Let's talk silver and prizes...MLS Cup Toronto FC def. PortlandGolden Boot1 - Fanendo Adi, Portland2 - David Villa3 - Jozy AltidoreDefender of the Year1 - Matt Hedges, FC Dallas2 - Jelle Van Damme3 - Roman TorresRookie of the Year1 - Ian Harkes, D.C. United2 - Jackson Yueill3 - Nick LimaNewcomer of the Year1 - David Guzman, Portland2 - Jonathan Mensah3 - (tie) Nemanja Nikolic & Alberth
Two of MLS's best clubs will square off tonight in Texas.
After a long but much-needed break, D.C. United is back in action against an FC Dallas team that has three straight wins and three straight shutouts. The Hoops have settled on a lineup recently and are looking every bit like a Supporters Shield contender at the moment.
Jermain Defoe's MLS debut grabbed the headlines in MLS Week Two, but it was actually the week of the defender in Major League Soccer as several centerbacks and fullbacks stepped up with memorable performances worthy of a place in the SBI MLS Best XI.
Just when it looked like Bruce Arena's star-studded second-half subs were going toput the LA Galaxy through to the U.S. Open Cup final, FC Dallas conjureda response. Then seconds away from the uncertainty of penalties, Dallas came up with another goalto decide Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup semifinalon its own.
The Portland Timbers are on the road again today, facing off against the wounded but dangerous FC Dallas. Coming up against an FCD side that has lost three on the trot, the Timbers should be ready to pounce, but need to remain wary of their opponents, who are back on their home turf where they are still undefeated in 2016.
The Portland Timbers are still on the road following Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps and this time they are headed southeast, getting set to take on FC Dallas this evening in a midweek match. To get a good look at the Timbers' opposition, we talked to Drew Epperley of Big D Soccer and he answered a few of our questions coming into tonight's match.
Following Week 7 action in MLS, the team at the top of the standings has reportedly received some bad news.
FC Dallas could be without centerback Matt Hedges for five-to-six weeks due to a torn meniscus. A report claims Hedges started feeling the problem after playing on the Portland Timbers' artificial surface at Providence Park, and the defender then missed FCD's home win against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
We talk about Minnesota United and go around the league with Sports Illustrated writer Brian Straus. In the second segment, FC Dallas and U.S. National Team defender Matt Hedges about part-time jobs, his EA Sports ranking, muscle cars and more.
Follow @BrianStraus on Twitter | Follow @Matt_Hedges on Twitter
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Sporting KC head on the road for the first time in the 2015 season as they've traveled to Dallas for their first match against a Western Conference opponent since their move back to the West this season. It'll be a familiar opponent for Kansas City though as the two MLS originals have met 49 times in the past, with KC leading the overall series 20-19-10.
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.
After falling behind 1-0 early to visiting FC Dallas on Wednesday night, the Seattle Sounders once again delivered late magic.
With the score tied 1-1 in the 88th minute, Obafemi Martins collected a pass just outside the penalty area, spun on defender Matt Hedges, and found late substitute Kenny Cooper as he charged past the penalty spot.
Blas Perez, returned to the FC Dallas lineup after missing last week's match with a hamstring injury, scored in the waning minutes of regulation to give his team a dramatic 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
The previous two FC Dallas seasons were filled with dark clouds of disappointment, but the drafting and emergence of Matt Hedges certainly has been the team's silver lining. Today, Hedges was awarded for his hard-work and success with a multi-year contract.
The 23-year old defender, drafted in 2012, has been a constant in the lineup since his rookie year.
It was a season that started so well, only to see the whole thing transform into one of Major League Soccer's most historic nose dives, and ultimately the resignation of FC Dallas' longest tenured coach.
Grading is about as subjective as process as there is. Everyone sees players in different lights and remembers different moments from the season.
Prior to Saturday's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, FC Dallas center back Matt Hedges had been the only member of the FCD roster to play in every game this season. However, Hedges' run came to an end when he didn't see the field against RSL over the weekend and that's not a bad thing.
Here are the match highlights of the FC Dallas game at Colorado Rapids.
Scoring Summary: DAL â€“ David Ferreira (Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo) 51 COL â€“ Vicente Sanchez 59 COL â€“ own goal (Matt Hedges) 65
FC Dallas â€“ Raul Fernandez, Kellyn Acosta, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez, Je-Vaughn Watson (Mauro Diaz 65), Erick (Kenny Cooper 82), Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira, Jackson (Blas Perez 46), Fabian Castillo.
To say Matt Hedges has been a workhorse for FC Dallas this season is a gross understatement. The second-year center back currently leads FCD with 2,208 minutes played and is the only player on the club to have played in every game this season.
Sure, his string of 34 straight starts at center back was snapped earlier this year but Hedges came on and played the final minutes of that game, a 1-0 win over San Jose on May 25 which remains the last time FCD has won at home.
Seeing Matt Hedges find the back of the net in the 15th minute of Sunday's 3-3 draw with the LA Galaxy had to be immensely relieving for FCD, ending their franchise-record scoreless streak at 464 minutes. And Blas Perez had two of those three for Dallas. But that scoring outburst made this writer wonder when the last time some of the players we all expect to provide offense had scored?
The No. 24 is kind of a middle-of-the-road number in the history of the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas. There have been some big names wear it like Eric Alexander, Brad Davis and even Heath Pearce but also some other names who many don't remember, guys like Justin Moore and Percy Olivares. Matt Hedges has worn these digits since he was drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLS Super Draft and he's already staked his claim for being included in that first group.
D.C. United players look to see some National Team time before the Regular Season Starts
U.S. Soccer announced earlier today the 23 man roster that will make the trip to Santiago to play Chile on January 28 and at Stub Hub Center in Carson, California on February 8 against Panama. D.C. United fans will notice that Steve Birnbaum (who it should be noted celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday) and Perry Kitchen made the list immediately, but here is the whole roster for your perusal:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.
With 79 points, Olsen's Army led the round. Sean Franklin (LA, $5.5M) played two games and contributed two clean sheets as captain to score 26 points. Backing him up was Matt Hedges (DAL, $5.4) with a clean sheet, a goal, and 14 points, as well as Dominic Oduro (CLB, $7.0M) with a goal, an assist, and 11 points.
Akindele is coming classy as hell with hat tricks.
Despite having just 10 players in the starting lineup play, RayoVallecano led us all with 73 points this round. The fourth club in Madrid was led by Fabian Castillo's (DAL, $6.6) 2 goals, 1 assist, and 16 points. Robbie Keane (LA, $11.6) assisted on a goal and scored an armband-aided 14 points, while both Matt Hedges (DAL, $8.
An unexpected points leader shoots to the top of the scoring list
With D.C. United on bye, Fantasy Focus takes a more enjoyable tone this week. York River AFC led scorers this week with 80 points. Will Bruin (HOU, $8.3) wore the armband and scored 14 points, contributing a goal. Backing him up with 11 points each were Matt Hedges (DAL, $8.
Being captain is a relatively new experience for Matt Hedges. The third-year FC Dallas center back occasionally wore the armband as a senior at North Carolina, but he had never held a leadership role for an entire season, at least until this year.
Hedges, 24, has embraced the role, which he shared with midfielder Andrew Jacobson until Jacobson was traded in late July.