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Big D Soccer News Update August 16

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FC Dallas finally finds the back of the net and the USMNT win a big one in Europe.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Howdy folks! FC Dallas got back to scoring goals last weekend but can they keep that up tomorrow in Portland?

FC Dallas

Thankfully FC Dallas ended their scoring drought (but not their winless drought) last Sunday with a 3-3 tie with the LA Galaxy. All of the match highlights can be found at FCDallas.com.

To be fair FCD was gifted their second goal by the lack of an offside call by the Linesman but I'll surely take it. Of course if Jackson's final shot of the game had curled in just a few more inches we would talking about a completely different outcome. At this point though we should just be happy that FCD gave up a hat trick to their opponent and still was able to come out with a point.

As Daniel Robertson reports, FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman was pleased with Sunday night's outing.

"I feel like it improved quite well," said Schellas Hyndman about the team movement. "Playing through the midfield with those players, we kept possession of the ball. I would’ve liked to have seen our outside backs play more balls over the top so [their defenders] would have to run backwards and maybe kick it out of bounds...but I thought there was more movement, more energy on the field, more desire and the big word is determination."

..."I think the glass is definitely half full," said Hyndman. "I think we’re going in the right direction. I don’t know how the next three games are going to go with these injuries and how we’re going to adjust, but at the same time I’m relieved that we’re scoring goals and going in the right direction."

It was a solid performance from most of the team. Let's hope they can keep some momentum going against Portland tomorrow night.

With Andrew Jacobson and Zach Loyd both injured on Sunday and with Kellyn Acosta making an argument for himself to be included in the Starting XI, Matt Barbour asks the question: Could we see the ever fabled 4-4-2 tomorrow against Portland?

What ends up happening [in the diamond] is the outside midfielders will have the responsibility of really being tucked in, [they] will be a little bit more central with the responsibility of going out where before, they were out trying to come in," head coach Schellas Hyndman explained on Wednesday. "The biggest responsibility will be on the defending side because now what you’re going to give up is the flanks."

This translates into a lot more movement up and down the pitch for the fullbacks, who will be trying to create space and serve balls into the box from the outside while defending service back in their own end. Kellyn Acosta, who played both right and left fullback (in addition to defensive midfield) against the LA Galaxy last weekend, says playing as an outside back in a diamond is a lot more work for his position, but it can also be a lot more fun.

Saturday's lineup is surely not going to be typical but could we actually finally see this formation? The biggest question to me is whether Erick can play a full 90 at DMid. If he can't then does the team fall back in to the old 4-2-3-1 formation that we've become so accustomed too? I would also expect to see Mauro Diaz get some minutes in the Rose City.

In FC Dallas Stadium news it was announced that the newly formed American Athletic Conference will be playing some of their championship games at FC Dallas Stadium on November 15th and 17th. Via AAC press release.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced that the 2013 American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship will be played at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Nov. 15 and 17. The No. 8 and No. 9 seeds will have a play-in game at a campus site on Nov. 8 and the quarterfinals will be played on campus sites on Nov. 9.

"As we celebrate this inaugural year of the American Athletic Conference, FC Dallas Stadium is a perfect venue to host our first men's soccer championship," said Aresco. "We are delighted to partner with FC Dallas to provide our coaches, student-athletes and fans with a wonderful experience at the championship level of their sport."

This is a great grab for FC Dallas Stadium and will be the first NCAA Soccer games played there since the NCAA Finals in 2008.

Know Thine Enemy

Saturday's game will be the fourth meeting this year between the Timbers and Hoops with Portland having taken 2 of three matches so far. Beth Anne Carroll over at FCDallas.com has the recap of the meetings between these two team in 2013.

FC Dallas returns to Portland this weekend to take on the Timbers for the fourth and final time in 2013 barring a possible playoff pairing. The teams faced off twice in MLS play and once in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup quarterfinals this year, including one game in Portland and two in Frisco. The season series hasn't failed to entertain thus far, with one draw and a comeback win, as Portland has the 2-0-1 advantage going into the upcoming game.

Let's just hope this time that FCD has a Striker in the game for more than 8 minutes.

While FC Dallas played last Sunday, the Timbers haven't played a game since their USOC loss to RSL on August 7th. Dan Itel at Portlandtimbers.com spoke with some of the players and they said that the weekend off did the team some good.

