Big D Soccer News Update 4/19

Come cheer on the Hoops this Saturday! - USA TODAY Sports

Whitecaps come to Frisco, US nationals to play for multiple trophies around the world, and MLS is impacted by the tragedy in Boston.

Howdy folks! FC Dallas remain on top of the league and look to continue their great run of form tomorrow in Frisco against the Vancouver Whitecaps who sit fifth in the Western Conference table. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet GO GET SOME!! Let's continue the great home atmosphere that Frisco has been building this year.

FC Dallas

FC Dallas has just announced this afternoon that the bottle thrower from last Saturday night has received an "indefinite" ban from FC Dallas Stadium. Via MLSSoccer.com.

On Friday afternoon, FC Dallas issued the following statement to MLSsoccer.com regarding the incident:

"Authorities have identified the individual who threw an object onto the field during Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy. We sincerely appreciate the FC Dallas supporters who helped identify the person responsible. This individual was not a member of any of our supporters' groups, and as a result of his actions, he has been banned from FC Dallas Stadium and complex.

We have tremendous fans and their positive show of support creates a fantastic atmosphere in our stadium. Throwing objects onto the field of play is prohibited and never tolerated. Our stadium and security staff will continue enforcing policies that protect the safety of players, fans and personnel. While it is common practice in stadiums to serve drinks in bottles, we are choosing to switch to plastic cups in the beer garden due to its proximity to the field of play. We look forward to celebrating many more games with all fans in a safe, friendly environment."

The ban is well deserved and I appreciate the front office noting that the perpetrator was not associated with any Supporters Group and I'm even more thankful that the aluminum bottles will not be sold in the Beer Garden anymore.

There has been some talk on Big D Soccer over the last few days about the depth of this team and whether or not one injury could seriously set this team back at a critical time. Matt Barbour with MLSSoccer.com has a report on the eminent return of Ramon Nunez to game fitness for FC Dallas and the impact he could have on the squad.

Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday that FCD are hoping to bring the Honduran international to Chicago for a Reserve League game on May 1, in which Nuñez hopefully could see his first minutes since returning to the MLS side from Leeds United this spring.

And Hyndman believes his onetime charge from their college days at SMU offers the versatility could present more options when it comes to organizing his players on the field.

Ramon's return will certainly add a boost to the FC Dallas lineup, especially once US Open Cup games start. As injury prone as this team has been in the past the addition of Nunez should make fans feel a little more comfortable about depth in the midfield.

Barbour also spoke with FCD Technical Director Fernando Clavijo about any potential additions to the team during the summer transfer window.

"We are strongly searching for another player," FCD technical director Fernando Clavijo told MLSsoccer.com at practice on Wednesday. "The team is doing well when you look at the results … but I think that when you look ahead and you are looking to win a championship, you need to be strong and you need to have options at each position and right now we are a little bit limited in some of them."

...Clavijo said they have targeted three candidates that fit the profile they are looking for: An established player that can bring experience, leadership and Designated Player-level quality to the midfield.

Very encouraging news that the team isn't just sitting back and thinking that the great start this year leaves no room for improvement. I look forward to hopefully hearing some rumors about who the three players that the team has targeted are. Stay tuned.

The team has announced that they will be kicking off their "Gear Up Project" on Saturday by accepting new and used soccer gear to distribute to youth around the world.

Prior to entering the stadium, there will be large donation boxes at each gate where fans can drop off new or used soccer balls, shin guards, and cleats. These items are distributed to children locally and all over the world, so they can have the equipment to play the game!

Those who donate will receive a 10% off coupon to the team store as a thank you gift. Please bring any gear that don't use anymore and help spread goodwill and the beautiful game.

Academy and Reserve Teams

The FC Dallas Academy teams kept up their great run of form in 2013 by winning 4 out of 5 games against Texas Rush. FCDallas.com keeps us up to date with their weekly Academy Update story and video.

