Dallas Soccer: Soccer Today

Jurgen Klinsmann praises Dirk Nowitzki

March, 17, 2012
U.S. men's soccer national team coach and 1990 World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann has hailed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki as perhaps "the best ambassador" to the United States that German sport has ever produced.

In an interview which aired Saturday on "Soccer Today" on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, as part of his recent visit to town for FC Dallas' MLS season opener, Klinsmann revealed that he is "big fan" of the NBA in general and Nowitzki in particular, having lived in the States for much of Nowitzki's career since retiring as a player in 1998.

"What's he done here, you can't describe it from a German perspective," Klinsmann said. "He's just an absolutely outstanding athlete, he's a role model, and he's the best (sporting) ambassador that we've probably ever had. We're pretty proud of him."

Nowitzki didn't have the opportunity to visit with his countryman when Klinsmann was in Dallas because the Mavericks were flying back from Oakland that day after completing their recent grind of nine games in 12 days after the All-Star break.

As part of the interview, Klinsmann talked extensively about the national team's recent win in Italy as well as the breakout season Texas native Clint Dempsey is having at Fulham in the Barclays Premier League. Klinsmann described his first eight months in the job as Dempsey's national team boss as a "blast."

Although English bookmakers continue to list Klinsmann as a top contender to replace Harry Redknapp as manager of Tottenham Hotspur in England's Premiership -- where he starred in the mid-1990s -- Klinsmann forcefully dismissed such speculation, insisting that he's not going anywhere. Klinsmann received a three-year contract in July 2011 to replace Bob Bradley as coach of the national team.

"I know the English media," Klinsmann told Soccer Today. "... It's just normal that they throw out names.

"I have a wonderful relationship with Tottenham and with all my teams that I played (with) as a player. I know the people (there), I know the enviromnment. It's a wonderful club. But I said that already weeks ago that I'm extremely proud and privileged to be U.S. national team coach. I'm not starting a job or a project and giving it up after a couple months That's not me.

"I want to guide (U.S.) players towards a level hopefully that they will reach and hopefully we will have, after successful qualification, a great World Cup in Brazil (in 2014). Then in soccer, like in any other environment, you never know what happens. (But) when there are speculations coming from Europe, it gives you a quick smile and you move on."

FC Dallas visits San Jose for regular-season finale

October, 21, 2011
After being eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League play, FC Dallas looks to regroup as it still has a chance to finish in the top three of the Western Conference.

Dallas goes for its third consecutive league victory when it visits the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night in the MLS regular-season finale.

Dallas (15-11-7) failed to earn a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals after losing 3-0 at home to Toronto FC on Tuesday, a particularly discouraging finish considering it won its first two group stage games on the road.

"It's disappointing, very disappointing," defender Ugo Ihemelu said. "Play all these extra games, get so close to advancing and just have a complete letdown in the final game. It could have been historic. It could have been something really good for the club, so that's really disappointing."

Dallas cannot afford to let the loss linger. It's tied with Real Salt Lake for third place in the Western Conference with 52 points. RSL, which hosts Portland on Saturday, owns the tiebreaker after winning the season series.

Dallas is trying to avoid finishing as one of the league's four wild-card teams, which would require it to play a play-in game.

Prior to being shut out against Toronto, Dallas recorded two goals apiece in its previous two league wins. Marvin Chavez and Brek Shea scored in a 2-0 victory over visiting Vancouver last Saturday.

Shea's goal was his team-leading 11th, but first in seven games.

"It isn't easy playing so many games, but you just keep trying to work hard and improve in each one," Shea told Dallas' official website. "I started the year off well and hit a rough patch, but hopefully that's behind me now."

Shea might not find it as easy to get opportunities against San Jose (7-12-14) if midfielder Ricardo Villar can't play. Villar left the loss to Toronto with a foot injury, and it's unclear if he'll be able to play Saturday.

Daniel Cruz, who came on for Villar, would likely start in his place.

After facing the team with the worst record in the West last weekend, Dallas will take on the club just above the Whitecaps.

The Earthquakes are 1-2-3 in their last six, with five of those games coming on the road. After winning 2-1 at New England on Oct. 8, they fell 2-1 at Seattle last Saturday.

