Big D Soccer News Update June 19

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It was a loss on the road for FCD but the USMNT win again on home turf and take one more step towards Brazil.

Howdy folks! FC Dallas may have lost Saturday night but is it something to be worried about?

FC Dallas

FC Dallas went to Portland Saturday night after a short turnaround from Wednesday nights USOC game. For only the third time this season the Hoops couldn't take any points away from a game with their 1-0 loss at JELD WEN Field. Dan Itel at FCDallas.com has the recap here.

The best looks for the visitors came on a searing shot by Jackson that was parried away by Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in first-half stoppage time.

It was Jackson again when he stripped Timbers midfielder Will Johnson in the 72nd minute and had a clear look at the goal, but his shot sailed high.

The loss was just FC Dallas' third of the season, and the club will look to bounce back at home next Saturday when FCD welcomes Sporting Kansas City.

This game was also the first time this season that FCD failed to score. The Nagbe goal was nothing short of amazing. It was one of those goals that no one was at fault for letting by, it was just a beauty.

It's tough to fault Dallas for this loss considering that not only had most of the Hoops had played a large chunk of the USOC game against Houston 3 days prior, but they also didn't have a true striker on the field past the 8th minute. Eric Hassli was injured during warmup and despite a valiant effort could only manage to make it through the first 8 minutes.

The biggest loss to FCD was Kenny Cooper who left Portland early Saturday morning due to a family emergency. It was announced early Saturday morning that Cooper's father, Kenny Cooper Sr, had a heart attack and KCJ had departed Portland to be with his family. MLSSoccer.com's Matt Barbour spoke with KCJ after Tuesday practice and the striker talked about being overwhelmed by the support that he received from the team and the MLS community at large.

"Oh my gosh, it’s..." Cooper said, pausing. "Schellas allowing me to be with my family, the messages I’ve received from the other coaches, teammates, [FCD technical director] Fernando Clavijo has e-mailed every day asking about my father. It’s such a testament to the good people that are here at this club and it makes me so proud to be a part of this club.

"I think my dad and my family have been overwhelmed by all the messages, all the love, the support and people’s prayers," Cooper added. "It’s really been incredible. I wish everyone that has reached out could know how much it means to my dad, my family and myself. My mom started crying when I was telling her.

I think I speak for all of us here at Big D Soccer in sending best wishes to the Cooper family and a swift recovery to Kenny Sr.

Despite the loss this weekend several FC Dallas players were recognized with multiple award nominations and honors. Raul Fernandez, easily Dallas' MotM, has been recognized for his heroics with several accolades. Raul not only was nominated for MLS Save of the Week (go vote here) but was also named the top player this week in MLS' Top 3 Performers, nominated for Latin Player of the Week (vote here), AND was named to the MLS Team of the Week.

Raul wasn't the only FCD player to have their performance rewarded. Defender Zach Loyd was been nominated for Defender of the Week (vote here) and was named to the MLS Team of the Week. Team captain David Ferreira was also #16 on the weekly Castrol Index Top 20. You can see all of this weeks nominations/accolades for FC Dallas players thanks to Beth Anne Carroll at FCDallas.com.

Daniel Robertson brings us the story of FC Dallas U15 ECNL member Abby-Grace Cooper has been called into the USWNT U14 camp.

Just at the start of her budding youth national team career, Cooper says these camps show her exactly the level she needs to attain to represent her country.

"It raises my game, because it gives me a look into the top level of play in the country," said Cooper. "It gives me bench marks to work at and bring back to my club. I learned that if you have the skill that's great, but if you don't have the passion and drive you will not go very far. I do know that I have the passion and the desire to work hard toward the goal of the US National Team."

Congratulations to Abby-Grace! All FCD fans know that you'll make us proud!

A rumor surfaced today on the interwebs about a possible upcoming FC Dallas signing out of Argentina.

El enganche, que no renovará su contrato con River, confirmó que tiene una propuesta de la Major League Soccer para continuar su carrera. Su equipo sería Dallas FC, aunque en Chile también pretenden recuperarlo.

The rumor is that 22 year old Argentine CAM Mauro Diaz may be on his way to Frisco next month. The report also states that he may be returning to Union Espanola in Chile. I can't stress enough that this is just a rumor and you can't overly trust a South American team's fan page, and after the Sanchez ordeal I would take this with a very large grain of salt. However if true this may be the player that we all heard rumblings about earlier this year. We'll let you know if anything develops.

US National Teams

The USMNT took one more step towards Brazil last night by beating Honduras 1-0 in Utah.

Video highlights via U.S Soccer.

Jozy Altidor, he of 4 goals in the past 4 games, was once again the hero as he scored the games only goal and put the US in the drivers seat on their quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. SI.com's Grant Wahl has a great article about Jozy finally starting to fulfill the potential that many people saw in him from a young age and the way that he's matured as a player.

"I just think it's all coming together on the field," Altidore said after Tuesday's win. "Especially with the stretch we've had playing together, we kind of get used to each other. It's always difficult on [short] fixture dates with a new coach who's trying to bring some new ideas. This month gave us a chance to really all sit down and work on our offense together."

As Altidore grows older and gains experience, he doesn't appear to let frustration get the better of him. When he scored last week against Panama, it came just two minutes after the referee failed to give him what looked like a penalty call in the box. And when he scored the game-winner Tuesday, it came just 14 minutes after an Altidore goal was disallowed (correctly, it turned out) when he was a hair offside.

Hopefully we're just starting to see Jozy's talent come out. What did you guys think of Jozy's performance over the last couple of weeks?

While a trip to Brazil is not guaranteed at this point Pro Soccer Talk's Kyle Bonn writes that the US could lock it up after their first game in September, with a little help from their enemies.

Although they’d need a lot of outside help, the United States could potentially have a World Cup berth wrapped up after the next round of CONCACAF qualifying fixtures.

Sitting atop the hexagonal standings, the United States holds a 2-point lead over Costa Rica and a 5-point advantage over 3rd-place Mexico.

The CONCACAF qualifying matches don’t resume until September 6, but it is mathematically possible for the U.S. to be officially headed to Brazil on that date.

Let's hope the boys get it locked up early and can start working on preparing for World Cup as soon as possible.

Coach Tab Ramos and the US U20 team start their World Cup play in Turkey this Saturday with a tough match up against Spain. While most teams want to do everything they can to avoid Spain, Goal.com's Avi Creditor writes that Ramos is relishing the chance to play against one of the world's best programs.

"In terms of how far I think this team can go, I don't know to be honest with you. I like the players that we have, I like the talent that we have on our team. Obviously we play Spain in the first game and Spain happens to be the favorite to win the World Cup. At the same time, I see that as a good challenge for us that maybe tells us whether we're close or whether we're really far away. I do know that if somehow we can survive in our group and get to the next stage, that coming out of this group we'd probably be able to beat anybody."

The Spain v USA game will be on ESPN2 this Saturday at 1pm cst.

Well folks that's all I've got today! Don't forget to go vote for the 6 eligible FC Dallas players on the MLS All Star ballot! Let's get all our boys to KC to play against AC Roma!

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