While it most certainly was not the first, Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch set the tone for the soccer fan autobiography. Launching him to fame (and gaining Arsenal two fans in my household), the famous books details the passion and heartbreak of being an Arsenal fan. Since its publication in 1992, it has launched many imitators as other authors have turned their own soccer experiences into compelling (or not so compelling) novels.
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy/Forward) – Landon Donovan completely dominated the Salt Lake defense in Carson to push his Galaxy into the MLS CUP Semifinals. His three goals and one assist turned the game on its head and buried Real, ending their hunt for the league championship.
FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders on Monday night was just what the doctor ordered after a weekend of relative blowouts in the other three MLS Playoff Conference Semifinals. If 0-0 draws can be considered classics, the Dallas and Sounders clash surely must qualify with its frantic pace, controversial calls (or non-calls depending on who you ask), and almost-goals.
Each year since 2007, I have been able to cast my vote in Major League Soccer's end of season awards as a media participant. I figure today is a good day to share with you all who I voted for and some of the reasons why.
In the voting process, you get to place two names on the form, the winner and a runner-up.
The first legs of the MLS Cup Quarterfinals are in the books and we finally got to see what teams really have to offer with their seasons on the line. Some stepped up while others crumbled. As is usually the case, the difference between a win and a loss is one or two moments of brilliance from a single player.
On this special edition of Homegrown, Jay breaks down the MLS Western Conference playoff picture. Other ways to listen: Download the Podcast Here!(Right click, save as) If you like this podcast please subscribe, rate, review, share, and comment. Let us know what you think!
Harry Shipp finished second among voters for the MLS Rookie of the Year award. The honor this season went to FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele. Both players finished with seven goals and Shipp had the edge in assists (6-3) and starts (26-18) but the perception that he hit the "rookie wall" late in the season after a hot start apparently hurt him.
Here are a few FC Dallas quick hits for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014:
ULLOA JOINS THE POLAR BEAR CLUB
The emergence of young holding midfielder Victor Ulloa has been one of the best and most inspiring stories to come from this year's FCD team. And Ulloa admitted after training yesterday that he has done one thing to tweak his off-field routine this year.
COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 18: Head coach Oscar Pareja leads FC Dallas against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on October 18, 2014 in Commerce City, Colorado. FC Dallas defeated the Rapids 1-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
FRISCO —Oscar Pareja knows a great deal about every member of his roster.
The Portland Timbers were hoping against the odds that they could sneak their way into the MLS postseason, but they would need a win versus FC Dallas and a Vancouver draw or loss to Colorado later in the day. While the Timbers did their part in getting a win in Texas behind Darlington Nagbe's first goal of the 2014 regular season, but Vancouver beat Colorado to earn the fifth spot and end the Timbers' season.
After an emotional week that saw the Portland Timbers bounced from the CONCACAF Champions League, the team turns their attention to their final regular season match in 2014 in Dallas. There is still a chance for the playoffs, but they will be facing an FC Dallas team that has something to play for as well in addition to needing help from Vancouver in their match hosting Colorado.
For the fourth straight year, Sporting KC has set a new record attendance for the club. This year, Sporting KC broke the 20,000 per game average for the first time in club history, averaging 20,003 per game in the 2014 season. Sporting sold out all 17 league home games increasing their record to 53 in MLS play (league and playoffs).
FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Diaz (right) (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
STEVE HUNT / Special Contributor
FRISCO Earlier this year, Mauro Diaz was kind of a big deal. The 23-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder was a big reason why FC Dallas got off to a 5-0-3 start. In March, Diaz was named MLS Player of the Month after contributing two goals and one assist in four games.
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo (center) visits with academy coach Victor Medina (blue shorts) and head coach Oscar Pareja (left) during a cookout for players coaches and staff recently. (Tom Fox / Staff Photo)
By MEGAN RYAN / Staff Writer
FRISCO — Bustling crowds and the smell of grilling food are familiar on Toyota Stadium's concourse during FC Dallas games.
Here are a few FCD quick hits for Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014:
BLAS REELS IN A FISH
Blas Perez's penalty kick goal in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 win at the Colorado Rapids gives the Panamanian striker 31 for his FCD tenure, which ties him with Carlos "El Pescadito" Ruiz for fourth-most in franchise history.