Big D Soccer News Update May 29

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Three points at home, USOC play starts, and then it's on to Colorado

Howdy folks! I will be heading to Colorado for the away game on Friday so this will be the only update this from me so I'm going to make it a big one.

FC Dallas

FC Dallas remained at the top of the table after Saturday with a 1-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at FC Dallas Stadium. FCDallas.com has all of the video highlights from the game here.

MLSSoccer.com (and FCD supporter) Matt Barbour has his Match Recap of the exciting game up at FCDallas.com.

Bernardez ended up being San Jose’s leading shot-taker for the night as usually prolific poacher Chris Wondolowski managed only two shots. But he and his teammates pressed hard for a late equalizer after coach Frank Yallop threw on extra strikers and were only denied by several excellent plays by Fernandez.

The Dallas netminder had a brilliant night, stopping all six shots he faced, including a point-blank stoning of Wondolowski in the 81st minute and again in stoppage time. Fernandez now leads all MLS goalkeepers with 45 saves, pending the rest of the weekend's matches.

Fernandez was without question the Man of the Match for FC Dallas as the keeper worked overtime on some shots and most spectacularly by stopping a shot from Wondolowski at point blank range.

That save won Fernandez a nomination for MLSSoccer.com's Goal of the Week! Get over the website and go vote for the save that helped FCD lock up three points and that kept the Hoops at the top of the table.

As Beth Anne Carroll at FCDallas.com points out, GotW honors were far from the only accolades that the were given to the Peruvian. Raul was second on this past weekends Castrol Index Week 13 Top 10 Performers. Fernendez was the top 'keeper of the group (4 out of 10 were GK's) and only beaten by Marco Di Vaio and his hat trick at the top of the index.

Fernandez had six stops in the victory, including a couple late match stops to preserve the win. It was Fernandez’s fifth shutout of the season, tied for second-most in MLS.

But that's not all!! Raul has ALSO been nominated for MLSSoccer.com's Latino Player of the Week. He has been nominated along with Jámison Olave of NYRB, RSL's Álvaro Saborío, and Timbers man Rodney Wallace.

Raúl Fernández salió en una noche inspirada, donde el internacional peruano mantuvo el cero en su arco y permitió al FC Dallas mantener el superliderato absoluto. En los minutos finales del encuentro ante San Jose Earthquakes, la defensa de los hoops fue incapaz de detener los ataques visitantes. Sin embargo, Fernández se transformó en una muralla humana, deteniendo cada embate de San Jose; Fernández fue un auténtico Supermán.

Head over to vote and to read the rest of Hugo Chavez Barroso's article. (That is if you read Spanish.) Even if you can't read Spanish you can still go vote!

As I am writing this article MLSSoccer.com has decided to award Fernandez yet ANOTHER honor by naming him (and rookie Walker Zimmerman) to their Team of the Week. Nicholas Rosano has the story.

GK: Raúl Fernández (FC Dallas) – Grabbed his team by the scruff of the neck and dragged them to three points as San Jose piled on the pressure in the end of Dallas' 1-0 win over the Quakes, ending the night with six saves.

DF: Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas) – Couldn't have asked for a much better first MLS start. Was a rock at the heart of Dallas' defense and coped well with San Jose's bruising attack.

What's really confusing though is that (if you follow the link) in the video at the top of the article is the MLS Top 3 Performers and they have GK Sean Johnson at the top instead of Raul. Odd to say the least. That said, you can't give enough credit to the way that Walker Zimmerman played last Saturday. He looked a lot of things in his first start and looking like a rookie was not one of them. The youngster looked poised and more than capable to play in this league and really showed why many thought he was the #1 overall choice in the SuperDraft.

Last night a large portion of MLS teams started their run at The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophy in the third round of the tournament. FC Dallas traveled to Florida to play the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers last night in a hard fought match. Daniel Robertson at FCDallas.com has the recap.

FC Dallas survived a hard challenge from the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers, coming away from Florida with a 2-0 win in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup third round.

Second-half goals from Blas Perez and Matt Hedges sealed the win for FC Dallas, their first Open Cup road victory since 2007. FCD will host the winner of tomorrow’s third round match between the Houston Dynamo (MLS) and FC Tuscon (PDL) on Wednesday, June 12 at FC Dallas Stadium in the fourth round of the historic tournament.

It really was a tale of two halfs for FCD. For the first 45 minutes the Strikers looked the better team and, if not for the hard work of Chris Seitz, could very easily have been down 2-0 going into half. The scary part was when Walker Zimmerman was subbed out right before half time with an apparent injury. Let's hope it was just precautionary. The team seemed to have a little more "pep" when the second half started and everyone played pretty well overall. Now we just have to wait and see how injured Zimmerman is.....

There are seven MLS teams that will be playing their 3rd round USOC games tonight, including the game that will determine who comes to FC Dallas Stadium in a few weeks, and all 7 will be looking to avoid any upsets. MLSSoccer.com has the review of all of tonight's upcoming games including link to their streams or audio feeds. The game that decides our next opponent (Houston Dynamo v FC Tuscon) starts at 7:30 CT.

Go FC Tuscon!!

MLSSoccer.com also has the preview of tonight's 2nd leg of the Canadian Championship between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact.

After 11 years of chasing the Voyageurs Cup, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS RS 3W-4L-4D – ACC 2W-0L-1D) could make history this Wednesday evening as they take on MLS rivals Montreal Impact (MLS RS 7W-2L-2D – ACC 1W-1L-1D) in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship (ACC) final at BC Place.

Meanwhile, the Impact are chasing their first Canadian title since 2008, the last of their seven Voyageurs Cups in a row.

