Welcome to another week of Big D Soccer’s coverage of your favorite players with ties to FC Dallas, the FCD Academy, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
I Have been so distracted with what has turned out to be one hectic offseason for FCD, that I have fallen behind. Well here is your Post-Xmas update. Several players got USMNT call up, several players have their future up in the air, and oh yeah, quite a few recent FCD players have new homes.
Weston McKennie (AP - Schalke 04/Bundesliga: On December 8, Weston started for Schalke 04, against visiting Borussia Dortmund in the Revierderby. Weston continues to be used as a jack-of-all-trades, starting at Forward for Schalke 04 in one of the biggest matches of the season. McKennie would go on to make the best Maxi Urruti impersonation I’ve ever seen, as he was chasing everyone, everywhere on the pitch, and finished with 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 clearance, and 2 aerials won. His offensive contributions were less than ideal, as Schalke would go on to suffer a 2-1 loss.
Weston was on the bench for Schalke 04 in their 2 matches this last week, but did not see minutes in either.
With the USMNT finally having a new manager, it was made very clear that the new USMNT boss is not a fan of Weston playing up top:
Gregg Berhalter: "Weston McKennie is not a forward" pic.twitter.com/J70SvCebKm— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) December 18, 2018
Despite Berhalter’s view, Weston started at forward yet again for Schalke 04. Weston was paired up with fellow American, Haji Wright, on Wednesday against visiting Bayer Leverkusen. With Schalke 04 trailing 2-0 as the first half neared its end, the two Americans combined to get the team back in the match:
Haji Wright with the wonderful finish off the world-class assist by Weston McKennie.pic.twitter.com/saSymF3ooy— USMNT Videos (@USMNTvideos) December 19, 2018
It would not be enough, as Schalke 04 would suffer a 2-1 defeat, which drops them to 14th place in the Bundesliga Table.
Keaton Parks (DFW - Benfica/Primeira Liga): Keaton got the start for Benfica II on Saturday, against visiting UD Oliveirense. Keaton played the full match, as Benfica II would go on to post a 3-0 victory. The win sees Benfica II climb to 4th place in the Segunda Liga.
Anton Nedyalkov (FCD - Ludogorets/Bulgaria): Anton started for Ludogorets, in a 2-0 win at Dunav 2010, on Sunday. The win keeps Ludogorets a top the First League Table.
Anton has been a regular starter for Ludogorets, who are currently on a 15 match unbeaten streak across all competitions (including UEFA Europa League), and has not lost a league match since August.
Chris Richards (AP/FCD - Bayern Munich/U19 Bundesliga): For those of you that are not aware, Richards loan with Bayern will conclude at the end of this month. Bayern is said to have made a 1.25 million dollar offer to buy Richards from FCD.
I’m told Bayern Munich is finalizing the transfer of #USMNT U-20 defender Chris Richards from FC Dallas. The Alabama-born centerback has impressed on loan with Bayern’s U-19s, and is coming off a good showing at the Concacaf Championships. Here’s more: https://t.co/afGHZeSfnv— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) December 6, 2018
We are now simply awaiting to find out Richards fate.
Ramiro Funes Mori (DFW - Villarreal/La Liga): Ramiro started for Villarreal on Sunday, in a 2-2 draw at Huesca. The loss sees Villarreal drop to 17th place in La Liga Table.
Emerson Hyndman (DFW - Hibernian/Scottish PL):
Emerson Hyndman is on loan this season to Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership from Bournemouth. Here are some highlights of his season so far. He's been in pretty good form the past few games. pic.twitter.com/AKZGRpX1U4— USMNT Videos (@USMNTvideos) December 20, 2018
Emerson started Sunday against visiting 1st place Celtic. Emerson played the full match as Hibernian handed Celtic only its 3rd loss of the season with a 2-0 win.
Emerson started against visiting 2nd Place Rangers, on Wednesday, and played the full match in a 0-0 draw. The pair of results see Hibernian jump to 8th place in the Scottish Premiership Table.
Just as Emerson is rounding into excellent form, his loan with Hibernian is about to expire. Her are Emerson’s thoughts on the matter:
Emerson Hyndman tells Bournemouth what he wants to happen with Hibs futurehttps://t.co/5rskhbwQph— Edinburgh News Sport (@edinburghsport) December 19, 2018
Middle East - Preseason
Mauro Diaz (FCD - Shabab Al Ahli Dubai/UAE): Mauro started this past Friday, in a 1-0 victory at Al Fujairah. The win sees Shabab Al Ahli Dubai move to 4th place in the Arabian Gulf League Table.
Mauro is having a solid season, starting 11 matches, with 1 goal and 7 assist.
Omar Gonzalez (DFW - Atlas FC/Liga MX): Omar and Atlas have not had the best of seasons, with Atlas finishing the Apertura season in 17th place. A rumor has showed up, that Omar is looking to leave Atlas, and he may be returning to MLS:
Alejandro Zendejas (AP/FCD - Guadalajara/Liga MX): Alex was named to the squad that Guadalajara brought to the FIFA Club World Cup. While Alex did not suit up in the pair of defeats suffered by Chivas, he did do something significant for his team:
Chivas no serán mexicanas completamente en el Mundial de Clubes, ya que la FIFA registró a Alejandro Zendejas como estadounidense, por lo que el equipo de México estará marcado por la doble nacionalidad del ex jugador de Zacatepec.https://t.co/cvO3nzvWHB— Diario de Morelos (@DiariodeMorelos) December 7, 2018
Zendejas broke the Chivas tradition of only having Mexican players on their roster. This happened when FIFA listed Zendejas as an American citizen. There was a storm of backlash from the Chivas faithful, sufficient enough that FIFA deemed it necessary to explain why Zendejas, who Chivas lists as a Mexican national, is instead listed as an American:
FIFA explica la nacionalidad de Alejandro Zendejas | Dale pumas https://t.co/KJWkvO2c1l— Pumas Addict (@PumasAddict) December 13, 2018
Fabian Castillo (FCD - Tijuana Xolos): As everyone knows by now, Fabian was reunited with a close friend:
New @xolos_en DT Óscar Pareja gave the media some insight into everything from tactics to player signings to Fabián Castillo in press conferences yesterday. #ligamxeng #FuerzaTijuas https://t.co/R85PMaLcbg— Eugene Rupinski (@GolazodelGringo) December 8, 2018
Abel Aguilar (FCD - Union Magdalena/Colombia): Abel has signed with Union Magdalena of the Colombia top flight:
Major League Soccer
Kellyn Acosta (AP/FCD - Colorado Rapids): Kellyn was called up for the January USMNT camp:
Lee Nguyen (DFW - Los Angeles FC): A really nice season recap for Lee Nguyen, from Angels on Parade:
Walker Zimmerman(FCD - Los Angeles FC): Walker received a call up to the USMNT January camp:
Roland Lamah (FCD) & Victor Ulloa (FCD/AP - FC Cincinnati): Roland Lamah and Victor Ulloa will remain teammates, at MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati.
Tesho Akindele (FCD - Orlando City SC): Tesho as we all know by now, was traded to Orlando City SC:
Maxi Urruti (FCD - Montreal Impact): Maxi started off this crazy offseason for FCD, by being traded to the Montreal Impact: