[00:00:00] Speaker A: Um, yeah.
Third degree. The third degree nap, I guess.
Third degree. The third degree nap, I guess.
Third degree nap, I guess.
Third degree nap. Podcast.
[00:00:26] Speaker B: Third degree. The podcast is brought to you by Soccer 90. Com. You know, our good friends over there got all the good stuff with international gear, the US gear, fcdall skier, North Texas stuff. Check out all the new sport design Sweden stuff with the coats and the hoodies. Sweatshirts get you geared up for the fall and the winter. And they got everything. Third degree listeners, when they use the code third degree, get 20% off your order over there. Soccer nia.com, everything you need for soccer. Some exclusions may apply.
[00:00:54] Speaker A: Hello there, FC Dallas curious fan. Welcome to episode number two three two of Third Degree the podcast. Hi, I'm Peter, and today Dan Crook is gallivanting around the city that never sleeps. Las Vegas. Wait, is it Las Vegas is the city that never okay, no, that's New York. Oh, that's New York. What's Vegas?
[00:01:18] Speaker B: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
[00:01:20] Speaker A: Can you only imagine the things that Dan Crook is into at this moment we'll never hear about in Vegas? The debauchery.
[00:01:28] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:01:30] Speaker A: Rots that beer to his and that kind of insanity. Crazy stuff.
[00:01:39] Speaker B: There's a really great, like, hoffen brow type house in Vegas. That's fun near the hard rock. Maybe he's there.
[00:01:44] Speaker A: Maybe, yeah, Dirk and Steve Nash used.
[00:01:47] Speaker B: To go there all the time.
[00:01:48] Speaker A: Well, I hope Dan is having too much fun in Vegas. And of course that voice is your hero. He's my hero. He's everybody's hero. He's the editor. Founder of Third Degree Net and the original Buzz Carrick. Come in, Buzz.
[00:02:05] Speaker B: Hey, Peter, we got Dan back for one week and then he went on vacation.
[00:02:10] Speaker A: He's a butterfly. He's a podcasting butterfly.
[00:02:13] Speaker B: Busy man.
[00:02:14] Speaker A: He is a very well, you know, when Fun calls, you should go. There's only one lifetime.
[00:02:19] Speaker B: Yeah. And he does work like two jobs, so that's understandable.
[00:02:24] Speaker A: Well, I got to be honest, I don't feel like he's missing much today here on the pod. Buzz, if I don't mean to be a bummer right off the bat, but here we are. We joked about this at the end of the last pod is when we were last speaking, all three of us. We were kind of lamenting the fact or joking about the fact that Dallas had two home games and a road game to finish out the really, you know, if they could just grab a win in both of those last two home games, that would really set them up nicely for MLS Cup playoffs. But alas, Lucci comes to town and it appears that Lucci and Nico had a meeting before the game and decided and agreed to play each other's style of game in some sort of weird bet that they made. And we ended up Dallas. One San Jose one.
You were there for all of it, bud.
[00:03:16] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't know whether this is a cavalcade of ties or a smorgasborg of ties. There's a lot of ties happening.
[00:03:21] Speaker A: Too many ties.
[00:03:23] Speaker B: Too many ties is what it is. Well, they're going to back into the playoffs, apparently, so, yeah, I joked. But it really is true that Lucci came to town and played Nico ball, which was a very stable, very rigid four four two with very defined rules and positions.
Did not want any of the ball, had a very low possession percentage, just was content to sit back. Of course, that was accelerated by the fact they got that early goal on a mistake from FCD Dallas defense, but nonetheless, they didn't want any Lucci ball at all like you would normally expect Lucci's teams to play. And so Nico Carrera's team ended up with all the ball and they ended up with something like 700 passes, which is very much the old school Lucci ball where you just pass it around.
[00:04:08] Speaker A: Endlessly and don't do anything with it.
[00:04:11] Speaker B: Yeah, basically don't do squat with it. So that's the problem, of course, is that in the grand scheme of things, dallas didn't particularly manage to do much with the ball. And the first half was really poor. I don't remember exactly how many was, but I think they maybe had two or three shots in the first half and not nearly the goal scoring opportunities that you would expect them to have with such domination of possession and a team on the other end that wasn't really wanting to play. But then the second half by FC Dallas was completely different. The second half was proactive and aggressive and they created a lot more opportunities and put themselves in good positions to get goals and ended up getting a goal outside of the game, but not enough to win the game. So still a bit of a failure in terms of converting the chances. It still wasn't a high volume of chances. This team is never a high volume team. But they did end up winning the Xg, which for me is only good to tell you that they did create opportunities to score. They ended up with a little bit over one and they got one goal. So San Jose was a little bit under one, most of which came in the first ten minutes of the game when they got the one opportunity and scored and then never did anything else. So it really was an absolutely fascinating game in its reversal of the tactics that you would know. Lucci did Nico ball and Nico did Lucci ball. It was really weird. There are some things that you can take for going forward which we can talk about, some of which are in the midfield, but overall, just a really weird game in terms of the expectation versus the reality.
