Two of the Western Conference's top teams face off on Saturday night in a classic showdown.
These two sides faced off two weeks ago, with FC Dallas coming out on top, 2-1, at Toyota Park. Now, with the venue switching to Rio Tinto Stadium, Luis Giland Real Salt Lake are looking to turn the tables and move well ahead of Tesho Akindele and FC Dallas in the Western Conference standings.
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele is quickly turning into the find of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Akindele who was picked sixth overall this past January is repaying FC Dallas for their confidence in him, delivering four goals in the month August as the Hoops cruised to four wins and helped solidify a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference.
Certain players' contribution goes beyond stat sheets and what appears in the extended highlights. The hardcore fans from each team know them. They are the Most Irreplaceable Players (MIP). Not every club has one, and they may not be all-stars, but they are essential to success. An obvious examplethis yearis.
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 23 of the 2014 MLS season. Akindele scored a hat trick, the first of his career, in this week's 5-0 versus the San Jose Earthquakes.
Akindele opened his score sheet in the 43rd minutes, making it a 2-0 lead for FCD, with left footed shot off the far post.
Following a disappointing midweek loss in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, it would have been easy for FC Dallas to enter Saturday's clash with the San Jose Earthquakes with splintered confidence. However, Fabian Castillo wasn't going to let that happen.
There are few players, let alone rookies, that are as hot as Tesho Akindele. Having scored three goals in his previous five games, the FC Dallas rookie put forth his best effortyet in the team's 5-0 destruction of the San Jose EarthquakesSaturday.
The 22-year-old forward scored a hat-trick, the first of his career, with two of his three finishes coming of the poacher variety in displays of positional awareness beyond his years.
The race for Major League Soccer teams to own a USL Pro franchise is heating up - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Seattle Sounders FC future USL Pro club could potentially discover them their future Clint Dempsey (Left) and Obafemi Martins (Right), with the young players in the Seattle region getting some playing time to develop.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez (7) argues for a goal with the referee during the first half of a soccer game against Vancouver FC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Saturday, September 13, 2014. (Brandon Wade/Special Contributor)
From FC Dallas
NEW YORK – FC Dallas forward Blas Pérez was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 27 of the 2014 MLS regular season.
Blas Perez was given a 2nd yellow in last Friday night's win over Salt Lake after Chris Schuler shoved Perez. The confrontationoccuredas Schuler tried to head a ball and Perez somewhat undercut him. The Vine shown below isn't the full story. Blas had made himself enough of a nuisance to Salt Lake that Kyle Beckerman and others had already spent several minutes complainingabout his actions and there already had been 2-3 other fouls called between Perez and Schuler as they tussled over flighted balls.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Luke Mulholland (19) goes for the ball along with FC Dallas midfielder/defender Michel (31) in MLS action, at Rio Tinto Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan)
SANDY, Utah — Alvaro Saborio scored on a header off Javier Morales' corner kick in the 77th minute to break a tie, and Real Salt Lake went on to defeat FC Dallas 2-1 on Saturday night.
Two hot teams and an even hotter evening set the stage for an unforgettable performance from FC Dallas.
A first-half red card sent off Blas Perez and looked like it might doom FC Dallas, but they scored two goals while down a man to silence Real Salt Lake, 2-1, and vault themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the Western Conference.
FC Dallas' captain Matt Hedges (24) objects to the official's call during a Major League Soccer match against Salt Lake at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (Mark M. Hancock / Special Contributor)
FRISCO — Real Salt Sale goalkeeper Nick Rimando played Friday for the first time since fellow American goalkeeper Tim Howard announced earlier this week he was taking a oneyear break from the United States national team.
FC Dallas improved its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in Frisco.
A scoreless first half ended with Blas Perez sent off, leaving FC Dallas with 10 men. But the home team scored twice, with Je-Vaughan Watson scoring 5 minutes into the second half and FabianCastillo hitting the net in the 74th minute.
There are some pretty wonderful things happening up in Frisco but maybe the best is the idea Oscar Pareja has magical confidence in his players. Right or wrong, previous coach Schellas Hyndman, never seemed comfy dipping into his roster, always sticking with a very limited group and it rarely paid off.
You couldn't have blamed FC Dallas one bit if, after traveling from Texas to California following a grueling U.S. Open Cup semifinal loss to the Philadelphia Union, Oscar Pareja's would have shown up at Buck Shaw Stadium tired and lethargic.
Instead of a tired FC Dallas, the San Jose Earthquakes ran into an inspired FC Dallas, which delivered their best performance of the season in a 5-0 blowout win on Saturday night.
I will start this piece by stating that the term must-win game is one of the most oft-used clichés in sports, but there are times, especially late in the season, where it is appropriate and I feel like Saturday's game with the Vancouver Whitecaps is such an occasion for FC Dallas.
FCD fans see the club's recent two-game dip as nothing more than a blip on the radar, but should Dallas not be able to come away with the full three points on Saturday, something they've done in each of the previous four times Vancouver has visited Toyota Stadium, then that will be a sure sign that Dallas' recent two-game losing streak could be the start of a bigger swoon.
A couple of years ago, Brek Shea was percolating through the minds of US soccer fans as potentially "The American Gareth Bale." At FC Dallas, he was a young, left-footed defender who seemed like a shoe-in to develop into the quality left winger the USMNT had been missing. But ever since Shea moved to Stoke City, Shea's stock has dipped severely.
In the last couple of months Oscar Pareja has been making the most of a tough situation, but this current two game losing streak is the culmination of just too much to overcome.
Back to back losses on the road to Chicago and Salt Lake come after a lengthy streak without a loss. During that undefeated streak, due to injuries and suspensions, Pareja worked much magic in figuring out how to position the pieces he did have in a manner that best set the team up for success.
What looked like it might be draw number fifteen for 82 minutes turned into a solid home win against the hottest team in the league. Robert Earnshaw's score in the 83rd gave the Fire a 1-0 victory over an FC Dallas club that hadn't lost since May 31. While the match wasn't a work of art for either side, the Fire did turn in a professional performance that rewarded the amount of work put in.
It is no secret FC Dallas does not like to talk player injuries. History tells us the team chooses to stay quiet about player issues until the last possible moment usually after a surgery has taken place. The team will go so far to decline comment even when a player is walking around in a cast, or admitting it publicly.
Aug 12, 2014; Frisco, TX, USA; Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath (18) attempts to block a shot in the second half against FC Dallas during the U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Stadium. Philadelphia defeated FC Dallas 4-3 on penalty kicks. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
As mentioned in today's soccer notes published here in the blog and in the paper, FC Dallas' President, Dan Hunt, discussed with our Steve Hunt the progress on the team forming a USL Pro team. Here is the full transcript of that conversation.
Where is the club at as far as either naming a USL Pro affiliate for 2015 or starting its own franchise?