Now that FC Dallas is going to be walking out of the Toyota Stadium locker room on Friday night, all seems right in the world. As we head into the Battle for El Capitan, here are my three thoughts in this week's hat trick:
Home Sweet Home
No surprise here, but FC Dallas is finally back home for the first time since a 0-0 tie to the Red Bulls on May 15th. During that stretch, the team gained just two points in five games, which has certainly put a damper on the team's ability to compete for the Supporter's Shield.
All that being said, I do think this team can recover completely and put themselves back in the race. There are still three months and change left in the season and there is no telling how much refreshment a return home can bring. While I did expect a better result in Colorado after a dominant U.S. Open Cup win, I think the team did do a few things right on Friday, but positioning is still an issue as well as scoring. Hopefully that can be remedied against a Houston team that's given up two or more goals four times this season. A win on Friday could bump the team as high up as fourth in the conference.
One of the major storylines going into the 2015 was certainly the re-branding of USL and the addition of many teams, a large portion of which being second-tier levels of MLS clubs like Sounders 2, Red Bulls 2 and Vancouver Whitecaps 2. But, for others, it merely meant that MLS teams would now have a designated club in the USL, which is where FC Dallas lies in Arizona United.
Unfortunately, I still feel that there is a strong disconnect between the two teams, and I think a large part of that is location and a lack of the FC Dallas brand. Although the United are FCD's affiliate, it just seems like they're the club we loan our players too when they need more playing time than their getting in Frisco. Rather, a club located in the DFW area would garner more local support from FC Dallas fans and would hopefully create a better system of "calling down and sending up" to equivocate it to how the MLB minor league system works. There isn't much that can be changed about this right now, but it's just something to think about as the season rolls on.
What's a Houston?
There are plenty of reasons to hate Houston, or more preferably, Houstank. It's humid all of the time, there is traffic out the wazoo, they lack the vibrant culture and arts scene that Dallas has, and well it's really even hard to classify their professional sports teams as sports teams at all.
I like to imagine a world where Houston doesn't exist. Whenever anyone asks me something related to that city, I act like I've never heard of it. "What's a Houston? I've never heard of it. Is that a city? Where is it?" Something like that. I firmly believe that it isn't until we can embrace the nonexistence of Houston that we can really begin to live normal, healthy lives. Let's try to live lives more centered around not acknowledging Houstank, okay?