Today the soccer community is mourning the loss of a legend. Bobby Rhine passed away at the age of 35. His influence on the soccer community in the Dallas area was and is immeasurable. I was not lucky enough to call him a personal friend but I tell you what the man never forgot who I was. My family first met him when my daughter was taking camps at FC Dallas. He always remembered her name, knew she was a keeper, and always took a genuine interest in her. At every game there was a wave and a nod of hello. As late as signing day this year for the youth club he was out there mingling with the kids talking to people doing what he loved….being an ambassador for soccer. Lets face it in a town with an iconic football team and a championship basketball and football team that could be a thankless job.
Bobby epitomized everything that I want for and in my child. Smarts, strength, great work ethic, and a heart as big as the state he played his love in……
Both FC Dallas and Portland will be coming off big wins when they meet Sunday at 3pm Pacific for their first meeting at JELD-WEN Field in Portland. Dallas, coming off an emotional week that saw them claim at least a little revenge for last year’s MLS Cup loss against Colorado, will be looking to expand on that momentum. Portland who has struggled in the first few games of their inaugural (for MLS at least) season, want to reward their fans for their faith with their second big win at home in as many games.
Projected Lineup: Hyndman made the move to what looked like a 4-4-2 to start the game last week against the Rapids. With the 3-0 result, expect him to come out much the same way. One major change may involve Brek Shea. Hyndman was very pleased with Shea’s performance at left back, and I have to agree. But with speedster Marvin Chavez still questionable due to the cut on his eye, the musical chairs may continue for Shea. If Chavez is able to go, you may see him come on for Shea, or the still slightly ailing Benitez, pushing Shea back to left back. Nonetheless, the 4-4-2 with Ferreira playing more as a withdrawn striker may be exactly the what the doctor ordered.
Rodriguez – - – - Ferreira
Shea – - – - Hernandez – - – - Jacobson – - – - Castillo
Benitez – - – - – Ihemelu – - – - – - John – - – - – - Loyd
Though Portland had mustered just two goals in it’s first four matches, the offense lit up a struggling Chicago for 4 goals, 2 coming from Colombian striker Jorge Perlaza in the first half of the 4-2 win. Needless to say, the offense that most said to watch in the preseason could be coming into form. That, coupled with what will undoubtedly be a strong home-field advantage, means that Dallas will have their hands full in Portland.
Prediction: I’m taking a rested and rolling FC Dallas over the motivated, but tired Portland 2-1.
What are your predictions?
That is more like it. After a tie and two unimpressive losses, FC Dallas came out with all cylinders firing against my new favorite rival, the Colorado Rapids. In what was surely (though they denied it pre-game) a statement match, FCD came out aggressive and shooting from the first whistle. After going up 2-0 by halftime, with goals by Ihemelu and Ferreira, FCD put the stake through the very small heart of the Rapids less than a minute into the second half with another goal by Ferreira off a lovely assist from Eric Avila. Take that comeback.
For those of you watching the game live, we had a scary moment with Marvin Chavez after the first goal, in which he had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. From what I’ve heard, it was a cut over his eye that caused him problems, and he should be good to go. Whew….
So here are my game grades…should be a bit higher this week:
FCD 3 – 0 Colorado Rapids
Game grades: (FYI, I start at 5 and work up/down.)
Kevin Hartman – 7 – Had some good saves late in the game to keep it scoreless, but wasn’t required to do much overall.
Brek Shea – 7 – I really like the Brek Shea to left back experiment more than at centerback. With his ability to get forward on the wings, this could be a really good spot for him.
Ugo Ihemelu – 6 – I really prefer his intelligence in central defense. It will be really interesting to see how often he and Shea will switch spots throughout the season.
George John – 7 – I have to say, I see a future captain in George John. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be a wall in the back.
Zach Loyd – 6 – A much better week from Loyd. No mistakes, but was mostly invisible.
Daniel Hernandez – 6 – Fought hard with Caleb Folan all night. Tough, solid outing.
Fabian Castillo – 7 – He’s still getting used to play in the MLS, but is showing great skill with the ball. The assist to Ferreira was right on the money.