[00:05:50] Speaker A: Can we just stop for a second and lament the fact of how disappointing that that is the product that we ended up on the field after all of our excitement of the lineup, which is the same lineup that we thought we were going to get for the postponed Colorado game the week prior, which had this feel of a lot of flexibility and possibility in terms of it being, at least on paper, felt like more of an attacking for eleven than what we had been getting out of Nico lately.
[00:06:20] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that was the thing that was nice about it is if you remember we went back to the previous game or two when the team played this three man at the back three four three type formation. We saw a fair bit and they completely abandoned the midfield and got overrun at midfield and they had nothing to provide in that area. Well, this was the opposite of that in the sense that they put more bodies into the midfield and a lot of whom were really good passing midfielders and didn't really have a pure six. A pure ball winning six. And ended up with the two guys that can progress the ball by foot or by pass in the terms you expected that there to become chances with it.
And Yaramindi had this absolutely ridiculous amount of passes into the final third. I think it was like 17 or something, which is just an absurd amount of passes into that area, but they weren't able to really capitalize the last pass. The last connection was sort of off, particularly in the first half more than the second half. But we saw the offense there in terms of possession, we saw the offense there in terms of connecting passes and passes into the danger zones, but it didn't result in scoring opportunities. And that's a little bit of a concern.
[00:07:36] Speaker A: Well, I think that's a big concern. Yeah, because that's what brings excitement and makes the team fun to watch and ultimately helps win games.
I guess the question is what was the difference? You talk about the game being kind of a disaster in the first half but much improved in the second.
Was there something clearly changed by Nico between the two halves that led to that?
[00:08:02] Speaker B: I don't really know.
The example of the disaster is that Dallas had 68% of the possession in the first half but was outshot eight to two.
So that's what I meant by like Lucci played prototypical Nico ball, which is very low possession, but when you got the ball, you played forward and rapid transition and got opportunities.
So I don't know what directly contributed to the change.
Nico in the post game press conference talked about a poor mentality when the game started.
Maybe that they were feeling the pressure and that he had never really noticed a reaction to that before, that they had such a bad reaction to the moment like that. But he felt like coach said this, that he felt like that they adjusted to it probably through the first half, and in particular in the second half, they really accelerated the thing. And I think mostly it seems to be from what his comments were, that they just sort of talked about the buzzword of the season, which is mentality. They've been talking about it all year. And to just be positive and not be negative and try and be the know, we use the word a lot, to just be active and keep going and not let it get to you.
It just was a mental change to my eye. And I joked that, did Nico go into the locker room and start throwing trash cans? Because that's kind of how they reacted was like they just woke up and actually started to and I read the quote about him saying that they reacted poorly in the start mentally, and I was like, oh, okay, I buy that. Then maybe he did throw trash cans and get it straightened out, because it really was weird how bad it was in the first versus the second.
[00:09:39] Speaker A: I guess the question is if in fact, we can agree that the eleven they threw out there for this game was, by and large, potentially its most attacking eleven that you're going to get out of Nico in a game, yet the result is a really low level of opportunity, creation, and creativity.
I guess the first question is, where is that falling short in that eleven, or is it purely a tactical problem, and B, how in the world are they ever going to solve that?
[00:10:15] Speaker B: Yeah, well, some of the issue, I think, is that they used OBrion as a striker next to Jesus Ferreira, and so OBrion was more of the center channel striker. And so Jesus was given a role that was sort of playing off of OBrion, but also a lot of it was next to him and a lot of it was behind him. And there were big chunks where Jesus was going back and playing deeper and trying to facilitate. And I've talked to Coach about this, and he's talked to Jesus about it. And I know Jesus is probably just trying to do too much. He feels like he needs to be on the ball more to help his team. And so if you end up with OBrion in the center channel, who, by the way, was my man of the match, we should talk about that, funny enough, because when I watched the first half, OBrion was the player. That seemed like he was interested in being the protagonist, interested in doing things and was aggressive, was in running people and then put in a work rate the whole 90 minutes and did not seem affected by the mentality in the first half. And so that's why he was my man of the match, and he did end up scoring the you know, when you take sue slightly out of that center know, I think that hurts you. Regardless of Oberon's performance. I think that generally hurts you in your ability to produce things. In the final third, it meant that Areola was on one side, it meant that Velasco was on the other side instead of being in the middle. But of course, Velasco plays outside in and ends up in the middle. A lot of the times sort of almost in the same space Jesus is know, and so you're not really getting these final box creations of opportunities and chances. Now they changed all that.
