Big D Soccer News Update July 27

Laurence Griffiths

The English are coming! The English are coming!

Stoke City head into Frisco as the the Hoops take on their first English opponent ever.

FC Dallas

Well the 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact last Saturday didn't end up as most of us had hoped but at this point taking a point away from Canada (without giving up 2 late goals) is a plus.

As Beth Anne Carroll of fcdallas.com points out there were 2 FC Dallas performances that were honored with weekly awards by MLS. Raul Fernandez took the top spot in the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20, his 6th time this year on the list. Also being honored for their strong performance was Zach Loyd who was named to the MLS Team of the Week.

Fernandez is no stranger to the Castrol Index. This week's appearance marks his sixth on the season and the second time the 'keeper has been number one for the week. Here's what the MLS staff had to say about the Peruvian national:

Nine goalkeepers made the cut, with FC Dallas 'keeper Raúl Fernández leading the way in the Week 21 marks. His four saves in a shutout performance helped Dallas pick up a road point in Montreal. It is the second time this season Fernandez has had the top spot in the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20.

Meanwhile, Zach Loyd was one of three defenders to pick up Team of the Week honors after his strong backfield performance in Montreal. Here's what Nicholas Rosano said about the defender:

A force on the right flank as Dallas battled to a scoreless draw in Montreal, both quieting the Impact's attack and getting forward to effectively join in on a few attacks himself.

Again considering what has happened to FC Dallas in Canada this year this was a good result and that was arguably Zach's best performance all year.

The FC Dallas Reserves played USL PRO side Antigua Barracuda FC on Tuesday at FC Dallas Stadium winning handily 3-1 on the back of two Ramon Nunez goals. As Daniel Robertson reports reserve team coach Marco Ferruzzi had high praise for the Honduran after the match.

"In the final third, Ramon is a dangerous player," said Ferruzzi. "He’s got an excellent shot and we’ve always known this about him. Getting everything into the complete package is still a process for him and other players, but this is the quality that he has. Outside the box he’s a dangerous shooter and he got two goals tonight."

Here's the full highlights from Tuesday's game.

Brek Shea sighting it's still going to be a blast. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet get them ASAP and get there tonight.

Stokecityfc.com points out that even though these two teams have never met there's still many things that link the oldest English club with one of the original MLS clubs.

Links can go further back too, with Potters' stars playing as the Cleveland Stokers in the United Soccer League against a Dundee United team representing the city as the Dallas Tornado way back in 1967.

Dallas then continued to run a team with their own players right up until the early 1980s and owner Lamar Hunt played a key role in the formation of the MLS.

Both clubs also don red and white colours, although winger Brek Shea swapped hoops for stripes when he made the move across the pond in January.

Sadly he will miss the clash against his former side as he prepares for the US national team's Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday.

Stokecityfc.com also has a collection of pictures from The Potters' training sessions in Frisco.

Tonight's game will be the second for Stoke in Texas this week. Stoke took on the (hated) Houston Dynamo with a 2-0 result going Houston's way. Kyle Bonn over at Pro Soccer Talk has the story and the highlights.

Major League Soccer is in full swing, while the Premier League is just beginning to turn the wheels on their new season.

It showed as Stoke City fell to the Houston Dynamo 2-0 in the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup.

Andrew Driver placed a long free kick past Asmir Begovic in the 11th minute, and Houston went wire-to-wire as Giles Barnes added insurance two minutes from the final whistle.

Get out early and support the Hoops!

USMNT Gold Cup

The USMNT moved on to the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals with a 3-1 win over Honduras on Wednesday at Cowboy's Stadium. Heading in to the final tomorrow in Chicago MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle have their newest edition of The Scouting Report with their look at USA vs Panama.

MLSSoccer.som's FC Dallas beat writer Matt Barbour writes that many FCD players will be caught in a weird spot on Sunday. Cheer for Blas Perez? or for their home country?

While there is no doubt which team [Mariano] Rivera will be pulling for during Sunday’s Gold Cup final in Chicago, there are bound to be some mixed feelings on the proceedings emanating from the American contingent in FC Dallas’ ranks. Cooper, ever the diplomat, said he wanted the US to win, but that he hoped Pérez played well and said that a 2-1 win by the Yanks with Pérez scoring the lone Panama goal "sounded good."

Jacobson was more blunt in his response when asked who he’d be pulling for.

"USA. I’m American, that’s who I’ll always root for," a laughing Jacobson said. "I hope Blas has a good game and I hope he almost scores, but I hope we win,"

Get out to either the AO Dallas headquarters at The Staggering Irishman or the AO Fort Worth bar Abbey Pub and cheer on the Gringos this Sunday at 3pm.

The biggest questions for the USMNT ahead of tomorrow's match? Who starts against Panama, who have been almost as hot as the Americans during the Gold Cup. Joe Prince-Wright at Pro Soccer Talk breaks down who could be the starters for the USA on Sunday.

As Sunday’s Gold Cup final against Panama draws closer, Klinsmann has an incredible selection conundrum to unravel.

With so many of his players performing to a level never seen before, the USA’s squad is stronger than ever. But, as tends to happen in soccer, you can only select 11 players to go out there between the white lines.

Klinsmann must have a good idea of who he will select, but there are certain areas where two or three players are vying for the same position. There will be some very disappointed men on the subs bench at Soldier Field when Sunday afternoon’s final begins.

Which ever guys get the start it's going to be an amazing match.

Lets End This On A Funny Note

Chris Manning over at the Bolton Wanderers blog The Lion of Vienna Suite asks the question we've all been dying to know (and one that leaves a little bit of a bitter taste in old school FCD fan's mouths): What ever happened to Denilson?

His career took on a nomadic form following his departure for France, and Bordeaux in 2005 for £4m. Quite the drop. He would stay no more than a season in France, UAE, MLS with FC Dallas, Brazil, Vietnam, and finally Greece, before retiring in 2010.

The biggest bust in FC Dallas history? Discuss...

Thanks as always for stopping by. Hope to see you all out tonight and tomorrow. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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