"We were coming off an emotional game against Salt Lake, so it was a perfect time to get a few days away, recharge the batteries and come back today to training and get back after it, get ready for the weekend," Timbers defender Michael Harrington said.

While the Timbers may be rested here's to hoping that the three goals FCD scored last weekend can spur the team to 3 points at JELD WEN Field on Saturday.

MLSSoccer.com has the complete breakdown of the upcoming game with their MLS Match Preview.

A huge match in the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening as the Portland Timbers play host to FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The teams are separated by just two points, with the Timbers currently in the top five in the West, and FC Dallas outside of the playoff positions. The Timbers return to action after a week off, their last match a 1-1 home draw with Vancouver. FC Dallas snapped a long goalless drought, but still saw their winless streak extended last weekend in a 3-3 home draw with the LA Galaxy.

Our own Drew Epperley also has his weekly look at the upcoming match at FCDallas.com along with the FCDTV preview. As Drew points out there are a few key matchups in this game that could decide the game either direction.

Key Matchups

Blas Perez vs Pa-Modou Kah – Perez missed the last regular season match against Portland and will be facing off against one of the newer Timbers defenders. Kah is a big defender that loves to play physical with the opposition. He’s started nine games for the Timbers since joining them back in May. Kah does get into some card trouble and that could play into Perez’s advantage if he can cause an early yellow in this match.

Rodney Wallace vs Kellyn Acosta – The young Homegrown for Dallas showed well in his first start last weekend against LA. Should he start against Portland, he’ll have more speed to deal with this weekend on the wings with Wallace. The Costa Rican does well in space and has been one of the more underrated players for the Timbers this season.

Many FC Dallas fans will be thrilled to know that the game tomorrow night (10 CST) will be broadcast on TXA 21 so everyone will have a chance to see this one.

USMNT

The US Men took on Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday afternoon with the US winning with a dramatic 4-3 come back spurred on by a Jozy Altidor hat trick. This is the 12th game in a row that the USMNT has won going back to before the Gold Cup and now has won their last 4 games they have played on European soil.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, fired up about Wednesday's win, spoke about the progress the US has made and the goals that he has set for the team. MLSSoccer.com's Simon Borg and Jasmin Ligate have the story.

What's been the formula for the success?

"We learned to keep the tempo higher and higher like European teams do," Klinsmann said, "and we have players who can make a difference within a second like a Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson. Like a Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the middle.

"We're working on catching up. We want to break into the Top 15 in the world one day. We still have a way to go. But you can see that we are becoming more confident and we can really play the game. We came here to play, not to defend, not to counterbreak. We came here to play eye-to-eye and make the best out of it. Therefore we are very satisfied."

Goal.com's Seth Vertleney writes about the two new faces that the USMNT debuted on Wednesday in Aron Johannsson and John Anthony Brooks,

Dual-nationals Aron Johannsson and John Anthony Brooks each made their U.S. national team debut in the team's 4-3 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday.

Brooks, 20, started the game at center back and went the entire match. The Hertha Berlin man showed promising defensive ability, winning several balls on the ground and in the air. He was beaten by Edin Dzeko for a header on Bosnia's third goal, however.

AZ striker Johannsson was introduced as a 63rd-minute sub and made an immediate impact, showcasing a dynamic first touch while carving out a number of chances for himself and teammates.

Brooks had a few shaky moments but nothing that shouldn't be expected from a guy playing his first cap against a top 12 team in the world. Both guys showed a lot of promise and it's sure to be fun watching both youngsters develop.

The EPL Is Back

The Barclay's English Premier League returns tomorrow morning on a new network here in the US. All EPL games will be shown on the NBC family of networks and also streamed on their website. WorldSoccerTalk.com has the full TV and Internet schedule here. It seems that getting up early on Saturdays is going to be the norm for many of us. *Author's note: Go Swans!!

2013 Heart Walk: Team Bobby Rhine

Before I go I want to encourage everyone to head over the the FC Dallas Team Page and sign up to be a part of the 2013 American Heart Association Heart Walk in Dallas on September 7th. All money goes to a great organization and if you get signed up before August 28th you can receive a free Bobby Rhine #19 jersey just for being apart of the FC Dallas team and getting your butt out to Victory Park on September 7th.

As always thanks so much for stopping by and giving us a read. Let us know what you think in the comments below.