Not positionally, but in terms of the outcome in the second half. So again, I just think it just came back to the idea of being proactive. We talk about this defensively all the time that you can defend but still be proactive. And this was kind of the same way they had the ball all the time, but they weren't making things happen with it in the first half. In the second half, they were able to make things happen. And a lot of time it really is just comes down to the mind, the willpower, the attitude. A lot of times that's the difference at the highest levels of soccer are those things. And so they made that whatever adjustment the coach made, I don't think it was tactical. I really think it was just waking everybody up. Hence the joke about throwing trash cans in the locker room. I don't actually know that he did that, but that surely seemed like what it was, because they reacted appropriately.
[00:12:44] Speaker A: You do realize that when you post the instant reaction, three things video after a game and you announce for those of us who have yet to watch the game that OBrion is your man of the match. That, at least for me, is a huge bummer and makes me not want to watch the game.
[00:13:00] Speaker B: Does it?
[00:13:02] Speaker A: Yes. If hot air OBrion with Jesus and Paxton and Iara and all these other players that, you know, think are quality, and I'm finding out that hot air is outplaying all of them and winning man of the match. And I also know the game ends up one, one that just tells me that this is not a good performance and worries me about this team, especially at a time as you're a run into the playoffs and you're fighting for a playoff position because they don't have this thing locked. A, we'll talk about this in a little bit. There's a very clear scenario dallas just misses out on the playoffs altogether at this point. Unlikely, but it is a scenario.
[00:13:46] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I think it's important to remind people that sometimes I put expectations are part of my choices on man of the match. Like, Jesus is almost always Dallas's best player by a lot of metrics, but that doesn't mean he's going to be man of the match 34 times.
In this particular case, Obrino's man of the match because of his mentality that he didn't suffer in the first half like almost everybody else did, but you can't say that there weren't other people that were worth discussing like Yaramandi. Like I mentioned, he had these 17 passes into the final third, which is just an obscene amount of he had 130 touches, which is just ridiculous.
And passed at a 94% clip out of the central midfield.
[00:14:25] Speaker A: That's just ridiculous.
[00:14:27] Speaker B: Absurd, those numbers, but we've come to expect absurdities from him. So picking him again seemed a little like because it's not like he unlocked these great assists or key passes. Again, it wasn't quite working.
The coach was telling me that in the short time he's been here, he's already one of the league leaders and basically through balls into danger areas, I can't remember exactly how he described it, but basically he's unlocking teams like nobody has ever done here in this very short stint here. And Paxton had a really nice game too. Paxton by only had 83 touches, but still was like an 85% passing and had ten progressive passes and a normal sort of seven into the final third, which was still really good. He just didn't have a game. Compared by our comparison of what we expect out of him with OBrion in terms of his mentality. That, to me, jumped out so much so there were other people that get good performances. But you can also see those numbers being inflated by the nature of the game. The 700 passes by FC Dallas in the Luchi Ball kind of way. So you're right that there's a worry here in the sense of, yes, this is the most offensive team they put out on the field, but we've talked many times before when a team goes into a low block, how hard it is for Dallas to break them down, that remains to be a know. They still have not solved that issue of teams low blocking them. Even with the Aramendi who put up some staggering numbers trying to get balls into those good positions. That just shows you how difficult it is to break a team that is playing that way.
[00:15:59] Speaker A: Yeah, unless this team somehow figures out a way to get into the playoffs and make a really deep run, if not completely win MLS Cup. I have so many questions about where this thing goes next season. Who's here, who's not? And I know that's all a future episode of this podcast. Probably several it is, but I just think it continues to be this fascinating conversation about what feels like this never ending cycle of unfulfilled promise.
I don't know, man. It's weird to me that we're at this point I said this the other day in the discord, I may have even put it on Twitter and then somebody called me out on it, which was my greatest fear in life. And this is an exaggeration, but it is a great fear I have in life. Buzz is that FC dallas wins MLS cup. Playing like the 2010 Colorado Rapids.
