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Thursday kickaround

*FC Dallas playing at home ... on a Thursday ... on national TV. What exactly is MLS and ESPN thinking?

*Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are coming to Red Bull Arena.

*David Suazo, Honduras' Italian-based forward, is questionable for the World Cup.

*Americans abroad:
F Jozy Altidore 35 minutes in Hull City's 2-0 loss to Aston Villa
GK Brad Friedel 90 for Aston Villa
MF Jose Francisco Torres 90 in Pachuca's 2-1 loss at Cruz Azul
(Vital away goal in first leg of CONCACAF Champions League finals)
MF Clint Dempsey and Fulham at Hamburg
(American might return for Europa League semifinals)

*Soccer on TV:
Europa League, Hamburg-Fulham 3 p.m. ET, GolTV
Europa League, Atletico Madrid-Liverpool 3 p.m. DirecTV Channel 461 (tape at 8 on GolTV)

Copa Libertadores, Internacional-Quito 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
MLS, FC Dallas-Seattle 8 p.m. ESPN2
Copa Libertadores, Corinthians-Independiente Medellin 8:30 p.m. FSE

*CONCACAF video:

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By Steve Goff  |  April 22, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF , CONCACAF Champions League , England , MLS , TV  | Tags: Aston Villa F.C., Copa Libertadores, Europa League, FC Dallas, Hull City A.F.C., MLS, Soccer, World Cup  
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Next: Weekend TV listings


So, what exactly is the problem with the game tonite? i for one, am looking forward to watching it. i sure as heck am not driving all the way to Frisco.

Posted by: nffcnnr | April 22, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Frisco/Dallas is more of a Thursday night soccer town. Clearly, it's not a weekend soccer town. Perhaps, they're hoping for something like the "Monday Night effect" of the 70s and 80s, getting local fans really pumped for nationally-broadcast games.

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

they're hoping to eclipse the 5,000 attendance threshold for a weeknight in Middleofnowhere, TX

Posted by: inzzo79 | April 22, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse


you answered your own question in the third sentence of your comment.

empty seats look AWESOME in high def!!!!

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 22, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

well it's not like anyone in the Dallas area will be focused on the NFL Superdraft player allocation extravaganza tonight.

also, with 10+ minutes of stoppage time, i think Jozy played closer to 45 minutes.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 22, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

So, what exactly is the problem with the game tonite? ...i sure as heck am not driving all the way to Frisco.

Posted by: nffcnnr | April 22, 2010 10:24 AM
...neither will anyone else. Makes for great "atmosphere" for a televised game, don't you think?

Posted by: schmuckatelli | April 22, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

bad news for Honduras. Suazo is a game changer.

no problem having Dallas on for a nationally broadcast game; it's just like scheduling a patsy for homecoming. sure shouldn't be a home game, though.

Posted by: troy6 | April 22, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

schmuckatelli: great atmosphere!!!!

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 22, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

FC Dallas won't get a crowd approaching a good Texas high school football game. Then again, most MLS teams wouldn't....

Posted by: lovinliberty | April 22, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps ESPN was thinking that they would televise the team with the largest fan base regardless where they were playing.

I hate to break the news but quite a few teams in this league suck. Not to name any names too close to home. Seattle doesn't suck. And they draw fans like mad.

I don't like them, but they're good for American soccer. If MLS changed its salary structure, Seattle (or any other MLS team that could routinely draw 35,000) might actually get a lot of great players and be able to compete internationally. That would increase domestic interest dramatically, IMO.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 22, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Fisco Thursday night soccer = EPIC FAIL

Posted by: nairbsod | April 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, sure it would. People like you have been saying that nonsense for years.

As for Dallas hosting a nationally televised think maybe the folks at Pizza Hut might be guaranteed one or two of those a year? Just sayin'.

Posted by: very_clever_username | April 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That should be "Frisco"

Posted by: nairbsod | April 22, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

MLS would be wise to focus energy into Dallas and make it a success or make it go away. The soccer specific stadium is a sham, a bowl with nothing unique about it, and pizza every time you go? I do wish fans would go but honestly, they continue to screw the pooch down there and it is a huge black eye for MLS.

Posted by: elfelixg | April 22, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

bonghits4gomez: after seeing that video I just feel sorry for them now.

Posted by: nairbsod | April 22, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

my thoughts exactly...

