Big D Weekly - January 22
The preseason really gets cooking tonight at the Cotton Bowl.
I was reminded over the weekend that it has been a year since Vox Media and SB Nation announced that they would stop supporting a majority of their MLS websites, like Big D Soccer.
That was certainly a weird day and time for me, personally. The next few weeks were a scramble to decide what to do, where to go and what needed to come along for the ride. It felt like a giant leap of faith to move from a platform that could be read for free (albeit with a ton of ads that we rarely saw revenue from) to one that would potentially require a few bucks a month to read.
In a quick look back at that time, I’m honestly thankful it happened. I know I have mentioned to most of you at some point or another over the last few months that covering FC Dallas in 2023 was a big boost for me. Not being under Vox or SBN was weirdly freeing. And I have a lot of your support out there to thank for that.
Okay, this isn’t the time to dwell on the past or use it for plugging subscriptions (which, again, I am truly grateful for). Nah, it is time to get going on this new season.
Tonight, FC Dallas hosts Inter Miami in their first preseason game of 2024. Yeah, this is a money grab with the game being played at the Cotton Bowl. We know Lionel Messi and his friends will play for a good 20-40 minutes in this one before heading off to the Middle East for the next part of their crazy preseason world tour.
Still, we get to see some actual soccer played tonight. The outcome really doesn’t matter in this one. We do want to see what Nico Estevez and his staff have come up with for this season. Even getting a small glimpse of some new elements of their tactics will be good to see. I mainly just want to see no one come away with any big injuries from this one. I suppose the injury bug of 2023 is still a bit too fresh in my mind.
The weather for tonight is looking pretty rough. Mid-40s, rain. Not to mention, I think the game being played at 5 pm on a Monday is going to feel weird for most of us.
So, who is going to the Cotton Bowl tonight? And who is staying at home to watch this one online instead? Also, do you have any predictions on the attendance for tonight? Just judging by how the tickets are sold and discussed online, I don’t think it will be a massive turnout. But maybe I’ll be wrong.
🔥 Recent items from the blog
Other FCD-related recaps/updates from the week
Here are some other posts from the last few days that are worth a read:
Opportunity knocks for USMNT’s Bernard Kamungo (Fox Sports)
How Bernard Kamungo went from a refugee camp to a USMNT call up (Washington Post)
FC Dallas fans excited to see Lionel Messi (NBC DFW)
FC Dallas returns to the Cotton Bowl 15 years later (FCDallas.com)
📋 From Around MLS
I do enjoy this time of the year when people are putting out their reasons for why each team should be hopeful in a new season. The FCD reason in this article: Bernard Kamungo.
Preseason camps are underway across MLS; with that, there are a lot of new faces in new places. A lot has already been made about Colorado’s makeover, but moves like Dax McCarty in Atlanta or Maxine Crepeau in Portland are really good.
Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC seem to be close as a contender in MLS. They have the talent across the pitch, but they do seem to be at a crossroads this season. In a way, it will earn some hardware or bust for them in 2024. If they fail, I wouldn’t be shocked if that roster gets blown up a bit next offseason.
Up in Kansas City, Sporting reversed course on their hiring of Gavin Wilkinson after eight days. The fact that it took them a full week to reverse course is something. Also, the fact that he was in the running for a job is really something else.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Thank you all for subscribing (and if you aren’t subscribed, just hit that button below and get signed up now)!