The winner of the match will earn Canada's berth in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.

I have a really hard time taking a team seriously in the CONCACAF Champs League that got in by winning a 4 team tournament but that's just me. The first leg was played to a 0-0 draw in Montreal.

Know Thine Enemy

The Hoops head west on Saturday to take on the Colorado Rapids for the second time this year, with the first meeting of the season being won by FC Dallas 1-0 at FC Dallas Stadium.

The Rapids have had a very up and down week so far. The Rapids beat Chivas USA in their last league match 2-0 in Colorado to settle into 5th spot in the west, 8 points behing FCD. Here's BurgundyWave.com's Chris White with the recap from last Saturday.

Was there ever any doubt that the Rapids were going to pull out a victory on Saturday night against Chivas USA? Perhaps there might have been a bit after the near-horror show that was the Toronto FC game, but Colorado quelled the worries early on and had no troubles dispatching the Goats in a 2-0 victory.

The Rapids should NOT be taken lightly by the Toros as they have been on the rise for the past month or so.

The biggest surprise out of the Colorado camp this season has been the amazing work of GK Clint Irwin who has come in to replace injured #1 Matt Pickens. German Sferra at ColoradoRapids.com writes about the elite company that the first year net minder has put himself into in his first 10 games.

There have been many great goalkeepers in Major League Soccer over the first 18 years. But only two accomplished the feat Colorado Rapids first-year goalkeeper Clint Irwin reached when he posted his fifth shutout in his tenth career start Saturday night in the 2-0 win over Chivas USA.

From American World Cup 'keepers Tony Meola, Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, Tim Howard, Juergen Sommer, and Marcus Hahnemann, to international World Cup goalkeepers like Walter Zenga, Jorge Campos, Faryd Mondragon, Thomas Ravelli, and Chris Woods, none reached five clean sheets in MLS faster than Irwin.

An incredibly impressive stat for the youngster. The big question now is what to do with Pickens when he's 100%?

One thing going against the Rapids this weekend (or FOR FC Dallas if you will) was the 3-1 loss that the Rapids took last night in their opening USOC game against USL Pro side Orlando City. Again German Sferra with the story.

The Colorado Rapids were eliminated from the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night after losing 3-1 to Orlando City SC in the Third Round match played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Orlando's Bryan Burke put the home side up early but Colorado's Kamani Hill equalized to send the team even at the break. However the Lions' Dom Dwyer scored twice in the second - once after Rapids goalkeeper Stew Ceus was ejected - to advance the USL Pro side to the fourth round of the 100-year-old tournament.

Here's the video recap:

Chris White at Burgundy Wave put what happened to the Rapids in a very succinct and to the point way : (backup keeper) Steward Ceus is Horrendous.

Ceus gave up a big softie of a goal right at the start of the game, the Rapids were able to strike back through Kamani Hill, and then Ceus said 'You're not stopping me that easily!' and gave up another goal and a red card right after the start of the second half. The rest of the team didn't play incredibly badly -- Shane O'Neill even stopped a Dallas-esque screw-up by Ceus from going in to keep it from getting too out of hand -- but there was no way back once they went down 2-1 and went down to 10 men.

Ceus really was awful all game and the red card was well deserved. I think all of us here in Dallas remember how "horrendous" he can really be.

Video via infootball1:

I'm sorry to all my Colorado friends but watching that never gets old.

Don't miss the game this weekend! First kick is at 8 pm CT.

US National Teams

It's approaching summer time which means it's time for international soccer to kick off in full swing. Between World Cup qualifiers, U20 World Cup, Friendlies and everything else we've certainly got a full plate of great games coming up.

The U20 USMNT played their first game of their pre U20 World Cup warm up tournament in Toulon, France, loosing 4-1 to the host nation. USSoccer.com has the match recap.

Benji Joya scored the USA’s lone goal in the second half as U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos is using this event to prepare for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Next up for the U-20s is a match with Colombia at 5:30 p.m. local (11:30 a.m. ET) on Thursday, May 30, at Stade des Costieres in Nimes, France. Earlier on Tuesday, Colombia posted a 1-0 victory against Korea Republic.

Games at the Toulon Tournament feature two 40-minute halves instead of the standard 45.

In the post game press conference though Coach Ramos didn't seem too worried about the result.

Let's hope that the youngsters have a better showing against Columbia tomorrow.

The USMNT takes the field tonight in Cleveland (really?) to take on Belgium in an international friendly. Alexi Lalas, Cory Gibbs, and the MLSsoccer.com staff have the preview.

Belgium are bringing their A team for sure. While this isn't a competitive match , in the sense of WC qualifiers, a bad showing tonight could hurt the US confidence going into WC Qualifiers next month. Get out to either Staggering Irishman in Dallas or Abbey Pub in Fort Worth to catch one of the American Outlaws watching parties. Trust me they are always a good time.

DaMarcus Beasley is set to get his 100th national cap tonight against Belgium. It's crazy to think that he has been playing for the USMNT for 13 years now. Beasley spoke with Goal.com's Alex Labidou about what this milestone means to him.

Even at the height of Beasley's career, he admits that he had never given much thought to the possibility of having a lengthy spell with the United States.

"I would never think that I would play 99 more games [after his first cap]," Beasley said. "It's been a great ride, it was a little bit bumpy in the middle, but I wouldn't change anything for the world."

I admit that I was incredibly skeptical of Klinsmann bringing Beasley back into the National Team fold, and then the game in Denver happened. Beasley was my MotM for that game and has looked impressive ever since. Congrats on the 100th cap and here's to many more.

Well guys that's all I've got for this week. Thanks as always for stopping by and checking us out. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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