More Major League Soccer supporters groups had pride and anti-homophobia displays in the stands this past weekend. It’s all part of marking the International Day Against Homophobia that took place on May 17.
The New England Revolution shut out Toronto FC 2-0 Saturday and the Midnight Riders put on a huge display boasting marriage equality in all of the states in that corner of the country. The Comcast Sports Network gave them recognition on their broadcast of the match:
We wrap up the first week of our may ally recruitment with another team with a pair already on the list, FC Dallas.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz joined the list last year, but the college teammate of Robbie Rogers also joined Athlete Ally as an ambassador earlier this year. We added Eric Hassli to the list after his participation with many players from Toronto FC in the You Can Play Project last season.
Who will join this pair? Help us in asking the players to join the Allies List by tweeting us at @gay4soccer or using the #soccerallly hashtag. There are plenty of MLS, NWSL, NASL, and USL matches this weekend as well so if you’re in a spot where you may meet a player you can also make an in-person ask.
Chris Seitz, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Omar Gonzalez have joined the Athlete Ally program, a nonprofit aimed at encouraging and welcoming LGBT participation in sports. They are the first Major League Soccer players to join.
Seitz, FC Dallas goalkeeper, and DeLaGarza, LA Galaxy defender, were both University of Maryland teammates of Robbie Rogers, the MLS and USMNT alumus who came out last month. Their outstanding freshman class also included Seattle’s Marc Burch and Kansas City’s Graham Zusi. LA defender Gonzalez joined the team a year later, after Rogers left for the Netherlands.
Chris Seitz told AthleteAlly.org:
As an athlete, I’ve learned first hand what leadership means and seen how small actions can make a huge difference. By joining Athlete Ally, I hope my voice will reach gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and remind them that they are welcomed and respected in sports.
Each year the rivalry between Houston and Dallas takes center stage at the Texas Derby. Usually the front offices exchange banter leading up to the game, but this year was a little different. While Dallas released two viral videos and started a “Crush the Orange” campaign, Houston kept suspiciously quiet. Fans quickly reacted by poking fun at Dallas’ low ticket sales and weren’t afraid to point out that every MLS game at BBVA Compass Stadium has sold out. President Chris Canetti joined in, replying to a ‘crush the orange’ package he received, he tweeted “Thank u @FCDallas for the package. Appreciated. Sorry we haven’t reciprocated. Busy here w/ business.”
Seattle Sounders FC fans were on the edge of their seats for 68 minutes Wednesday night until a pair of fired-up goals in three minutes from Fredy Montero locked up a win for the Sounders over FC Dallas.
Starting the game off a little slower than normal and sweating hard, Seattle seemed to struggle in the heat allowing FC Dallas a strong showing the in the first half, with Dallas making more shots on goal saved by the young and handsome Bryan Meredith. FC Dallas was giving it their all as they kept possession and only allowed one shot on goal from the Sounders in the whole first half.
Yesterday five New York Red Bulls joined teammate Dax McCarty as members of our Allies List.
Today we look at Dax’s old stomping grounds of FC Dallas, also starting out the campaign with only one ally. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz joined the list back in February via Twitter, and has been immensely supportive ever since. Thank you Chris!
Let’s work today to get more Dallas players on the list with Chris. Help us tweet at his teammates below and ask them to join the list as a #soccerally, or to send us a tweet @gay4soccer.
Leyva is the first Homegrown player signed by Dallas to a professional contract, having joined Dallas’ youth development system back in June 2008. He was eventually signed to a professional contract in 2009, and made his MLS debut in a loss to the LA Galaxy in 2010. But Saturday he finally got his nod in Schellas’ starting lineup.
Leyva started in place of Fabian Castillo, who was injured, and instantly had an effect on the game: as Carlos Rodriguez’s long cross skipped past Rodney Wallace, Leyva took a first touch shot on goal that was pushed away by Perkins, only to allow Blas Pérez to mop it up for his first goal in a Hoops jersey. It was a wonderful early goal and though Leyva won’t be credited on the scoresheet with an assist, it is clear to anyone who sees that highlight that Leyva created the goal.
They call him Super Ratón. Mighty Mouse. Small but formidable, a fact underscored most by his impressive goalscoring past. 158 goals in 373 appearances, to be precise. And 22 for his native country of Panama. He scores goals, and that is precisely why Blas Pérez has come to FC Dallas. To score goals; to win games for a club that has often found itself short of experienced talent up top since the departure of Jeff Cunningham. But on Sunday, Super Ratón led FC Dallas to victory without opening his scoring tab for the Hoops. If he continues to perform like he did though, I might not even mind.
Filled to the brim with a sold out crowd of supporters and the pleasant buzz of vuvuzelas, FC Dallas Stadium played host to the Hoops’ victory over the Thierry Henry and the hated Red Bulls of New York. To some it was sweet revenge given New York’s role in the dismal end to the season last year, but for others, including yours truly, it was a showcase of things to come. Zach Loyd’s goal, which capitalized mostly on New York’s ineffective clearance, and Ricardo Villar’s man of the match performance truly stole the show, but for my money, Pérez’s debut was the main focus of the day.
Favorite Soccer Moment from 2011: FC Dallas beats Sporting Kansas City 3-2 with 3 straight comeback goals. That win was almost perfect. We had been down a goal at the half and had gone even deeper in the hole with another Kansas City goal midway through the second. It looked like we were going to experience another disappointing loss when out of nowhere Ugo Ihemelu pulled one back to make it 2-1. Suddenly, I was hoping for a tie. Then, Brek Shea crossed into the box for Maicon Santos to equalise. Suddenly, there was hope. The whole team looked motivated, and surely enough the night was capped with Bobby Warshaw scoring the game winner, which also happened to be his first career goal. It was a wonderful night because Dallas turned what I thought would be a dismal loss into one of the most exciting matches of last year, and it left me feeling proud of them.
For 2012, I’m looking forward to seeing Blas Peréz play up top for us. Super Raton, as he’s known, is a noted goalscorer, and I feel like he’s going to help solve some offensive issues up top that we had last year.
Our FC Dallas writer Justin is on Twitter at @m0gar
Aside from preseason scrimmages, it has been quiet on the news front for fans of FC Dallas. While the team has made some moves and picked up some new players, the off-season has arguably been dominated by the George John transfer saga and to a lesser extent concerns about 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira’s recovery following a broken ankle suffered early on last season against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Despite the seeming lack of energy surrounding the Hoops things picked up a bit in early January, starting with the club picking up Panamanian striker Blas Pérez and Colombian defender Hernán Pertúz on the same day, followed by George John’s loan to West Ham soon after. Soon after that Maicon Santos had the 2012 option on his contract declined, Marvin Chavéz was traded to San Jose for allocation money, finishing up with Jackson going on loan to Brazilian side Cruzeiro. Other than their picks from the supplemental draft, the acquisition of Carlos Rodríguez from Tauro FC has thus far signalled the end of Dallas’ off-season action.
With no apparent moves on the horizon (at least that I see) now seems an appropriate time to judge just what kind of impact the offseason had on the Hoops. To do so, I will be utilizing the Castrol Index, the official Performance Index of the MLS. It is by no means a perfect system of analysis but, seeing as it is meant mostly for rating individual performances, for my purposes it will provide a better method of analysis for rating what the loss of individual players might mean to the team.