Howdy folks! The boys take down the Dynamo for a second time this year and now head out to Portland in hopes of staying on top of the Supporter's Shield heap.
How satisfying was it to beat Houston 3-0 on Wednesday? It surely made my Thursday better! There was a pretty good crowd (for an Open Cup game) on hand to see the Hoops on Wednesday night. For those who missed it the FC Dallas website has all of the recaps and highlights from the victory. Here's the full video highlights.
While the first 30 minutes or so were less than stellar, the team picked it up in the end and saw Kenny "The Houston Hitman" Cooper (I am determined to make this nickname stick) get a brace, and Zach Loyd score one of the cheekiest goal of the year.
Matt Barbour has the breakdown of the USOC victory up at FCDallas.com.
Both teams had trouble generating any offensive chances for most of the first half with neither goalkeeper being tested until FC Dallas finally opened the scoring in the 38th minute and, as usual, midfield revelation Michel was the catalyst.
"Revelation" is the perfect description for what Michel has been for this team this year. None of us could have hoped to get this much quality from a relatively unknown fullback. Kenny Cooper spoke about what Michel has meant to the team this season.
"His quality speaks for itself. He has been incredible since he joined the team. His service from dead balls and also from the run of play is top, top quality. We’re really fortunate to have him. He’s also a great guy. A great locker room presence… He really has come in and made a good impression on the team and league. I’m really happy for him because he couldn’t be a nicer person."
I want to pose a question to you guys. What's more surprising: Michel's set piece ability? or how well he's adapted to a different position? Let me know in the comments below.
FCD's Daniel Robertson, who was also the color commentator for the internet broadcast on Wednesday, has put together another look back at the match through social media. These recaps are one of my favorite things this season. It's a very cool and original way to recap the match and take a look with a different type of spin.
The team website also has coach Schellas Hyndman's post match press conference.
I feel like this team has now gone all in on this tournament and if they don't win it I for one will be very disappointed.
Many people, myself and Steve Fenn included, were dumbfounded at the fact that DF10 came on as a sub late in the game on Wednesday and more importantly the fact that Ramon Nunez was nowhere to be seen. Steve Hunt at the Dallas Morning News has a quote from Schellas about why Ramon wasn't on the bench.
"I think Ramon, we’ve got to get some work done. My conversation with Ramon was he worked so hard to get back into training and then now, he’s kind of like a lot of people, I worked so hard I’m here. We need more. I think right now, we need Ramon not to be in a rehab mentality, but to be in a I’m going to help FC Dallas win," Hyndman said. "Sometimes you just have to back off a little bit and let the player kind of figure it out. The last couple conversations I had with him, he was disappointed like any professional player would be, but he’s really embraced the opportunity to get better."
Very interesting bit of info from the skipper. Nunez was supposed to be an integral part of the depth on this team and now when we need him to help save legs...he's out of shape again. Let's hope he gets his act together and gets back to game fitness quickly.
The Hoops will play the Portland Timbers this Saturday in the Rose City and will also host them in Frisco for the Quarter Finals of the Lamar Hunt USOC on June 26th. Kyle Bonn at Pro Soccer Talk on NBCSports.com has the quick rundowns of all of the weeks USOC match results.
Now, the quarterfinals are set without last year’s defending champions, and with two lower division teams still in the mix, it’s sure to give us an intriguing finish.
More than a few surprises this past week in USOC, but then that's one of the fun things about this tournament.
If you needed any more proof that FCD doesn't get any respect in the greater MLS community then head over to MLSSoccer.com and check out the results so far of their poll: Who's most likely to win USOC trophy this year. At the time I'm typing this people think that Orlando SC has a better shot than FCD....BY 3.5 POINTS!! Oh well, I guess we should be used to it by now. We've done a hell of a job flying under the radar so far this year.
Know Thine Enemy
Portland are coming off of a win on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and rested a few more of their starters than FCD did.
FCDallas.com's Scott Brown has the video preview of this Saturday's game.
MLSSoccer.com's Dan Kaiek and Matt Doyle also have their scouting report for tomorrow afternoon's match up.
Tomorrow's match will be a tough test for the Torros, especially with so many of the starters seeing so many minutes on Wednesday. Let's hope the Hoops can continue to surprise everyone and pull out 3 points at the always tough JELD-WEN Field.
Keith Hickey at Goal.com has the most in depth match preview, including probable lineups, injury reports, and recent team news for both FCD and the Timbers.
The last time these teams met at Jeld-Wen Field in August 2012, they were propping up the rest of the Western Conference. Now, Dallas is in first in the West and all of MLS, and Portland is third in the West, with two games in hand on second-placed Real Salt Lake.
This Saturday's game will be broadcast on ESPN at 4pm central time. Get out to your local pub and watch our boys take 3 points home from the Pacific Northwest!
It's certainly been a busy few weeks for the USMNT. After last Tuesday's win against Panama the US sit atop the CONCACAF Hex table. Their next game will be Tuesday evening at 6pm against Honduras in Utah.
Granted, facing off with Panama is not quite a Premier League nor even a Championship level opponent, but it was a pressure match and Cameron turned in a virtuoso performance.
This leaves new Stoke City manager Mark Hughes with increased options in the midfield. Considering Sparky is likely to overturn large portions of the Potters squad he inherited from Pulis, Cameron could be featured in a different role.
Cameron was great filling in for Jermaine Jones and by playing such a versatile role has proven his worth to Jurgen Klinsmann's team.
Another player that has shown that he deserves to be playing regularly for the USMNT is DeMarcus Beasley. Complications with his club situation have arisen as his club team Puebla have loan listed the versatile left side man. Zac Lee Rigg at Goal.com has the story.
Much can change ahead of the next World Cup qualifiers in September. Before then, Beasley must sort out his club situation. After two years in Puebla, the club put him on the transfer list. However, no Mexican club purchased him prior to the Liga MX trade deadline, meaning he can only stay with Puebla or leave the country to continue his career.
"That's basically the deal," he said. "We'll see in the next couple weeks. I'd like to stay, but we'll see."
Whatever happens with his club situation, Beasley is here to stay with the USA.
I have said before that I was as vocal as anyone about Beasley getting his first call up in awhile ahead of the game in Denver against Costa Rica and I'm not ashamed to say that I couldn't have been more wrong. It mystifies me as to how Jurgen Klinsmann can bring guys like Beasley and Eddie Johnson back into the USMNT fold and get them to produce. What ever he's doing I hope he keeps it up.
Also go check out Steve Davis' piece at Pro Soccer Talk about who he thinks are already locks to make it onto the squad for Brazil in 2014.
Time to begin perusing the U.S. player pool and debating who will be on the charter about this time next year.
Here are the players more or less locked in (assuming good health, of course.) As I assess it, 15 men are "in" for a roster of 23.
Normally I hate these speculative type articles but I don't really find anything to disagree with Steve on. Lets hope everyone stays healthy.
Well guys that's all I've got for now. Get your butts out to a watch party somewhere tomorrow afternoon and cheer on your Hoops!