Dallas Soccer: Carlos Ruiz
Ricardo Salazar, the Ed Hochuli of American soccer, is your referee tonight. They don't really look alike, but their arms were definitely separated at birth.
Much smaller crowd tonight, compared to the home opener. Unfortunate, but not terribly surprising. These things take time. After all, Seattle can't sell out their stadium either.
Wait. Bad analogy. Never mind.
Wait. Wait one minute. What did I miss? Where's Brek Shea? I he with the National Team? Did he get kidnapped by aliens? Swept up in an immigration raid? You know how those immigration folks always pick on blonde-haired blue-eyed Anglo types.
Why is he neither on the field or on the bench? See, if I spent more time on the Internets, and wasted less time reading books and going to work, I would know these things. I feel so out-of-the-loop.
I know he was having a little trouble adjusting to center back, but certainly he hasn't gone and inherited the Dax McCarty memorial doghouse suite at the Hyndman Arms Hotel. Has he?
OH! OF COURSE! Now I remember. Red card last weekend. Duh.
I should start taking that herbal supplement that helps with memory enhancement; but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called.
Speaking of central defense – Chris Wondolowski beats ours for his first goal of the season, only four minutes in to the game. Well, we've always been a slow-starting team. No need to panic. He was only the Golden Boot winner last year; it's not like we were going to keep him off the board forever. Maybe he has it out of his system now, and will be a nice boy, playing quietly with the other children.
Millions upon millions of dollars spent on Designated Players last year, and lil' Wondo from Chico State, a 41st pick in the supplemental draft, leads the league in scoring. I absolutely love that. I hope the kid at least got a raise this year. Fredy Montero did, and he hasn't scored since, like, August or something.
Apparently it's cold and windy in Frisco tonight. I see some folks on the East side with blankets. Of course, the crowd is so quiet, I'm pretty sure I can hear them discussing whether it's really cold enough for a blanket, and whether pink is really the right color for a soccer game.
Oh, again with the goal, Wondolowski? 2-0 and it's not even 25 minutes in to the game yet? I'm telling you, what with the porous defense and sparse crowd, this game is taking on an eerily 2009-ish type of vibe. I actually just shivered at the thought.
Must remain calm. Must carry on.
Non Sequitur Alert: I think Wondolowski's nickname should be The Dude, because Wondolowski rhymes with Lebowski. Just a thought. Either way, he's thrashing us like a gang of German nihilists.
This is not good. I'm so desperately trying to remain positive, I'm actually going to type the following sentence:
So, we've made it to halftime only down 2-0. Not bad.
It physically hurt typing that sentence. Like stubbed toe.
I hope this gets better.
We're in the second half now, and, oh, wow, Jon Busch just robbed Milton Rodriguez. Robbed him like he had shares in Lehman Brothers. Robbed him like he left a window open at the pawn shop. Robbed him like he was flashing money at the bus station.
If you get my point.
Now things are getting interesting. Fabian Castillo is in the game, replacing Ricardo Villar.
He's a baby – 18 years old. And, he looks even younger. He'll have more trouble getting a driver's license than he did getting a work visa.
He's been on the field five minutes and he's already blown by a good percentage of of the Earthquakes. Some of them, twice. Fast, this kid is. Fast. Like Rocky in Rocky II after Mickey made him chase chickens fast.
Bah! I hope Jon Busch will have a change of heart and give Milton Rodriguez his wallet back later, because he just upped and robbed him. Again.
Things are going better. The boys are really starting to impose themselves on San Jose. We're putting on tons of pressure, and we have most of the possession. It's a complete 180 from the first half. I wonder what Sifu Schellas said to them in the locker room. But for Busch, the score would be level right now.
Ouch. I like Ricardo Salazar, and he is without a doubt one of the better referees in MLS, but he really blew a call just now that we really needed. Ramiro Corrales brought down David Ferreira at the top of the box, and Mr. Salazar just plain missed it.
Well . . . no one's perfect. Maybe he heard Carlos Ruiz was back in the league and mistook him for David.
Ohhhhhhhhh. Young Fabian just picked up the ball on the touch line, about 40 yards from goal, made a bee line for the box, popped a little cross to the goal, only to have Milton head it over the bar. This kid is giving me goose bumps. Plus, when he's going full speed, I'm pretty sure time compresses.
Whoever found this kid and brought him to Dallas should get an immediate bonus. A bar of gold, perhaps, or one of those tiny giraffes like in the DirecTv commercial. Something.
George John barely misses pulling one back with a header. Just for the record, I'm a huge George John fan. It doesn't rise to the level of man-crush, mind you, but I really like the kid. He's got size, talent, brains, humility, and a tough, winner's attitude. No down side to this guy.
Non Sequitur Alert:
Also, did you know his Dad's name is John John? I mean, come on, how cool is that?
Another huge save by Jon Busch, this time a diving-to-the-right save off of a Ruben Luna header. Busch is getting better with age, like fine wine. Which is ironic, since he's named after beer.
Well, full time. This was about as encouraging as a 2-0 defeat could possibly be, in any alternative universe you could conjure up. Which is to say, slightly, but not very. The first half was dismal, but the second half was unquestionably better. But for a pretty nice goalkeeping job, we'd have another draw on our hands.
And, wow, Fabian Castillo. That was a nice glimpse of our future (I hope).