[00:16:58] Speaker B: Yeah. Or 2010 FC dallas, for that matter.
[00:17:01] Speaker A: Okay.
And everybody was like, I can't believe you'd say that. I'd gladly take any MLS cup. And of course, yes, of course I would take any MLS cup, and I would celebrate it with everybody. I would run around and cheer and wave my shirt over my head. And then, much like I did when I was a small child on Christmas morning and my parents finally gave me a bike. And I stood there and celebrated, but quietly, inside and wrongly, I might add, cringed at the fact that it was a huffy and not a schwinn.
[00:17:32] Speaker B: Yeah. Not a mongoose.
[00:17:36] Speaker A: I'd forgotten about the I was a mongoose guy.
[00:17:38] Speaker B: Yeah. I had the with the with the mags wheels.
[00:17:41] Speaker A: Yeah. With you, brother.
[00:17:42] Speaker B: Yeah. Let's talk 2010 rapids. And just for context, for people that don't know, 2010 rapids finished, I think it was fifth in the west, and this is when four teams got in from each conference. But that one year, they did a weird thing where if you had a better record as fifth in the west than the fourth in the east, you got in.
[00:18:00] Speaker A: Right.
[00:18:00] Speaker B: So the rapids went to the eastern conference bracket. Then there was an upset in the other half of the bracket, and the rapids beat their team in advance and then beat, like, the third place team to get to the final. So the rapids, who were trash most of the year, got to MLS cup and then proceeded to put a box around David ferreira and play pretty, I think, really thugged the game up. Although if you look at the fouls, they're relatively even. Dallas was a very defensive, very foul happy team, too. But they beat the tar out of David ferreira, and there's a whole nother discussion can be had by why heath pierce didn't play in that game, which is just amazing stories all the way around. But the point is, I know what you mean, and I know why you fear that. Your fear is that Dallas limps into the playoffs with this hunt, don't spend a lot of money methodology, and then wins MLS cup and reinforces that thing, and we're left with mediocre, middle of the pack Dallas for the next 20 to 30 years. So I totally get your fear. Yeah.
[00:19:04] Speaker A: Look what happened to Colorado. They won MLS cup.
And there's a bit of me just trying to be funny in all of that, but it is honest. I do want this club to win MLS cup more than anything else in my sporting life. There's nothing else I want more out of any team I support than Dallas to win MLS cup. And ultimately, I will celebrate it no matter how it wins it. I just would prefer it if it came with some sort of level of being a team that is fun to yeah.
[00:19:39] Speaker B: Yeah, that's fair. I totally and that's one of the things where I've always said all along that it's hard for fans to understand that, generally speaking, we've been relatively blessed in Dallas in the sense that they're pretty consistently in the top half of the standings. They're pretty consistently in the playoffs. They've only missed, what, eight times in 28, 29 years now. But that's not the same as what you're talking about, which is enjoyable, fun, attacking soccer versus the couple of times that Dallas has gone really deep in the playoffs and had their very best teams. They've mainly been pretty defensive teams. Even Oscars teams, which at times can be really sexy, were often defensive teams. That counterpunched, kind of like this current team does in some ways. So I know what you mean, and I understand why it's your fear.
[00:20:24] Speaker A: Yeah, I feel like we just keep saying the same thing every week on this podcast, which is lamenting.
How maddening it is that this team is performing at this kind of weird, middle of the road hey, we're doing whatever, just grind it out kind of performances, whatever it takes to get the point. Or maybe playing not to lose more than to win. And it now officially, for the last 123-4567 weeks, or approximately seven weeks of six of those games, we've gotten a draw right now. Here's the other part I said this last week. Are we looking at gift tourists in the mouth because in that exact same period of time, they've yet to lose a game?
[00:21:06] Speaker B: Yeah, it's an interesting question. A coach told me today that there's a stat that this company that they use that does a lot of metric stuff, and one of the stats is how many times you find yourself basically point blank on the keeper with a chance to score. And Dallas is like third or fourth in the league in that, you know, other than Jesus, who's a pretty clinical finisher, generally when he gets in that position. He's not been the last month or so, but usually he's pretty clinical in that position, but nobody else is. And that's that's been a running theme all year. And I think the reason why the Hunts hired this coach in the first place is that he is more like Oscar in the sense, than Lucci, and really, in a way, probably like Shellis's, too. Shellis's teams are very defensive. They like these coaches who can use the Hunt way, which is the Academy, and mid tier, mid price journeymen veterans from South America or Europe. They're not going to go spend a lot of money, maybe get a couple of solid Americans here or there, but we expect you to be able to compete with going to they're not going to do an LAFC. And I get it, and that sucks sometimes as they can. But I think that's why we end up with the coaches we end up with here is because you have to be able to convince them that you can compete with that. And that's why Dallas plays the way they play.
