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Big D Daily: News for Friday, April 1, 2022

The US learns their World Cup group later today.

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MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The international break is over for FC Dallas as they hit the road later today to travel to Chicago for their match tomorrow afternoon. We’ll dive into more coverage surrounding that game later today but first, some links to discuss.

// FC Dallas //

What we’re watching for as FC Dallas takes on the Chicago Fire - Big D Soccer
After a break in play due to the FIFA window, FC Dallas hits the road for the second time this season.

How FC Dallas Academy Helped the USMNT Qualify for the World Cup | FC Dallas
The US team had a lot of former FC Dallas academy players involved during qualifying, showing just how important our academy setup is here.

// MLS //

MLS MVP Power Rankings: Lucas Zelarayan, Carlos Vela take commanding early lead |
Let's face it, goal scorers tend to do very well in the MVP race in this league. So it is no surprise that the early rankings are a reflection of the current Golden Boot race.

MLS analytics Best XI after one month of the 2022 season |
You get to see at least one FC Dallas player on this list and I'm a bit surprised there wasn't at least one more in the defense.

"Happy but not satisfied": Chicago Fire FC look to build on strong start vs. FC Dallas |
Through the first four weeks of the 2022 MLS season, Chicago Fire FC have stood out as one of the league's surprise early performers.

Chicago Fire Notebook: Healthy Again, Tracking Torres, and Fire II’s Home Opener - Hot Time In Old Town
There is plenty to go off of here for our game in Chicago tomorrow.

// USMNT //

Grading Berhalter and the USMNT World Cup qualifying campaign |
I think some of these grades are perfectly fair when looking at the entire qualifying round as a whole. Things were good but not great overall. There are lots of areas of improvement.

From Couva to Qatar: How the U.S. men’s national team made it back to the World Cup – The Athletic
After painfully missing out on the 2018 World Cup, the USMNT qualified for 2022 with a new coach and a young group of players.

Finally: USMNT navigate Octagonal path back to World Cup | US Soccer Players
The USMNT qualified for the 2022 World Cup after a 2-0 loss at Costa Rica, closing out the Concacaf Octagonal round in 3rd-place.

The denim kit, JNCO x MLS and Johan Cruyff’s Diplomats gear: The best and strangest American soccer artifacts to buy online – The Athletic
So I have one of the denim kits from the 94 Cup, and it is going for a few hundred on eBay? Man, mine is just sitting in a closet with loads of other kits.