By Will Martin
The Month of May gave fans of FC Dallas three opportunities to go watch play at home in Frisco if a fan of the team or game of soccer. Gold Cup qualifying games aside this Saturday will mark the only home visit for the team led by Schellas Hyndman as Sporting KC comes to North Texas.
Last week in Portland for the first time in 2013 FC Dallas suffered the ignominy of being shut out to the tune of 1-0.
A back and forth affair that went in favor of the Timbers as Midfielder Darlington Nagbe connected on a no-look spinning kick that curled into the corner of the net in the 52nd minute for the only score of the evening.
It looked as if the lead would soon become 2-0 when Forward Frederic Piquionne took a midfield pass from Will Johnson and had nothing but Raul Fernandez and net in front of him, only to hit the right post in the 59th minute.
In the 68th minute the Timbers for all intents and purposes could have had a 3-0 lead when Midfielder Diego Valeri was alone and free down the middle before his shot attempt was nicely diverted by Raul Fernandez. Fernandez with seven saves in defeat. Give the Timbers credit: They now nurse a 13 game home win streak as they now sit third in the Western Conference two points back of FC Dallas with 26. Real Salt Lake are in second place a point back with 27 behind FC Dallas.
One notable scratch from last Saturday’s game was Kenny Cooper. His day on June 15th began with a phone call from his wife at home to learn that his father-One time Dallas Tornado goalkeeper Kenny Cooper Sr-had suffered a heart attack. Cooper was told by coach Hyndman and staff to go home and tend to the matter at hand. Happy to report that Daddy Cooper and family are fine and recovering nicely.
“He had a great report yesterday,” Cooper told MLSsoccer.com after practice on Tuesday. “He had an echocardiogram that showed very limited damage to the heart. I think he’s making good progress. He seems to be on a good path to getting back to good health.”
To say of nothing of the overwhelming love and support from the FC Dallas community and fraternity. On the eve of Father’s Day no less.
“Oh my gosh, it’s…” Cooper said, pausing. “Schellas allowing me to be with my family, the messages I’ve received from the other coaches, teammates, [FCD technical director] Fernando Clavijo has e-mailed every day asking about my father. It’s such a testament to the good people that are here at this club and it makes me so proud to be a part of this club.
“I think my dad and my family have been overwhelmed by all the messages, all the love, the support and people’s prayers,” Cooper added. “It’s really been incredible. I wish everyone that has reached out could know how much it means to my dad, my family and myself. My mom started crying when I was telling her.
“We’ve just received so much love and we’re very grateful for all of the support that’s been given to us.”
You now get two chances to show your FC Dallas love when Sporting KC comes to town this Saturday for a 7:30 start at FC Dallas Park in Frisco. Sporting Kansas City in the middle of a three way tie with the Philadelphia Union and Houston Dynamo at 6-5-4 and 22 points apiece in the chase for the Montreal Impact (9-3-2) and first in the East with 29 points.
Kenny Cooper will be back this weekend to face Sporting KC and to hopefully help FC Dallas maintain its slimmest of first place margins in the Western Conference as the team stands at 8-3-4 and 28 points.
With US Open Cup qualifying still going on you can see the Timbers play here again on June 26th, also a 7:30 start time. Two teams who are still unbeaten at home. This on the heels of a 3-0 shutout of the Houston Dynamo in qualifying play last week.
June quickly winds down as things really start to heat up in Texas with the weather, and the soccer action. Now one month away from CONCACAF fun at Jerry World just like in 2011. More on that a little later.