It's going to be a busy weekend folks that much is for sure. Lets get right into it.
Before we start talking about all of the footy action going on this weekend I wanted post some of the great tributes to Bobby Rhine that have been posted over the last few days. Yesterday was the second anniversary of the passing of the voice of FC Dallas, Bobby Rhine, and the outpouring of love and respect for BR19 has been overwhelming.
Nick Firchau at MLSSoccer.com has by far the best story about Bobby, his career, his legacy, and most importantly his family. Please please please go read this story and make sure to have tissues on hand when you do.
Over the years Rhine’s dogged work ethic, charismatic personality and remarkable soccer IQ made him indispensable in the locker room, and lifted him into rare, respected company around the league. What New York had in Mike Petke, Chicago found in C.J. Brown and RSL discovered in Kyle Beckerman, Dallas had in Rhine. He became a symbol of the organization.
"Everybody wanted to be on Bobby’s side in training, because they knew he was going to work hard in all those games, and more than times than not, Bobby’s team was going to win," said former Dallas coach Collin Clarke, who coached Rhine between 2003-06. "In order to win games in MLS back then, you needed one, two or three Bobby Rhines on your team. I’d say the same is still true today."
Bevan says after Rhine retired she and her husband had playfully picked out homes around Salt Lake City a number of different times and considered the options on the table [such as taking an assistant coaching job at RSL], but Kreis knew better.
"No way," Kreis says. "FC Dallas was his family."
Nothing I can say about this story will add anything. Again this story is amazing and you must read it.
Our own Drew Epperley also recounted his memories of his time with Bobby.
He was always willing to throw a compliment my way, even if I had been a critic of his play on the field or his comments in the booth. We discussed how I did soccer radio during my college days, so he was always willing to bounce thoughts off me because of that.
The thing I remember most about him was his personality. If you ever met the guy, you know what I am talking about. He had a way to lighting up a room when he entered it. He was an ambassador for the club and the league thanks to his personality - something the club has lacked in the two years since his passing.
MLSSoccer.com's Managing Editor Jonah Freedman also gave his perspective on Bobby Rhine and what he meant to FC Dallas and how players in MLS can learn from Bobby's example.
Professional sports aren’t what they used to be in this era of salary caps, luxury taxes and, in many leagues, nine-figure player contracts. Loyalty isn’t what it used to be either, and there’s an argument to be made that the very definition of loyalty has changed as well – I’m not sure it’s fair to expect an athlete to blindly declare love for a single organization given all the above factors.
But a guy who is so strongly associated with one single team that you picture his face with the mere mention of them – well, that’s special. And in many ways, that’s one of the things I miss most about Bobby Rhine: It’s going to be a long time before someone joins him as the face of Dallas.
If you want to honor Bobby's memory it's not too late to go sign up for the American Heart Association Heart Walk on Saturday morning and walk with Team FCD. Go to the team link and get signed up and join us at Victory Park to walk in Bobby's memory and to support a great cause.
Okay I'm sorry about the sappy stuff. Now dry your eyes and we'll get on with it.
The FC Dallas Reserve squad beat the NYRB Reserves in New Jersey on Tuesday morning with a 3-2 victory. The most shocking part of game??? Peter Luccin scored the first goal in his first match of any type this season. FCDallas.com has the story.
...The victory improved the FC Dallas Reserves record to 2-6-1. The team has four matches remaining this season, three of which will be played at home. The final away match of the year is up next, a Sunday, Sept. 15 match versus the Rapids Reserves (4-6-1) in Colorado.
Kenny gets his second goal in two games for the Reserves, Top gets his first of the year, AND Peter Luccin scores in his first game back. A successful game by any standard. It will be interesting to see if Luccin is in the 18 for tomorrow's game. What do you guys think about the prospect of Luccin finally getting into the fold at FC Dallas?
Know Thine Enemy
This will be the third meeting this year between the Vancouver Whitecaps and FCD with The Hoops taking the first game 2-0 and then settling for a 2-2 draw in Canada the following week. With both teams being tied on points for 6th place in the Western Conference to say this is an important game would be an understatement.
Drew has his weekly scouting report up right now at FCDallas.com. Drew points out that neither team have had a great run of things lately which could play into Dallas' favor.
The 'Caps have one win in their last seven matches, dating back to the middle of July. Vancouver has given up five goals in its last three matches alone.
