It's win or go home at Pizza Hut Park tonight! I've got to say I'm probably way more excited than I should be tonight, but there really hasn't been a game at Pizza Hut Park where the loser's competition was over since 2008 so it's a pretty big night for me.
One team whose season isn't over is the FCD U18 Academy as they throttled Real Colorado to clinch a spot in the Development Academy Finals week. The big guns shined in this one as Moises Hernandez, Bryan Leyva and Jonathan Top all scored for Dallas, though interestingly enough, Hernandez was pulled after 60 and Leyva after 45 indicating that both of them could play a part in tonight's US Open Cup match.
If FCD U18 can finish top of this group at finals week, they will play on ESPNU July 15th for the prestigious championship.
Moving onto the game tonight, here's a preview from the Orlando City SC website that has the word match in it 18 times(yes, I'm OCD) and spells Colombian wrong(sorry it's my pet peeve).
Orlando comes into the match riding a two game winning streak. The Lions soundly defeated American Division rival Antigua Barracuda FC twice in three days in a trip to the Caribbean nation this past weekend. Firing on all cylinders, City is fully prepared for the match. Several starters were rested for Sunday’s match. This should eliminate the fatigue caused by Orlando’s hectic travel schedule going into the match.
Keep reading for a Dallas player up for a big award, an art show and more
FC Dallas MVP midfielder David Ferreira has been nominated for the Best MLS Player ESPY...this is pretty awesome and really puts FC Dallas on the big stage. Go vote for El Torito!
Todd Date has a few things up over at 3rddegree...He's got a Q&A with Barry Gorman where he tries to give the irishman the hard count multiple times but can't get him to jump offsides and give us anything juicy.
Who can we expect the next player to be extended?
Gorman: Stay tuned for an announcement in the near future.
Are we talking next month, by the end of the summer or what? In the next couple of weeks?
Gorman: Earlier than that. Yes, hopefully.
Is this a veteran guy or somebody that’s newer to the club?
Gorman: You can’t pry that out of me but I don’t blame you for trying.
The he analyzes two possible FCD targets, Blas Perez and Luis Tejada...It still just doesn't make sense to me that Dallas would release their names unless one of them is either already signed or they're not actually interested in either of them. In fact, this article suggests Perez is joining Indios of Juarez in a few days for their season and Atlante is set to bid over $1m Euros for Tejada so these seem unlikely..
Drawback: Tejada isn’t the proven scorer that Perez is. He only has one season where he reached double-figures in goals and that was way back in 2002 with Plaza Amador, a top-flight side in his native Panama. His numbers might not be as impressive as Perez’s but he could still make a meaningful difference for FCD.
Robert Casner has an FCD Notebook up that mentions Zach Loyd, Brek Shea's art show and Jackson.
One [painting] that was not in the auction was there and Dan Hunt actually bought it when he first walked in,” said Shea after Monday’s regeneration session. “He was the first one and he liked it right when he saw it. Someone tried to buy it off him for more but he wouldn’t do it.”
Speaking of Shea's artshow, here is a photo gallery from it.
Another possible FCD transfer target, Rodolfo Zelaya of El Salvador, has said a few days ago that no official offers had come in.
And finally, former FCD President Michael Hitchcock is traveling around the NASL and blogs about it...it's a good read.
This game day experience is unique in that there is no tailgating. From what I'm told, it's illegal to tailgate in Canada and it's enforced. So fans arrive, come in the stadium and have a beer/food. The game is announced in both English and French which is cool to hear.
We take a closer look at Orlando City later...