Some cool news out of the USA camp as Brek Shea and Heath Pearce have been called up to the national team for their game against Colombia at PPL Park in Philadelphia on October 12. The only two MLS players called up, Shea and Pearce will report to the National Team after their October 9th home finale against the Colorado Rapids.
For Shea, this is his second call up to the national team, though he failed to appear in his first camp with the nats prior to their 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Barbados. The 20 year old left sided winger has been a revelation for FC Dallas this season, finally displaying the talent on the field that everyone could see in practice. Shea has five goals and four assists in 22 appearances for FC Dallas this season and will return to the starting lineup Saturday night against Chicago after a two game suspension.
Heath Pearce has 32 appearances for the national team spanning the last six seasons. A mainstay at right back for the FC Dallas defense, Pearce has six assists on the season, the most for an FC Dallas defender since Bobby Rhine in 2005.
In all, there are four current or former FC Dallas players on the mostly European based roster and three players who will make their US National Team debut if called upon by Bob Bradley.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Étienne), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)
Cowtown made this brilliant picture and posted it on BigSoccer. I’m sure most of the people who read this blog normally peruse the FCD Big Soccer board but I’ve gotten permission to share it here anyways….enjoy.
The biggest news on this Wednesday morning (Besides Michael Bolton getting ripped on Dancing With the Stars) comes from Steve Hunt who is reporting George John is likely to return this weekend.
“I think he’ll be a questionable player, but there’s a [good] possibility we’ll get him out this weekend,” Hyndman said on Monday
In Schellas Hyndman speak, that means if he doesn’t have any setbacks in training this week he will go on Saturday, most likely in Kyle Davies place while Jackson will remain in the defensive midfield role.
The return of George John to the lineup is huge for Dallas as he provides the leadership that other reserves don’t and is a much bigger threat offensively on set pieces.
Steve has been cranking out the stories lately and also has one up in which Schellas praises Jeff Cunningham. Jeff isn’t speaking to the media until he breaks the goal scoring record, so here’s to hoping he breaks it this weekend.
“I just talked to Jeff and said this was the best game I’ve seen you play since last year,” Hyndman said on Monday. “For whatever reason — the temperament, the lack of confidence or the playing time or just the uncomfortable feeling — I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of Jeff this year.”
Steve also writes that Edson Edward’s MLS debut was a bit of a homecoming. Even though he’ll probably never play again, I’m happy the guy got a runout. If he doesn’t make the squad next year, he can always try out as a linebacker for the Cowboys.
“I thought [Edward] did well,” Hyndman said. “That was his first opportunity to play. He’s got the confidence of the coach to not only take him on the trip but to put him in.”
Kyle Davies is finally getting healthy and contributing to the team.
“Its been probably a year since I’ve played 90 minutes,” Davies said. “To get 90 minutes in was definitely a nice feeling. I feel good, obviously a little bit tired, but that’s to be expected.”
And finally, Larry David’s feelings about math…
1- Win for Dario Sala this season after getting his first W of the season on Saturday at Kansas City
2-Red cards Dallas has been shown this season. The lowest number since 2006.
3-Game winning goals this season for Brek Shea and Jeff Cunningham who are tied for the team lead
4-Penalty kick goals for David Ferreira in five attempts this season
5-Games in a row to start the season in which FC Dallas trailed on the scoreboard. In their next 21 games, FC Dallas has also trailed in 5 of them.
6-Assists for Heath Pearce this season. The most by an FCD defender since Bobby Rhine had 8 as a left back in 2005.
7-Yellow cards on the season for Atiba Harris, the team leader.
8-Games in which FC Dallas has trailed this season that they didn’t lose.
9-Shutouts for FC Dallas this season, all with Kevin Hartman in goal. The most since the Dallas Burn pitched 9 shutouts in 2001 and 12 in 1999.
10-Goals for Jeff Cunningham in 1,302 minutes this season. A strike rate that is not far off his stellar 2009 campaign and the seventh time he’s scored in double digits for a season.
11-Wins for FC Dallas this season through 26 games
12-Assists for David Ferreira in 26 games, just two shy of Landon Donovan for the league lead and three behind Jason Kreis(1999) for the franchise record
13-Draws for FC Dallas this season, the most in team history.
Jump for the other 13 super fun facts! I had to stretch for some of the higher numbers.
For the first time in a few weeks, FC Dallas has a regular week to train and prepare for Chicago who brings their anemic attack to Frisco on Saturday night.
Not much FC Dallas news, but there were a few things that may have flown under the radar of this loaded sports weekend.
