Howdy folks! FC Dallas heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend and we've also got a ton of USMNT news to get to today.
FC Dallas take on the Seattle Sounders Saturday at CenturyLink Field at 9:30 ct (thanks for that MLS....). The team is hosting their official Party at the Pub at the Allen Wickers in Plano with the festivities kicking off at 9pm. Get out to either Allen Wickers or one of the other watch parties around the city and support the Hoops. For those staying at home this game is the MLS Stream of the Week and will be streamed live on MLSSoccer.com.
While George John did not make the trip up north this weekend two players that will be there are youngsters London Woodberry (probably starting for GJ) and 1st round SuperDraft pick Walker Zimmerman. FCDallas.com's Daniel Robertson writes that both rookies are ready for the challenge (and are actually excited about it) that comes with playing in Seattle.
"I’m just pretty much excited," said Woodberry, a likely starter again on Saturday. "I don’t think I’ve played in front of a crowd that big so that’ll be a big step for me, but I’m going up there to get three points and that’s the focus right now."
While Woodberry was a little shaky at the beginning of his first start against Portland the youngster has impressed me greatly, especially considering that he's playing out of position at CB.
MLSUK writer (he's also a fellow Beer Guardian and my new favorite ex-pat) Dan Crooke writes about the injury issues FC Dallas has been dealing with and the way that guys who normally don't get starts are stepping up and taking advantage of the time they've been given.
The team that wins the Supporters Shield is the team that stays healthiest all season, and the team that wins MLS Cup is the team that keeps a healthy side through the post-season. Coach Hyndman is trying to achieve those aims through rotating players who are picking up knocks, and fortunately he does appear to have the players who are in a position to step up. A luxury he has not always been afforded.
Much has been made of the lack of depth that FCD has at certain positions, but we've seen guys step up where no one thought they would. Dan's point about Watson is the perfect example. Watson (normally a winger) hasn't been as good as AJ or Michel but has done a sound enough job that Hyndman has preferred him over fan favorite Bobby Warshaw. I also have a feeling that we'll be seeing a lot more of Eric Hassli in the following weeks.
The FC Dallas Academy returned to action last weekend with key matches against local rivals Dallas Texans played across all age groups. The U18s and U16s also had matches on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids.
Another successful weekend for the FCD youth! Great job guys! Try to make it out tomorrow to the FC Dallas Youth Academy Day at FC Dallas Stadium and support the youngsters.
Know Thine Enemy
Here's the Scouting Report for the FCD/Seattle matchup from MLSSoccer.com's Greg Lalas and Matt Doyle.
Our own Drew Epperley has his own breakdown of the upcoming match in Seattle up at FCDallas.com.
Schmid has had some injuries to deal with all season so far with the biggest being on his offensive side of things. Star forwards Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins have had lingering issues, but both should be fit for this contest.
The bigger question could be whether or not defender Marc Burch (quad strain), midfielder Shalrie Joseph (hamstring strain) and Steve Zakuani (abdominal strain) will be good to go on Saturday evening.
It's surely going to be a tough match up in Seattle, especially with the turf that the Sounders play on, but FC Dallas has shown that they are a capable team regardless of which players are on the field.
Go check out Sounders podcast Nos Audietis as they interview Seattle native George John about everything from his relationship with Lamar Neagle, his family being Sounders season ticket holders, and even the bottle throwing incident. Via sounderatheart.com.
USSoccer.com announced the 26 man roster for the training camp and games coming up against Germany, Belgium, and WC qualifiers.
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg, Germany)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Roma, Italy), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Brad Davis (Houston), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor, Turkey), Stuart Holden (Bolton, England), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Brek Shea (Stoke, England), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, Germany), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
The biggest surprises on this roster were the inclusion of Brek Shea, Danny Williams, and Michael Parkhurst, none of whom have seen any sort of real time with their teams as of late. So much for Klinsmann.s saying that players must be playing regularly to get called up..... Another surprise (for me anyways) was Landon Donovan being left off the camp roster. A mistake in my opinion but I know this is a heated subject with many opinions.
Charles Boehm at MLSSoccer.com breaks down the roster and the way that JK has thrown a kink in the plans as per usual.
The most notable oddity was his selection of not three, not four, but a whopping six goalkeepers. The move was explained as a sort of platoon system in which Tally Hall, Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson and Nick Rimando – the MLS-based backups to Tim Howard and Brad Guzan – will cycle in and out of camp to balance their club commitments with Klinsmann's desire to expose them to the USMNT environment.
Once it was explained I think Klinsmann's approach makes more sense but damn! SIX KEEPERS?!?!?
The Yanks next two opponents (Germany and Belgium) have both announced their call ups for the upcoming friendlies and it seems that the two teams are taking very different approaches. Both stories from the AP via espnfc.com.
Coach Joachim Loew has called up four newcomers for Germany's exhibition games against Ecuador and the United States, with the stars of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund absent because the teams are playing in the Champions League final.
Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira also will miss the trip because the Spanish season won't be over. A total of 15 first-string players are missing from the U.S. tour.
And the Belgiums take on their roster:
Preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Brussels on June 7, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots selected a star-filled roster that includes forward Christian Benteke, teammate of backup U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan at Aston Villa. Also chosen Thursday were Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele, who play with American midfielder Clint Dempsey on Tottenham.
Wilmots' defensive options include Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen and Bayern Munich's Daniel Van Buyten.
Hopefully the US can tough out some good wins against a couple of very good teams. While Germany might not be at "full strength" they are NEVER a team that should be overlooked.
ESPNFC.com's Jeff Carlisle posed four questions about this list of players that the US has called up.
Now we have confirmation that Landon Donovan will indeed have to resort to playing the role of cheerleader when the U.S. takes on Belgium and Germany in a few weeks -- and again for the three World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras later in June.
The most interesting USMNT story I've read this week was by Goal.com's Seth Vertelney about Klinsmann attempt to convince Icelandic-American forward ,and teammate of Jozy Altidor at AZ, Aron Johannsson to commit to the USMNT and represent the country of his birth.
AZ striker Aron Johannsson was born in Alabama, but moved to Iceland with his parents when he was three years old. The 22-year-old was in tremendous form last season for Danish club AGF Aarhus, which earned him a move to Jozy Altidore's club.
Though Iceland called up Johannsson for World Cup qualifiers last October, he was unable to participate due to injury. Klinsmann, in a Q&A session on U.S. Soccer's official website, expressed renewed optimism he could have the striker in his camp shortly.
There's has been a lot of hype about this kid and with the US front line not getting any younger, and no I'm not convinced Altidor is the answer for the US, Johannson may be the future. Let's hope the youngster commits to the US and will be a formidable weapon going forward.
As always thanks so much for stopping by and make sure to get out and support the Hoops tomorrow at any of the local watering holes that will be showing the game.