Garber: why does Frisco have a team again?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 22, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Might want to hold off crapping on Dallas until we see what attendance is for DC United's Thursday night game against Seattle in July. Hell, DCU could have a record of 0-16 by then. (Even though they wouldn't an 0-16 team.)

Posted by: OWNTF | April 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow. that is some crappy defense for Pachuca.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 22, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I have read on the interwebs that the terms of the Pizza Hut sponsorship require a minimum number of nationally televised games for Dallas at home.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | April 22, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

That should be "Frisco"

Posted by: nairbsod |

Are you sure it shouldn't be


Posted by: Ron16 | April 22, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

fischy, good to know that MLS is so close to being better than the Mexican league, isn't it?

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is up with that guy on the horn in the video? He reminds me of that crappy band camp solo that Jim did in American Pie 2. I can't stand when these guys play like this the whole damn game. (which you'll hear all night during the game) They sound like those bums playing buckets in the city...........

Posted by: dculoyal | April 22, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

MLS schedule makers have been in la-la-land since day of the week at mid-day during the heat of the summer...FC Dallas on Thursday, the poorest draw for several years...MLS All-Star game in the early p.m. dead heat of summer...BRILLIANT.

Posted by: juke2 | April 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

FCD should just sell to one side, the side on TV, to improve its broadcast "look." That was an old USSF trick that the Revs adopted when they moved into Gillette.

At an MLS business meeting in Sept '08, ESPN's executives emphasized how important it is to have a loud, vibrant atmosphere on its broadcasts as a means of drawing (and keeping) viewers. If a game didn't have enough interest to generate excitement at the venue, how could it be expected to generate excitement for a TV viewer A home game at FCD would seem to fly in the face of that.

Perhpas the above post about Pizza Hut getting one or two of these a year is true. It certainly makes sense that MLS would be committed as such to a stadium name partner.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 22, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Sell to the TV side of the field. That'll improve the look.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 22, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I think we owe nffcnnr a couple-three bucks in Sarcasm Credits, folks.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | April 22, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Just checked the google map, Frisco is 30 miles from downtown Dallas, that's how far I drive to see DCU from Annapolis... what's the problem in Dallas? No supporter culture?
Why is Houston so much more successful?

Posted by: Irrlicht | April 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

why does Frisco have a team again?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | April 22, 2010 11:20 AM
Well, for starters, they have a stadium that DC United can envy (even if they can't manage to get anyone to fill it).

Posted by: schmuckatelli | April 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Until last year FC Dallas's attendance was pretty consistent regardless of the venue. Has anybody ever considered that this may be more about fifteen years of mediocrity rather than Frisco. Their only trophy is the 1997 US Open Cup. Whoopppeee! Look at the Nationals attendance here and that is only after five years of mediocrity. What's the difference?

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 22, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Dudes don't worry Sounders will have at least 20K in travel support won't they?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The problem with FCD"s attendence is that they are not good enough to draw fans from the area were the population is denser than the areas around Frisco. Frisco is one of several communities in the area that are very new and it's a decent drive from the Metroplex core where the population is concentrated greater. The population in Friasoc and in the areas within an approximate 10 mile radius hasn

Bottom line is that if the team got good (and stayed good), they'd draw better.

Posted by: lgm6986 | April 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

In Frisco, FC Dallas had a couple bad seasons on the field, and the marketing HAD been mainly towards a "family" atmosphere at the stadium.

There has been a BIG difference this year with the team marketing more of a "party" atmosphere, swapping out bounce houses for a happy hour party deck with live music, encouraging people to stay and party in the Club with live music after the game, and becoming much more engaged with marketing consistently on social networking sites.

I think the tides are changing in Frisco, although I wish this Game of the Week was closer to mid-season after this new strategy has taken hold a little more. Also, some wins by FC Dallas would certainly help rally the potential fanbase and get people talking more positively about the team to bring people out. The drive to Frisco from Dallas is not that far when the team is winning -- I spent much more travel time stuck in traffic driving to RFK back in the day and was happy to go to every game. People need to see some wins to get them motivated (right Caps fans??)!

We will see how it goes tonight. It has been cloudy here all day and FCD has yet to get a win this season, so who knows, but I will head over to the party deck in a couple hours with as many people as I can gather -- and then sit on the TV side!

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | April 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about a stadium for DCU; they are going to have a celler dweller season as a prelude to moving them ....

Posted by: lovinliberty | April 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

lovinliberty, save that baloney for big soccer. thanks

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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