The FC Dallas Academy teams headed down to The Woodlands yesterday for a US Development Academy matchup against Texas Rush and both teams struggled. The U-18’s dropped a 2-1 result with Jonathan Top scoring the lone goal for FC Dallas, his third in two games this year. The U-16’s also struggled losing 5-1 in their game against Texas Rush with defender Mark Ashby scoring for Dallas. Of note, Emerson Hyndman has started both games of the young season for the U-16’s.
It was another great weekend for fans of SMU Soccer as the Hilltoppers maintained their undefeated season winning both of their games at the UAB Tournament. SMU, now 9-0 on the season, opened up the tournament(and their conference schedule) with a big 3-2 victory against UAB. NSCAA Player of the Week Juan Castillo opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season in the 25th minute. SMU would double their lead as Arthur Ivo, another MLS prospect, scored his third goal of the season right before halftime. Josue Soto closed the scoring for SMU in the 52nd minute to put the Ponies up 3-0. They would mentally turn off after that, however, allowing two goals in a five minute span to make for a tense ending, but SMU would hold on for a vital 3-2 victory.
Yesterday, SMU rounded out their non-conference play with their second game of the tournament against Jacksonville University. Using the same starting XI as Friday night, the Mustangs struggled with Jacksonville and were down 1-0 within 15 minutes. The Ponies fought back and leveled the score in the 70th minute with a goal from Robbie Dershang before Ivo popped up again in overtime to score his fourth goal of the season and seal a 2-1 win for SMU.
SMU continues conference play with a game on Saturday at UCF before three big home games in a row in October.
Wow, what a game from Dallas. Missing 5 starters, everyone stepped up to produce arguably the most impressive win of the season in tough, cold, rainy conditions away to a Kansas City team that had lost once in ten games.
Dallas came roaring out of the gates with two goals in the first 12 minutes as Marvin Chavez scored his first for Dallas off a beautiful chipped feed from David Ferreira. Milton Rodriguez doubled the score with a tougher-than-it-looked finish at the top of the box after Atiba Harris strongly won the ball to free Uncle Milton.
“We scored early, we worked all week on finishing on a small field, and then we worked on a lot of defending hitting” said coach Hyndman. “We watched what Kansas City does, and they are so direct. You know exactly what they are going to do; you just have to beat them to the ball. For us, we didn’t really expect to score that early, but I think it opened up the confidence for us to go again.”
Things got a bit dicey in the second half as Kansas City dominated the run of play for the first 30 minutes after halftime and were rewarded with a Ryan Smith deflected strike that got past Dario Sala to cut the Dallas lead in half with 30 minutes left to play.
“Smith’s goal was with a lot of time left in the game. I thought we had a little bit of energy still in us. I added Jack in the game to see if he could give us a little more, but we couldn’t find our rhythm” said Kansas City coach Peter Vermes
Dallas would hold strong, however, and struck a tiring Kansas City team on the counter late as Jeff Cunningham scored his 131st career goal between Jimmy Nielsen’s legs to seal a huge 3 away points for FCD and extend their unbeaten streak to 17 games, just one shy of tying the MLS record.
“It is really quite remarkable. I’m not sure if you all notice; I’m sure you understand part of it is we are playing without five regulars,” said Hyndman. “It is one thing to play without your starting goalkeeper or your captain, but our two center backs didn’t even make the trip. We have five starters that aren’t making the trip in the last few games, but we are still getting results. It says a lot about our team and our depth.”
Game observations, more quotes and links after the jump
FCD returned to the practice field(a little later today) in preparation for the big game in Kansas City tomorrow against the red hot Wizards. It was an extremely crisp and compact practice from a team that seems very focused on the job at hand. Not a lot of messing around today as the team is hopping on a bus after practice.
The bulk of practice is spent on a short field scrimmage and corners/free kicks between starters and reserves. After warmups, there was probably only about 30 minutes worth of true practice. Obviously, you don’t want anyone getting injured the day before a game with as many starters as will be out tomorrow.
-Ugo is one of the first out of the locker room today onto the practice field. He warmed up with the team, but did not participate in contact drills. George John was rehabbing on the side. At this point, George John is almost the bigger worry for me. I’m pretty confident Ugo will be out there by the last home game against Colorado if he’s beginning to train now, but John is a week or two behind schedule. More on these guys in the quotes…
-Dario looks sharp and back to his old self. Huge credit to the guy for completely changing his approach to the game and working hard to stay in shape while Hartman takes over in a goal that was once his.
-Probably the best player of the practice was Zach Loyd. He rose above everyone to score a sweet header on one of the first free kicks and sent in some great crosses after practice. With his versatility, it’s going to be tough to keep this kid off the field when Ugo and George John return. I am still wondering if Schellas has plans to groom him into the defensive mid role eventually.
Jump for some good stuff from Schellas and Dario ahead of tomorrow’s game and a couple more bits