Big D Soccer News Update July 19

USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas look to stop the slide and the USMNT look to keep up their winning ways this weekend.

Well FC Dallas fans it's been a little bit of a rough summer so far but the Hoops look to turn it around this weekend against a Montreal side that has seen it's fair share of struggles over the last month.

FC Dallas

To say that the RSL loss was a rough one would be an understatement. The way that Dallas lost, especially the way the first goal was given up, needs to be an eye opener for this team. With 270+ minutes played since FC Dallas has found the back of the net the "summer slump" seems to have turned into a full blown rut. Here's what Schellas and some of the players had to say post match.

You can also head over to FCDallas.com and check out Matt Barbour's Match Recap.

Real Salt Lake strengthened their hold on the Western Conference lead and extended their unbeaten run to eight with a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas in front of 16,560 fans at FC Dallas Stadium, RSL's' first win in Texas in franchise history. The loss marked FCD's first defeat at home in league play since June 28, 2012.

Dallas peppered Josh Saunders’ goal the entire first half, only for RSL to score the opening goal completely against the run of play in the 39th minute.

As Hyndman said in his post game press conference there was a bright spot for FCD on Saturday night in Fabian Castillo. Beth Anne Carroll writes about the young Colombian's busy night on FCDallas.com.

FC Dallas fell 3-0 against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, but the team had plenty of chances throughout the game to keep it close. While the result surely wasn’t what they wanted, there were some positives to take away from the performance.

Fabian Castillo was one of those bright spots.

"Castillo caused a lot of problems for [RSL]," said head coach Schellas Hyndman. "Fabian was very dangerous for us tonight at attack."

The forward created multiple scoring opportunities throughout the match, especially early on.

Castillo looked like a possible game changer but got very little help from the rest of the squad. Other than Castillo it was a poor performance from the team and the first goal for RSL was one of the worst goals this team has given up all year.

Hoops fans had a couple of other bright spots this week starting with the announcement that Raul Fernandez will be on the All Star game's 20 man roster and will probably be starting the game. FC Dallas Media Services has the announcement.

Peter Vermes named FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez to his 20-man game day roster for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star game today.

Fernandez earned the fan vote at his position earlier this month, getting his first All-Star nod as part of the Fan XI. The 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will feature MLS’ best versus AS Roma on Wednesday, July 31 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be televised live on ESPN2, UniMas and in Canada on TSN and RDS at 8 p.m. CT.

The Fan XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of at least six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members.

Congrats again to Raul on his much deserved selection. Raul has kept this team in more than a few games this season and has quieted the early critics who were upset about Kevin Hartman being released at the end of last season.

We also got the news that many had waiting to hear for the last few weeks. The team announced the signing of 22 year old Argentinian midfielder Mauro Diaz. Coach Schellas Hyndman spoke with the media yesterday about the new attacking player on his roster.

"I think his vision definitely is going to be something that's very helpful to us, but it's still an adjustment to this league," said Hyndman. "It's winter time in Argentina right now so it's an adjustment to heat, adjustment to new coach, new teammates, and also adjustment to the athletic, physical play in the league."

If all goes to plan, fans will have their first chance to see Diaz in action when FC Dallas hosts Stoke City of the English Premier League next Saturday, July 27 at 8:00 PM.

I've also heard that the game against Stoke City (tickets here) could be the first look that we get of FCD's other new signing this month, Erick. Of course that depends on how well Erick's injured hamstring has progressed. Hopefully we get them both so they can start showing their worth to this team and help them right the ship.

Know Thine Enemy

FC Dallas head to the great white north this weekend to take on the Montreal Impact at 6 pm Saturday. The Impact and FCD battled for the lead in the Supporter's Shield race but both teams have had it a little rough over the past month. While the Impact are still tied for second in the Eastern Conference their last 4 games haven't gone as the Blues would have hoped.

Montreal is 0-2-2 in the last month with the two ties coming against lowly Chivas USA at home and lowlier Toronto FC. The two ties were sandwiched between a loss to the Colorado Rapids at home in late June and last weeks 4-0 blowout loss to NYRB.

Here's FC Dallas' Match Preview with Scott Brown.

Also go check out our own Drew Epperley's weekly preview at FCDallas.com.

This will be the lone meeting between the two clubs this season. Last year, the Impact came to Frisco and Dallas was able to beat them 2-1 thanks to two late goals by Blas Perez and Brek Shea.

The Impact are struggling as of late with just one win in their last six matches. During this stretch, they have also given up 14 goals, nearly doubling their goals against total for the season.

First year head coach Marco Schallibaum’s club is coming off a 4-0 loss at New York last week.

With the news that Montreal's leading scorer Marco Di Vaio will not be playing FCD may have an easier time of pulling off a surprise win on the road (and in Canada no less). That's not say that it's an easy task, especially considering the lack of any type of offense from FCD as of late.

The Impact are reporting that there are less than 1.500 seats left in the 20,500 seat Stade Saputo so Montreal should have a good atmosphere.