I'm afraid 2-0 losses at home, however, are not going to be what it takes to get big crowds to come to the park. And we need that as much as we need goals, in the long run.
Anyway, it's early in the season. Lots of soccer left to play. See you next week for The Crew.
4. FC DALLAS. Ugo Ihemelu and George John are primed to emerge as one of the league’s best central tandems, though the Brek Shea Experiment is an interesting study. Jackson has big shoes to fill, those of Heath Pearce, at right back. Jair Benitez on the left is money.
Soccer America has the FCD midfield at #4 also.
4. FC DALLAS. The loss of Dax McCarty is a huge hole to fill, but Coach Schellas Hyndman has Eric Alexander and other options. David Ferreira is the top No. 10 in MLS, Marvin Chavez is an emerging star on the right flank, and if Brek Shea lines up on the left he’ll contribute his height and hunger to score. Daniel Hernandez is still spry at 35 (in July).
A couple of ex-FCD strikers are floating around MLS. Here's a Q&A with Jeff Cunningham in Columbus. Carlos Ruiz is now in Philly. Last, but not least, Kenny Cooper is in Portland and looking to get back to his FCD form.
Following up the Jair Benitez suspension, Jeff Cameron has a comment in the Houston Chronicle.
I don’t really have much to say. Glad the MLS decided to take action on him. Nothing happened to me. Just happy they took responsibility, and now we can all move on.
Brian Ching declined to comment.
The Dallas Business Journal is still tracking the FCD jersey thing. Not much new in their blurb, but it's nice to see a publication like the DBJ paying attention to MLS.
"Main stream" media getting ready for the start of the season. WFAA has a feature on FCD you can watch here.
MLS is climbing onto the Ruben Luna bandwagon. It's starting to get crowded, thankfully I got my seat early.
F Ruben Luna, FC Dallas (pictured above)Dax McCarty has been named captain for DC United.
FC Dallas currently top MLS with six Home Grown signings. And while three or four of them might be able to sneak some minutes this year, one of the strongest candidates to put together a solid campaign is Luna, a 19-year-old forward from Mexico. His six goals in preseason give him a chance at seeing some playing time when the season begins against Chicago on Saturday.
Francisco "Panchito" Mendoza apparently saw executions while playing in Juarez, Mexico. As you can imagine, he's happy to be back in MLS.
I really saw bad things. I saw executions. But I never got scared. I think when I got there, I knew what I was getting into. I tried to think about the positive side of things: how nice people treated me there, and it's one of the cities that has treated me the best. But to tell you the truth, I saw a lot of stuff. But that's something you don't want to mess with, because the last thing you want is trouble.What's going in Toronto with Dwayne De Rosario reminds me of what some FCD players were saying during the Micheal Hitchock era.
Ever wonder what happened to Denilson?
DENILSON (FC Dallas). The Brazilian broke a world record when he commanded a transfer fee of $32 million in 1998, but by the time he debuted with Dallas in September 2007 his career was on a downward slide. He lasted only 11 games before Dallas decided not to pick up his option. He spent the 2008 season on the bench at Palmeiras in Brazil before moving on to Vietnam, where he lasted three weeks, and Greece, where was released by Kavala after having failed to make an appearance in three months.
First Paul Kennedy at Soccer America says it's time to dump the U17 residency program at US Soccer. He cites amoung other things the Developmental Academy and specifically the FC Dallas residency program for their own players. So mega props to FCD for being ahead of everyone else in MLS.
The bleacher report has a 25 goals in MLS history feature up that includes video so you can judge for yourself. There are a couple FC Dallas goals in the mix. Ronnie O'Brien starts the list at #25 and Carlos Ruiz is at #6 with the goal voted Goal of the Decade in 2005.
Lastly, unless I find some more goodies, the US U17s, despite the top article I linked, won the CONCACAF U17 Champiosnhip. FCD Acandemy player Kellyn Acosta didn't get back into the starting lineup after his red card in the quarters cost him the semis. But congrats to him and the 17s for a terrific run.
Edit: One more... Barry Gorman with a awesome travel blog from his epic saga down to San Juan, Argentina to scout a player. He doesn't say specifically which game he's going to but it's probable he watched San Martin vs Rosario Central. Daniel Robertson says that means Gorman was scouting Javier Toledo.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on Adnan Januzaj's meteoric rise from Dallas Cup participant in April to Manchester United's savior in October before moving on to discuss DC United's victory over Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup final.
Play Podcast Steve Davis welcomes Marc Stein back to the studio from his European travels just in time to discuss the miserable weekend in the Premiership for both Manchester clubs.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss the big City v United game and Stein's trip to West Brom for the Paolo Di Canio show.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis cover all the ins and outs of the United States' comprehensive victory over Mexico that clinched a seventh straight trip to the World Cup.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis look ahead to Tuesday night's big USA vs. Mexico showdown.
Play Podcast Pedro Pinto analyzes the Champions League draw, and Rodney Marsh discusses Liverpool's flying start.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss Clint Dempsey's home debut and the weekend's marquee match in MLS: Seattle vs. Portland.
Play Podcast Broadcasting live from FC Dallas Stadium, Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on the absolute footy feast that was Saturday's TV bonanza featuring seven live games from the Premiership followed by a full MLS slate.