News & Analysis
I’ve seen some Red Bulls supporters already freaking about the season because the first two games were losses. The good part is that if you look at the schedule, we now got two of our hardest away games done with. Starting with Dallas and Salt Lake away was always going to be a tough ask. As long as there’s a win on Sunday at home against the Rapids and the team steadies itself then the New York can get on with its quest. If not then its time to sound the alarms.
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.
As we head into the season, I’d like to give my fellow fans an interesting piece of food for thought: The 2012 Supporter’s Shield winner may be undeserving of the title.
A few days ago, mlssoccer.com released their latest round of 2012 Pre-Season Power Rankings and, to little surprise, the same team that topped the list last year is once again on top. For many years, this meant little: the Power Rankings were nothing but a pundit’s best tool to engage his/her readership, stir up the riff-raff… and not much else. The rankings held little actual value.
But over the last couple of years, thanks to better coverage and writing by those in the business of doing both, the preseason power rankings have been a fairly good indicator of – if not exact table placement – how the playoff picture would shake out.
But not this year.
While I have no doubt that this year’s power rankings are a fair representation of where the league’s concentration of quality lies, lurking beneath them is a dirty little secret:
Thanks to our “new and improved” schedule, at the end of the regular season, a team may find itself undeserving of its final table spot. Even the regular-season champion, the Supporter’s Shield winner, may be undeserving of the honor.
Does that sort of problem sound familiar? Just call us the BCS.
And through some (slightly arbitrary) number crunching, I’m about to show you how and why.
The sanctions against the Dynamo Supporters Groups announced on Monday have been widely speculated about throughout the soccer community. I’d like to take a brief moment to introduce the Dynamo Supporters Groups in an effort to bring more understanding to the debate. The Dynamo have four major Supporters Groups: The Texian Army, El Batallon, La Bateria and Brickwall. Each group is unique, yet they all come together on game days and lead chants throughout the stadium. The sanctions affect all four of these groups.
Many of the chants lead by the Supporters Groups include profanity. Miguel Sada, the same Supporters Group leader that announced the sanctions on Monday, defended those chants and other unsafe practices by stating on his Twitter:
@OrtizKicks Flares, Bombs, Chants are part of Futbol culture, there’s baseball for ppl that like silence, nachos and a good nap.
— Miguel Sada (@miguelsada19) February 28, 2012
For Groups who are attempting to get their exemptions back, Sada’s words come across as unaffected, rude and careless.
Major League Soccer has sent an e-mail to Dynamo supporters groups telling them that as of March 1st Dynamo fans traveling to out of town games will no longer be permitted to bring in items listed as “supporters group exemptions” which include drums, streamers, and other supporters groups staples.
It’s been a long time since NBC released their schedule for all the stateside teams, but yesterday TSN here in Canada released the national TV schedule for their networks. All in all, 36 matches featuring at least one of the Canadian teams will be shown by the network, with 18 of them featuring Toronto FC.
Every all-Canadian match will be shown on the main TSN network, while the same family of networks will carry the MLS Cup final and the All-Star Game from Philadelphia. This of course means all the remaining league and Champions League will likely be found on the premium cable channel GOL TV Canada, while the Canadian Championship will be shown on Rogers Sportsnet.
So over half of our matches will be shown nationally. Can’t complain about that now!
GOALKEEPERS (3) :Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7) :Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (6) : Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5) :Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
My, the USA player pool is fascinating right now. We’ve got plenty of new faces alongside the familiar ones – and the emergence of the German-based talent is shaking up what used to seem a set of reliable assumptions about who will line up where.
Sometime in 2013, 17 years after their inaugural season, the fans of San Jose Earthquakes will get what’s been coming to them for a long time: a stadium of their own. read more…
**Warning the following is from an upset and soon-to-be drunk Sounders fan.**
Please pardon me as I grab a shot of whiskey… Tequila… Rum… What the hell one of everything!!!
This is almost as bad as black Tuesday when we lost Riley, Wahl, Boss, and Arlo White.
This is a big blow! Not only do we lose two players for the price of one, we get a Europe reject trying to come back to MLS in an attempt to gain favor with the National Team.
I loved see Mike grow and enjoyed seeing his cute big butt running up and down the pitch.
Now to my hometown boy Lamar! This is what has me so upset. He is a great player and a great guy. He is a local guy. From Federal Way. Really close to where I live. He was drafted in 2009, and sent to Charleston Battery to develop. Then sent to Europe. Then in 2011 after camp he was signed to the first team. When I met him for the first time I said he was doing a good job and I can’t wait to see him grow as a player… that’s all before his hat trick, and amazing season! Now I’ll have to watch from afar.
Damn it! Just know Lamar I’ll be rooting for you always! A fan for life. Let me know when you’re in town. Love to take you to dinner and/or a drink!
I wish the Impact luck with their Sounders as they now have 5 alumni.
Dear Mister Johnson, you have big shoes to fill. If you feel up to it, I’m glad and I really wanna see this go well! I also have Lamar’s match-worn and signed boots. If you wanna give me yours too that might help to ease my pain.
I don’t envy you. This is a hard place to be put! The best of luck to you good sir. Welcome to the team and to Seattle! Lets go out there and put on a good show.
Sigi I trust you…but please don’t lose your mind like Nowak.
Tentatively appeased and buzzed until later.
Is it march yet?
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.