The match starts at 6 pm CT and FC Dallas will be hosting their Party at the Pub this weekend at The Pub in Frisco and will be giving away everything from Gold Cup tickets, Stoke City tickets, and even a team signed shirt.

The Gold Cup

With their 1-0 win on Tuesday night against Costa Rica the USMNT has booked their place in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals this Sunday against El Salvador.

The man who scored the winning goal for the USMNT was former FCD man and Plano resident Brek Shea. For those who missed the goal, and the amazing pass from Landon Donovan to set up Brek's first goal for his country:

MLSSoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe writes about how this goal was redemption for Shea who has been hit or miss as of late. In the article is a quote from Shea after the game that in my mind shows how much the young winger has grown as a player.

"It just feels good. A lot of people talked a lot of smack," Shea said. "I can’t get too high off this, and I can’t get too low off the last game. It’s just one game, one little thing. There’s a lot of games left in this tournament and soccer to be played in my career."

Andrew also points out which USMNT teammate may have helped Shea along his path to growth and maturity.

That mindset jives with the message Shea’s roommate in camp, Stuart Holden, has been driving home since Saturday. One game does not define a player, and Shea made sure against Costa Rica that a poor 45 minutes against Cuba wouldn’t be the only lingering memory from this tournament.

"I know he was disappointed after the last game and didn’t feel as sharp as he has in the past. For a young kid, he really has a strong mentality," Holden said. "I think that’s important. He really bounced back from that [game against Cuba]. As soon as he scored, I ran over to him and said,‘Redemption. Keep going from here now.’ I hope that really propels him forward and gives him the boost that he needs because he’s a really talented player on his day."

I can't think of any better player for Brek to learn about the stresses of being a professional soccer player and what it means to keep a "big picture" attitude than Stuart Holden. Congratulations to Brek and I know we look forward to seeing more out of the Texas native in the future.

There was talk about Brek leaving the team to return to preseason training with Stike City, however he was not on the list when Jurgen Klinsmann made his allowed 4 changes ahead of the knockout stages of the Gold Cup. Zac Lee Rigg over at Goal.com has the full list of roster changes.

The United States took advantage of CONCACAF's new rule for the 2013 Gold Cup, making all four allotted swaps to its roster prior to the knockout stage. Three other countries - Mexico, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago - exchanged one player each as teams made reinforcements ahead of this weekend's quarterfinal bouts.

Jurgen Klinsmann dropped Herculez Gomez, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack McInerney and Corey Ashe and brought in center back stalwarts Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and attackers Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson to replace them.

Honestly I would have preferred Jack Mac over Alan Gordon any day but other than maybe the Onyewu drop (he was decent enough) I wasn't too surprised with the switches. It should also be said that this peobably means that Brek will NOT be at the FC Dallas v Stoke City game next weekend.

MLSSoccer.com's Jonah Freedman writes about how this Sunday's game against El Salvador may help the youngsters from the Olympic team to exercise some demons and get the foul taste of the Olympic debacle out of their collective mouth if they can get a win against the team that broke their heart in Great Britain.

Sixteen months ago, a little piece of U.S. Soccer died in Nashville. It seems almost like ancient history now – we all know how cyclical this whole fanaticism thing is – but the finality of the US squad getting dumped out of Olympic qualifying was one of the harder pills to swallow.

When Sean Johnson misplayed Jaime Alas’ desperate bomb with the last kick of the game, giving El Salvador a shocking 3-3 draw with the US, it marked the end of a dream. That Olympic squad had started qualifying so promisingly, so brightly and so full of talent and potential.

Then it all came crashing down. It was perhaps the nadir of this past World Cup cycle, really even before qualifying for the big show next summer actually began. All the bluster and dreaminess of the Jurgen Klinsmann regime was blown up in an instant at LP Field that night, and that’s when the real uneasiness began.

On paper the US should have no problem in dealing with El Salvador. Those who follow this game however know that games aren't played on paper. The USMNT take on El Salvador at 3 pm CT in Baltimore this Sunday.

Joe Prince-Wright at Pro Soccer Talk has a complete breakdown of this weekend's Quarterfinal match ups.

this year’s Gold Cup has produced plenty of surprises, including Cuba’s stunning 4-0 win over Belize yesterday which saw them reach the quarterfinals for just the second-time in their history.

The Cubans needed to win by four or more to qualify, and scored the decisive goal in the final minute. Wonderful stuff.

So, who’s playing who? Well, on Saturday a double header takes place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, with the Cuban heroes taking on Panama. That’s followed by Mexico taking on Trinidad and Tobago for a place in the semifinals.

On Sunday the USA face El Salvador, while a huge clash takes place between old rivals Costa Rica and Honduras. Both games will be played at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thanks as always for stopping by and giving us a read. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Hope to see you out this weekend at a watch party! I'll be watching this weekend's games the The Staggering Irishman in Plano where they will also be giving away free midfield Gold Cup tickets. Make it out to one of the watch parties and support your Hoops!

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