Andrew Jacobson – 6 – I really saw this guy as a potential replacement for Hernandez, but it was nice to see him line up in central midfield next to him in the 4-4-2. Their defensive mindedness is a nice complement to Ferreira’s attacking play.
Marvin Chavez – N/A – Didn’t show much before an injury knocked him out. Participated in the action on the first goal, but unfortunately didn’t get to see it.
David Ferreira – 9 – The Rapids had no answer for him tonight. While he may have been offside on the first goal, he was still just too much for them to handle.
Milton Rodriguez – 5 – Is it just me, or does he seem to be really laboring out there? Works hard and puts himself in good positions, but just doesn’t seem to have the speed or touch we need in that spot.
Eric Avila – 8 – The “super-sub” contributed on both sides of the ball tonight. Eric was instrumental on the demoralizing third goal.
Eric Alexander – 6 – Came in and contributed well on defense in relief for Jacobson.
Ruben Luna – 6 – Didn’t get to see much attacking play from Luna, as we ended up playing mostly defense for the last 20 minutes.
Overall, great win against my new favorite rival. Any thoughts?
FC Dallas has a few so-called “rivalries”. There’s the Brimstone Cup, between FCD and the Chicago Fire, which has been well documented. There’s also the in-state rival Houston Dynamo, which has accounted for more than one off the field skirmish, many of which can be attributed to the trash can that is Robertson Stadium. (Sorry, Houston.) There’s even the “friendly” rivalry with the Columbus Crew, over the Lamar Hunt tribute Pioneer Cup. And while all of these matchups can be considered rivalries, I can’t say that any of them really get my blood boiling. Sure, it’s nice to bring home trophies of any kind, and of course it’s nice to beat Houstank in their own house. All of that is fine and dandy.
What does get my blood boiling is our loss to the Colorado Rapids in last year’s MLS Cup Final. In an embarassingly terrible display of thug soccer, the Rapids pulled out a “victory” in the most disturbing of ways. In truth, it was the thug-like tactics of Casey, Mastroeni, and Larentowicz, that pushed FC Dallas to switch from their normal flowing offensive style, to a ruptured physical style no one wanted to watch.
Sour grapes? Maybe. But I’m certainly not the only one to think that Colorado may have started a trend of ugly soccer in this country that will make it difficult to attract new supporters to our sport. Dramatic? Again, maybe. But maybe not.
Nonetheless, in my opinion, we have a brand new rivalry in Dallas. The Colorado Rapids come to our house on Friday night, and our boys need to be ready. We certainly can’t do anything about last year’s final. We don’t have to let it go either.
Like a record on repeat, FCD drops another one 2-0 to an opponent most felt they should beat, and I’m late on the season to talk about it. Apparently Matchday Live won’t let you watch games that are blacked out until 48 hours after they air. Not cool, and will certainly affect how I report on away games this season. At least, that is, until I find a better solution. Any ideas?
Nevertheless, a game was played, and the result was less than we had hoped for. The repeating record continues as another Schellas Hyndman team starts slow. Much of it is to be expected, with injuries and new additions, but you can’t help but wonder why FCD can never seem to be ready at the starting gate. Sometimes you lose games that you should win, because the ball or the soccer gods or whatever, have chosen to spite you on that given night. Sometimes you lose because you’re simply not the better team on the field that night. In my humble opinion, Friday night in Columbus was an example of the latter.
Unlike the previous two games thus far this season, Dallas didn’t appear to be the better side throughout the match. Conversely, like the previous game, FCD had to play a significant portion of the match a man down. 1+1=2, and FCD were sent packing.
We’ll skip the game grades for this week….due to my lateness. There’s plenty of them out there for this match already anyway. We’ll suffice it to say, let’s all hope FCD turns it around in the coming weeks. Especially against what feels like (at least to me) a new heated rivalry with the Rapids.