On the season, Vancouver is 2-7-3 away from BC Place with just 11 goals scored.
...The three points are Dallas’ to lose in this one at home. Knowing that the playoff picture is so tight in the Western Conference, Dallas needs to take every opportunity that they can to reach the post season.
And of course Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle have The Scouting Report on this game up at MLSSoccer.com.
Goal.com's Avi Creditor points out that both teams are going to be hard hit with players out on international duty, suspension and injury.
FC Dallas will be shorthanded up top for the match, as Panamanian striker Blas Perez, who leads the team with 10 goals, is with Los Canaleros for international duty and Kenny Cooper is suspended. That could pave the way for former Whitecaps Designated Player Eric Hassli to start against his former side.
Vancouver is harmed by international duty as well, with young attacking talent Russell Teibert and Darren Mattocks representing Canada and Jamaica, respectively. Vancouver could see captain and center back Jay DeMerit return to action for the first time since rupturing his Achilles' tendon in the season-opening match, though, as he has been included on the traveling roster for the match.
The importance of this game to both teams cannot be overstated here. It's sure to be rough and tumble match with both teams scrapping for 3 points.
If you haven't gotten your tickets yet head HERE and grab some ASAP!!
US National Teams
The US Men take on Costa Rica tonight in San Jose, CR (9 pm CT kick off) and there's already been drama before the teams even take the field.
The Costa Ricans seem to still be a little upset about the whole "snowpocalyps" game in Denver. For those who missed it (really?!?) Pro Soccer Talk's Joe Prince-Wright has the highlights.
There have been multiple incidents since the US arrived in San Jose earlier this week. It all started with the warm welcome the locals gave our boys at the airport, which included throwing eggs, cab drivers agreeing to slow traffic to a crawl tomorrow, and the refusal to allow the USMNT to practice with the official balls that will be used. Andy Edwards at MLSSoccer.com has the full breakdown of the shenanigans that have been going on.
Alright, Ticos, we get it. You're really mad about the game in March, that you had to play that game in the blizzard-like snow, and ultimately, that you lost. But keep this in mind: The USMNT had to play on that same field, in that same blizzard that you did. And they beat you despite it, not because of it.
Of course it was all hilariously topped off with the now infamous Klinsmann interview being interrupted by.....a dairy cow mascot.... I couldn't make that up if I wanted to. Video via Yashin Quesada.
Yeah...so that happened....
With everything that has happened the San Jose police have announced that they will add extra security at the game. ESPNFC.com has the story.
The Costa Rican police force will put 500 agents in and around the Estadio Nacional and key gathering places in San Jose for Friday's CONCACAF qualifying rematch between the United States and Costa Rica, chief of police Juan Jose Andrade said during a press conference in San Jose on Thursday.
Andrade said the agency would provide extra staffing from 8 a.m. ET until early dawn on Saturday morning, if necessary, should there be fan incidents. He added that there would also be extra vigilance throughout the country wherever large groups of fans would be gathering to watch the match.
It should most definitely be a colorful match to watch.
While the USMNT take on Mexico this coming Tuesday, the USWNT put a whooping on Mexico on Tuesday at RFK Stadium with a convincing 7-0 win. Goal.com's Seth Vertelney reports that Coach Ton Sermanni had high praise for Striker Sydney Leroux after her 4 goal(!!!) performance.
"She’s a bit like Didier Drogba," U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni said after Leroux scored four times in the first half of a dominating 7-0 win over Mexico.
"To play against her is a real problem as a defender," Sermanni added. "She’s just nonstop. She’s an amazing physical presence, she’s always in there looking to score goals, she holds the ball up well, she’s always involved in the game."
An amazing performance from Leroux to say the least. It seems that added playing time from the NWSL has been a great thing for the USWNT.
FC Dallas will announce the new sponsor for FC Dallas Stadium on Tuesday.
Also make sure to go vote for Blas Perez to be on the cover of the upcoming FIFA 2014 game!! You can vote as many times as you want so get over to MLSSoccer.com and VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!
Thanks as always for reading Big D Soccer and make sure to get out to your local pub tonight and Tuesday and cheer on the USMNT. AO Dallas will be at The Staggering Irishman in Dallas and AO Fort Worth will be at The Abbey Pub in downtown Fort Worth. Hope to see you there!