[00:22:26] Speaker A: Yeah.
But I do feel like that all of that also fails to give credit, where it's due to the Hunts and Zenata in making the moves that they made last year to get Ariola and to get Legit and to get velasco previous to that that made this team last year the exciting, or at least more exciting team than it has been this year. And also the unfortunate situation of circumstance, injury, personal stuff going on that kind of removed a lot of those guys out of the equation for much of, if not all of this season. Which I think is the real reason why this season has been such kind of this stagnant thing.
[00:23:08] Speaker B: Yeah. What a conversation will we be having? Because the defense is pretty much putting up similar numbers to last year. If Ariola doesn't fall off, if Legit doesn't fall off, if you don't have this rash of injuries, that is. We've almost never seen a rash of injuries like this before in a single season here. It does happen, but it hasn't happened here particularly. So if you don't have those two conferences of things, where would this team be in the standings, we'll be having this conversation. So I think that the chance creation. I bet if you went and looked, I bet it would be similar to last year. And that the fall off is just the fall off in these people of converting that areola not having the goals and the assists, velasco not making a jump forward that we would have expected in goals and assists. Legit falling off in goals and assists. Obran is the same this year as he was last year. Jesus is pretty much the same this year as he was last year, minus a couple of fall offs in the last month or so post national team hangover. But really it's pretty much the same. Know, what's the difference it's the injuries and the fall off in a couple of guys, which, as we've talked to death, might just be mental and off field stuff as much as anything.
[00:24:22] Speaker A: Well, I think all of those talking points are components of why whatever future discussion we have about the 2024 season will be fascinating because yes, fixing.
I'm sure there's an argument to be made that the promise of next season is found in just a certain number of people. A staying healthy, and B, performing better, or alternatively, getting rid of a bunch of guys or selling guys and replacing with new bodies, which feels like a rebuild to a certain degree.
[00:24:56] Speaker B: Yeah. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but you remember this last winter we talked about how Dallas kind of stood pat and didn't really do anything.
I don't think the fall off is because of that, the standing pat thing. So I think there'll be proactiveness to a certain amount extent, but I also don't think it's going to be a rebuild.
[00:25:18] Speaker A: Well, yeah, I think their activity in changing this team will be predicated on how much money they generate from the sale of any player, probably. Which again makes this conversation even more crazy, which is if they make a lot of changes because they got a lot of money, that means they sold Jesus or Alan. Or Alan. Yeah. And suddenly now they're replacing a critical, if not the most critical component of their team.
[00:25:44] Speaker B: Man, I think it'd be tough to sell Jesus right now. He's pretty cold.
[00:25:48] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:25:50] Speaker B: And remember the winter conversation? Yeah. There's no money in the winter. Remember the money is in the summer. That's the problem. So it's like foreign money because that's midseason for them, not beginning of season. So there's more money on the table for various people in the summer than the winter.
[00:26:08] Speaker A: Come on, Buzz, he's going to get hot here in the next week, right? I mean, he could into the playoffs.
[00:26:13] Speaker B: That's the thing if they get in that's the thing is because they keep every game really tight, all these ties, right. All you have to have happen to this team to be incredibly successful and make a run is Jesus gets hot if he bangs in a goal a game or 1.5 goals a game. In the playoffs they'll march all the way to the cup because their defense is good enough that the game will be zero or one goals from the other team. And so does Jesus get you a goal or a goal and a half every other game or whatever and then you're marching on. So I mean, that's the way this team is built and that's all it takes. It's just for him to sort of find it again all of a sudden. It's know, Kamunga will be healthy. He can steal a big game oberon every once in a while steals a know maybe all of a sudden Ariolo shows mean we'll see he was getting better lately.
There's a lot of ifs and buts there I'm sure that I can predict any of that. I'm just saying among all these seven or eight ties is the three one smashing of real Salt Lake, who by the way, is way up there in the standings compared to where Dallas is. They've fallen a little. The damn league is so tight. If Dallas wins both these games, they could be fourth. It's so stupid how tight the west is.
They're not going to win both of them, but we're lucky to tie both.
