo keeper Bruno has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend and has been sentenced to 22 years in a Brazilian prison.
The jury of five women and two men found Bruno guilty of ordering the killing of model Eliza Samudio, whose body has never been found amid allegations that she was dismembered and her remains were fed to dogs.
Games This Weekend To Watch
Saturday- Udinese v Roma AS (1:45 CT) (this looks to be the best Italian match up this weekend.)
Sunday- Juventus v Catania (9:00 CT)
Lazio v Fiorentina (1:45 CT)
Full Serie A schedule here.
EPL and FA Cup:
The FA Cup Quarter Finals are this weekend!
Saturday: Everton v Wigan (6:45 CT)
Manchester City v Barnsley (11:30 CT)
Sunday: Millwall v Blackburn Rovers (GO ROVERS!!) (9:00 CT)
Manchester United v Chelsea (11:30 CT)
Saturday: Reading v Aston Villa in a major relegation battle (9:00 ET)
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea (9:00 CT)
Sunday: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur (11:00 CT)
Full EPL match ups here.
Scottish Premier League:
Saturday: Ross County v Celtic (9:00 CT)- I know not many people follow the SPL but Ross County have been an absolute joy to watch all season and are unbeaten in their last 11 matches. This could be a very entertaining match.
Full SPL match ups here.
Saturday: Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna (1:00 CT)
Sunday: Athletic Bilbao v Valencia (6:00 am CT)
Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid (1:00 CT)
Full La Liga Match ups here.
Well guys as always thanks so much for giving us a read and let us know what you think in the comments below. I hope to see you guys out at the watch parties this weekend to cheer on the Hoops!