The FC Dallas Academy teams continued their hot form going 4-0-1 in five matches against Texas Rush. The smothering Academy defense was on show with just one goal allowed over the five games while Bernie Zuazua, Malik Key and Duncan James led the way with two goals each.

I really have to tip my hat to Daniel and the FCDallas.com media team for their great video updates on the Academy and making sure that fans have access to the goings on of the youth squads.

The Reserve Squad lost to the Houston Dynamo Reserves on Tuesday 2-1 in Houston with Fabian Castillo scoring the only goal for the Hoops on a PK. Recap of the game via FCDallas.com.

The Houston Dynamo Reserves defeated the FC Dallas Reserves, 2-1, Tuesday morning at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Fabian Castillo leveled the score, 1-1, via penalty kick just before halftime but Houston’s Jason Johnson netted a penalty kick attempt of his own to give the Dynamo Reserves the 2-1 win.

Another tough loss for the Reserve team who will next be in action on May 1st in Chicago at 10 am.

Know Thine Enemy

The Vancouver Whitecaps must have thought they were amusing when they asked their players what they knew about Texas. Just based on the "Cowboy hats" they gave their players to wear during the video I'm going to guess that no one in the Whitecaps organization knows anything about Texas at all. I dare anyone to walk around Texas with those hats on. Come on Vancouver.....

I'm not sure who the first guy in the video is but I can tell you this: Texas doesn't like you either so please feel free not to make the trip.

I'm sure some of you saw Nigel Reo-Coker's comments at Metro.ca about FC Dallas and the accusation that the Hoops are prone to diving.

On the subject of FC Dallas players perhaps diving, Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said, "I’ll make sure if they’re going to go down, they go down for a good reason."

Ironically this article came a day after the Whitecaps own SBNation blog Eighty Six Forever wrote an opinion piece on the Whitecap's own proclivity to fall down a little easy this year.

...the Vancouver Whitecaps are simply too good of a team to try and win that way [by diving]. When you consider the depth on this squad and the unlimited potential going forward, players don't need to flop so obviously; it's not a neccessary [sic] part of the Whitecaps game. Thankfully, I haven't seen a whole lot of it since their inception into Major League Soccer. Hopefully it won't become a major trend for the club as they move forward...

In hindsight it's probably not the smartest thing for Reo-Coker to put himself on the radar of MLS refs. But then again Nigel has never been known to always make great decisions.

Americans Abroad

Goal.com points out that there are 4 Americans that will be playing for various trophy's abroad over the next few weeks. Jozy Altidor will be leading AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Cup Final, Michael Bradley and AS Roma will be contending for the Coppa Italia, Charlie Davies will be looking to bring Randers FC a victory in the Danish Cup, and Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna will be playing Monterrey for the CONCACAF Champions League trophy. Good luck to all the Gringos in their trophy hunts.

Boston Marathon Tragedy Touches MLS

To say that this has been a tough week for all of us would be an understatement. We've all been riveted to our TV's and news feeds to get up to the minute information on the goings on around us. In fact I've had CNN running in the background as I'm writing this article. Kyle McCarthy at MLSSoccer.com spoke with New England Revs GK Matt Reis about what his family has been going through in dealing with the injuries his father-in-law sustained on Monday in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"Of course, I'd like to get back here and play and be with the guys and around the guys," Reis told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. "Right now, that's not necessarily the most important thing. My teammates know that. It's important for me to support my family now and make sure we get through this."

It will take some time for Reis and his family to come to terms with the magnitude of the events that unfolded on Monday. He has spent this week shuttling between his home and a Boston hospital. He has not practiced with his teammates, though he did stop by Gillette Stadium to see them on Wednesday morning. How and when the current calculus will change remains uncertain.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Reis family and everyone touched by the multiple tragedies that have occurred around the country this week.

For those going to the game this Saturday we will be singing "Sweet Caroline" starting in the 26th minute as a show of solidarity with everyone effected by the bombings in Boston. Please come and sing it loud.

Thanks as always for giving us a read during this time of media and news overload.

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