Jon Busch gave up two goals in the final eight minutes after Chris Wondolowski scored midway through the first half -- his 15th goal of the season.

Wondolowski, last season's Golden Boot winner, trails D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario by one goal for the league lead. Wondolowski has five in the last four games, accounting for all of San Jose's scoring.

"Goal scorers go through hot spells and cold spells," Wondolowski told the Earthquakes' official website. "I'm on a hot one right now."

Wondolowski also had both goals in a 2-0 win over Dallas on March 26. Shea did not play because of a red-card suspension.

Dallas is 2-3-8 in its last 13 matches against San Jose.

'Soccer Today' remembers Bobby Rhine

September, 9, 2011
Saturday morning's edition of "Soccer Today" on 103.3 FM will serve as a tribute hour to FC Dallas mainstay and show co-host Bobby Rhine, who was struck down by a heart attack Monday night at the age of 35.

After a 10-year playing career with the then-Dallas Burn and later FC Dallas, Rhine shifted seamlessly into broadcasting, first as a color analyst on FCD broadcasts and then as the club's play-by-play man.

He was also the driving creative force behind "Soccer Today" alongside co-hosts Luis Perez and Marc Stein. To honor Rhine's memory, Perez and Stein will be joined in studio for this special edition by SI.com's Steve Davis, who covered Rhine's playing career in Dallas extensively.

This week's guests on the show are two of Rhine's favorite former teammates: Real Salt Lake manager Jason Kreis and ESPN analyst Shaka Hislop.

"Soccer Today" airs at 7 a.m. Saturday.

'Soccer Today' kicks off inaugural show

June, 5, 2011
The new soccer show airing on 103.3 FM ESPN started on Saturday and the show can now be found online. Each week the show should be found in the ESPN radio podcenter.

You can also download the mp3 of the show directly here.

Episode 1 topics included FIFA corruption, Goal of the Year, Player of the Year, Game of the Year and more.

"Soccer Today" airs Saturday mornings from 7 - 8 a.m. on 103.3 FM ESPN and online at ESPNDallas.com.

Soccer Today coming to ESPN 103.3 FM

June, 2, 2011
This Saturday will mark the debut of "Soccer Today" on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. The show will air every Saturday from 7-8 a.m. with co-hosts Luis Perez, Bobby Rhine and Marc Stein, with Manny Bazan producing.

The show will include coverage of FC Dallas but won't be exclusive to the Red Stripes. The initial show will cover the FCD season to this point and then delve into the CONCACAF Gold Cup games at Cowboys Stadium.

It's going to be nice to have some FCD and soccer talk back on the radio here in town. Stay tuned for more details.

-- more info--

“We are thrilled to launch ‘Soccer Today’ on ESPN Radio,” said Tom Lee, program director, 103.3 FM ESPN Dallas. “The popularity of soccer in America is at an all-time high. Luis, Bobby and Marc will bring a wealth of information and entertainment to the soccer fans of Dallas-Ft. Worth.”

Stein has been covering the NBA for ESPN.com and the ESPN family of TV and radio networks since September 2002. This is his 18th season as an NBA reporter, but he’s a lifelong soccer fan who covered the 1994 World Cup for the Los Angeles Daily News and considers himself America’s No. 1 Manchester City supporter. Stein also had a very brief playing stint with the Dallas Sidekicks of indoor fame in 1999, signing a one-week contract for a first-person story he wrote while working for the Dallas Morning News.

“I’ve lived in the Dallas area for nearly 15 years and I don’t remember hearing too much soccer talk on the radio in that time,” said Stein. “I know how excited I’d be just to listen to a show like this, so having the chance to actually join Luis and Bobby in studio every week to talk about proper football for an hour … it’s an honor.”

Perez was the sports anchor for Telemundo in Dallas, the nation’s fifth largest Hispanic market, for seven years. He has worked for ESPN Deportes Dallas for the past three years as host of the local show Charla Deportiva and co-host of the national show Zona ESPN. Luis is in his ninth season as color commentator of the Dallas Cowboys Spanish radio broadcast and in his first season as color commentator for the Texas Rangers.