Hello all…I’d like you to meet David Browning, winner of the 2009 FCD team-signed jersey from The Offside and WorldSoccerShop.com. A while back, we opened up a contest asking for readers to submit their story of soccer in North Texas. We received many submissions, and this was our favorite. Congratulations David! — Harlan
My name is David Browning and I am now 25 years old, but from the age of 6 the beautiful game has been a huge part of my life. I found out about the Dallas sidekicks and the extremely charismatic Tatu (A.K.A. Antonio Pecorari) from a classmate in my 1st grade class. Aaron would talk about his antics and the grace with which he played and I knew I had to see it for myself. I was fortunate enough one night to tag along with Aaron and his father, who were season ticket holders to the sidekicks and I became HOOKED. Everything I owned had a sidekicks logo that I had drawn (very poorly mind you) on it. Even my class work had that little soccer ball with the cowboy hat and bandana on it. It was the begining of a wonderful childhood.
Suddenly 1994 happened, I was 8 years old and the World Cup had come to my area. I was psyched to say the least. I had all sorts of promotional swag from it and just imersed myself in the culture of the real football. One day my father, who at the time worked for a car dealership that provided cars for the teams came home with tickets for the July 9th match between eventual champions Brazil, and the Netherlands. It was the most amazing feeling in my life. Bathed in a sea of yellow and green I became huge Brazil fan.
Today, I am a 25 year old father of 3 daughters, who on Saturdays will plant ourselves in front of a T.V. and watch Chelsea F.C. , F.C. Dallas, International friendlies it doesn’t matter. I have passed on my love of the game to those girls who I hope will live to see a day when FIFA and MLS become world-renowned for the talent and the tradition that comes along with having a top-tier football association.
“I’m Dallas til’ I die, I’m Dallas til’ I die, I know I am, I’m sure I am, I’m Dallas til’ I die”
Apologies for being a tad late on this one…my weekend got the best of me. Nonetheless, not much worth noting, considering our beloved Red Stripes fell Saturday night to the Chris Wondolowski show at Pizza Hut Park. Last year’s Golden Boot winner put on a finishing clinic in the first half, netting two goals in the first 23 minutes of a 2-0 loss to the Quakes.
Perhaps I’m giving him too much credit. Shotty defense was at least partially responsible for both goals. Regardless, FCD fell down early in a fashion not seen in two seasons, and couldn’t recover from the San Jose side that decided to simply defend for the rest of the night. It was a disappointing night, to be sure, but one that’s forgivable this early in the season.
Here are my game grades…abbreviated due to their lateness:
FCD 1 – 1 Chicago Fire
Game grades: (FYI, I start at 5 and work up/down.)
Kevin Hartman – 7 – Really not much he could’ve done about either goal, but it may have been worse.
Jair Benitez – 7 – I am definitely not Benitez’s biggest fan. That said, I’ll eat some crow when it’s warranted. It was a solid, troublemaking night for the Colombian.
Zach Loyd – 4 – He definitely wasn’t bad the whole game, but the times he was, it cost us big time. We’ve seen better from Loyd…and we’ll see a lot better in the future. No need to worry.
George John – 5 – Tough night for John. He’s an extremely hard worker, and you can’t blame him too much when he’s working with so many moving parts.
Jackson – 6 – An unfortunate change from last week. Instead of an impact, he was mostly invisible.
Daniel Hernandez – 6 – Another not bad, not great, performance from the captain. Give him some credit for covering for others more often than he should have to.
Ricardo Villar – 5 – Got the start in place of Avila at winger. Unfortunately for him…he made about the same impact Avila does…good passing, no defense, no major impact.
Eric Alexander – 6 – He’ll be much better off when we stop comparing him to Dax. Had another solid night in the midfield.
Marvin Chavez – 6 – So fast it’s ridiculous. I’m excited to see when he starts getting proper service.
David Ferreira – 6 – All over the field as usual, but never really got anything going against a staunch Quake defense.
Milton Rodriguez – 4 – He finishes the chances (especially the 1v1 at the 60 minute mark) that he’s given, we walk away with a tie or better. Tough night for Milton.
Fabian Castillo – 7 - Very exciting to see the debut of our new Colombian wonderkid. He immediately made his presence felt, making runs on multiple defenders at once. He’s fast, and will be very dangerous.
Eric Avila – 5 – Seemed to be motivated after losing his starting spot. Made some good passes and showed an overall positive work rate. As always, and maybe to his detriment, he remains a great bench impact player.
Ruben Luna – NA
So that’s it for this week. Any thoughts?
Our beloved Red Stripes fell last night in Monterrey, Mexico to the UANL Tigres in the first round of what could be the annual Rio Grande Plate. FCD took on Tigres a couple of years back in a home-away set that drew thousands of fans to PHP. The game wasn’t televised, and the only real way to follow it other than the FCD Twitter was in Spanish on 1270AM. Being that I am not a Spanish speaker, I had to settle for the notes after the match. Here they are in all their “glory”….
TIG – Carlos Ochoa (Alberto Acosta) 14
DAL – Andrew Wiedeman (Andrew Jacobson) 53
TIG – Francisco Acuna (Acosta) 82
DAL – Andrew Jacobson (caution, dissent) 69
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz (Josh Lambo 46), Jair Benitez, Brek Shea (George John 88), Ugo Ihemelu (trialist 46), Zach Loyd, Daniel Hernandez (Bruno Guarda 46), Eric Avila (Bobby Warshaw 46), Ricardo Villar, Andrew Jacobson, Eric Alexander (Andrew Wiedeman 46), Ruben Luna (Peri Marosevic 72).
Tigres – Cirilo Saucedo, Anselmo Junior, Hugo Ayala, Jesus Molina, Danilo Veron, Antonio Sancho, Francisco Acuna, Carlos Ochoa, Jose Rivas, Omar Trujillo (Jesus Duenas 77), Alberto Acosta.
Subs not used: David Toledo, Antonio Zacarias, Enrique Palos, Aaron Fernandez, Leo Morales, Pablo Ocegueda.
Opening night! I have to admit, it feels so good to be back in the thick of things. Speaking of the thick of things…plan on tuning in here every week for a little thing I like to call “Match Musings”. Basically it’s just me, spouting off my armchair quarterback (or perhaps linking midfielder if you prefer) noise about the previous night’s match. Last season I tended to go more of the match report route, which was adequate, but I think we’ll spend a little more time this year focused on the players and over/under-reactions. So…let’s get to it.
FCD 1 – 1 Chicago Fire
Game grades: (FYI, I start at 5 and work up/down.)
Kevin Hartman – 9 – Are you surprised? Everyday, this guy makes the trade with KC look like an armed robbery. The goal was unfortunate, but not really his fault. Truth be told…he’s not in the game, we’re 0-1.
Zach Loyd – 7 – The assist was a thing of beauty from the moment he made a run to the corner. I’m not secretive about my distrust/distaste for Benitez, and if Loyd keeps putting in solid performances game in and game out, I’m going to start shouting it from the rooftops.
Brek Shea – 3 – I like Brek Shea. I really do. That said, I saw nothing that told me he was ready to be a centerback. He’s got all the physical attributes to fit in well there, but he has a lot of maturing to do. The red card was unfortunate, but likely deserved. And it wasn’t the first time he had been embarrassingly beaten.
George John – 6 – He’s not fully fit, that much is obvious. But no major mistakes, and fought hard.
Jackson – 8 – Jackson was everywhere, disrupting everything. Made more than one hair-pulling clearance and challenged everyone for the ball. My MOTM.
Daniel Hernandez – 6 – He’s not fit, but he’s a fighter. He’ll make noise, but can he hold up over the course of the season?
Eric Avila – 5 – Quiet night for one of the fan faves. If Avila ever wants to challenge for a spot in the starting 11, he’s going to have to start making waves.
Eric Alexander – 6 – Here’s an example of a positive quiet night. Very solid linking play, and never gave a ball away that I noticed.
Marvin Chavez – 7 – Could’ve been an 8 or 9 if he hadn’t disappeared in the 2nd half. That said, I’m starting to agree with Schellas’ statements about him being the best man on the pitch when he’s on.
David Ferreira – 7 – So another year of drawing multiple fouls and multiple defenders. I get the feeling that’s just how he likes it.
Milton Rodriguez – 6 – The goal was a sitter, but I’ve seen those missed. Props on finishing it off. Other than that, he was pretty quiet throughout the match. It’s apparent though, judging by his goal tonight and his performance thus far in the preseason, he’s not ready to give up his starting spot.
Ugo Ihemelu – 5 - Very obviously not fit, but didn’t seem to be laboring out there. I’m not positive he would’ve come in if it hadn’t been for the Shea yellow. With Shea out for the next match, it seems like we’ll probably see him again soon. We’ll have to see if he can go the full 90′ against San Jose on Saturday.
Ruben Luna – 6 – I really like Luna off the bench. He’s seen success at every level, and I’m really curious to see if that follows him. He definitely has some fire in him, and he doesn’t like the story of a local kid making it big.
Andrew Jacobson – 4 – Pretty sloppy passing from Jacobson, and in the short time he was on the pitch, he managed to pick up a yellow card. I like his size and toughness, but I’m not ready to call him Hernandez’s successor quite yet.
Overall, it was the perfect representation of a very early season game. Passing was sloppy for the most part, and players were flying and falling all over the place. Props though to FCD for fighting until the end, especially down a man for the last 35-40 minutes.
Did you watch the game? What are your thoughts?
Buzz Carrick over at 3rd Degree has been doing a pretty good job at keeping up with the current rosters for FCD. So…I thought I’d give you a heads up as well. With the latest news that FCD has let go of Maykel Galindo and Charlie Campbell, the updated rosters look something like this:
Senior Roster (18 to 20)
MLS rosters are expanding to 30. Players 1 to 20 are on the senior roster and have to fit in the salary cap. (MLS teams may carry only 18 players on this senior roster if they wish)
FCD has 8 international slots in 2010 with 6 currently filled.
1 David Ferreira (I1) Colombian, (8/9/79) 2 Daniel Hernandez Re-signed for 2010. US M/D (7/23/76) 3 Jair Benitez (I2) Colombian LB, (1/11/79). 4 Marvin Chávez (I3) Honduran MF, (11/3/83) 5 Brek Shea Promoted from GA. MF US U20. (2/28/90). 6 Ugo Ihemelu US D. (4/3/83) 7 George John US CB. (3/20/87) 8 Kevin Hartman US GK. 9 Zach Loyd M/D US 10 Jackson (I4) 22 year old M/D from São Paulo, Brazilian. 11 Eric Alexander US M 12 Milton Rodriguez (I5) 34 year old Colombian striker 13 Eric Avila Promoted from GA 2011. MF US U23. (11/24/87) 14 Kyle Davies US D. (4/11/89) 15 Bruno Guarda Brazil MF. (2/6/86) Promoted to senior roster for 2011. Green card 16 Ricardo Villar (I6) Barry Gorman’s handpicked McCarty replacement. 17 Chris Seitz Dario Sala replacement. US GK. 18 Bobby Warshaw 2011 first round pick. US M 19 Andrew Jacobson US D-mid. Acquired from Philly. 20 Fabian Castillo 18 year old Colombian striker. – Edson Edward US D, on IR.
Players occupying roster spots 1-24 will earn at least $42,000 in 2011.
Off-Budget Roster (10)
Roster Spots 21 to 30. Generation adidas, developmental players, and home grown. Players 24 and under that don’t count on the salary cap. MLS teams can have a maximum of 10 off-budget players.
21 Josh Lambo (Ga 1) GK US (11/19/90) 22 Peri Marosevic (Ga 2) US F (5/5/89) 23 Andrew Wiedeman (Ga 3) US F, has been playing some RB too. 24 Bryan Leyva (HG 1) Mexican MF (2/9/92) green card. 25 Ruben Luna (HG 2) (I?) Mexican striker 26 Victor Ulloa (HG 3) Midfielder 27 Moises Hernandez (HG 4) US D, former U20 28 Jonathan Top (HG 5) US striker. 29 Richard Sanchez (HG 6) Mexican keeper 30 Scott Gordon 2011 draft pick, D from Lynn.
Players occupying roster spots 21-30 will earn at least $32,600 in 2011.
Here’s a link to the original post at 3rd Degree.