[00:27:31] Speaker A: No, you're correct. So just so everybody knows, the way this has played out is Dallas is in 9th on 42 points, but with a game in hand on everybody that's around them, with the exception of Salt Lake, which also has two games. Now, Salt Lake's two games are both on the road at the Galaxy and at Colorado. So I guess if you had two road. Games to be had. Those might be the two you'd wish for the most.
[00:27:54] Speaker B: Same two games Dallas has.
[00:27:56] Speaker A: Yes, exactly true. Except and Dallas gets the benefit of having Colorado in Dallas or in Frisco.
[00:28:04] Speaker B: Frisco, whatever. Same.
[00:28:08] Speaker A: I haven't quite figured out if this actually plays in Dallas's favor or not. Buzz and maybe the answer to this is obvious and you'll fact is the reality is if they're going to get caught Dallas, it's either by Kansas City or Minnesota. And those two teams play each other on decision day in Kansas City and they're a point behind.
[00:28:32] Speaker B: Yeah, it's so hard to really say because there's so many teams in that know, you really have to look at everyone that's not clinched. Portland, San Jose, Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota. Those five teams. There's five teams for three spots. So the fact that two of them play each other if they tie, that benefits Dallas. But if one of them wins, that team jumps up and makes it harder for you.
[00:28:55] Speaker A: Well, but here's the problem. If Dallas was to lose out, God forbid, and Kansas City and Minnesota tie, if I understand the tiebreaker correctly, kansas City would be the 9th seed team because the first tiebreaker is total numbers of wins and Kansas City has eleven and Dallas has ten.
[00:29:16] Speaker B: Yeah, it sounds like they would be out, but I don't know that if one of them wins that that wouldn't just be the same thing because they.
[00:29:21] Speaker A: Would jump ahead of you're, right?
No, you're correct. I'm just saying it doesn't require Kansas City to win that game for them to actually leap Dallas if Dallas somehow completely farts two of these last two games in a row.
[00:29:36] Speaker B: Yeah, but Minnesota winning, I don't know, that would just be just as bad because then they'd be on 44 and you'd be out.
[00:29:43] Speaker A: Yes, correct.
[00:29:44] Speaker B: Effectively. It doesn't matter what anybody else does because Dallas has two games. Right. Their magic number is, I think, three. So like two ties doesn't even get it done.
[00:29:54] Speaker A: So if Dallas was to get one draw out of these next two games and go to 43 and Minnesota wins that game I'm sorry. If Dallas was to draw the next two games and just continue with their form and end up on 44 right. And Minnesota won the game over Kansas City, I'm calculating quickly. So Minnesota would then also beat Dallas on the first tiebreaker of total number of wins.
[00:30:24] Speaker B: Yeah. And you would need somebody ahead of you. Like if one of the seasons behind you won, they would jump you, but one of them would not. And you would need somebody that's on 43, either Portland or San Jose to lose.
[00:30:35] Speaker A: Correct.
[00:30:35] Speaker B: Then you could tie your way in. But that's what I mean. Like you can't tie your way in and get it confirmed. You have to have help if you tie your way in. You need to win one of these games and then it's out of everybody else's hands.
[00:30:46] Speaker A: Yes, correct. And San Jose's final game is a home game against Austin, which is a crazy story and Portland has that very important game against Houston.
[00:30:59] Speaker B: In mean that's probably the toughest one is Portland against Houston because Houston's really good. But then Houston's also know and San Jose plays a crap. You know, any team that's in this is the problem with any team in the bottom is that whether they've changed coaches or not, they're playing for jobs. Like if you're one of those teams, you know your team's going to get turned over. So whether it's by the coach you get to keep like Wolf or whether it's the coach that's going to come in like Colorado, maybe it's the coach that they have as an interim but maybe it's somebody new. Either way you're playing on tape for somebody who's just going to be reviewing this team. So those guys are going to be fighting and clawing. This isn't like the league you're in where it doesn't matter. These guys are fighting for jobs and careers and livelihoods for their families. So I know that we don't have relegation here. And people talk about that lack of pressure. Putting food on the table is pressure when you're a professional, you know what I mean? Because if you stink it up for one of those teams you're going to be out of MLS back down somewhere making 20 grand.
It's not the same as a team where you get relegated from the Premier League down to the championship. You're still making 5.2 million. It's a different world.
[00:32:05] Speaker A: Well, decision day is more than a week away so this weekend there's only two teams out of this group playing again. Dallas obviously is hosting Colorado and Salt Lake is at the Galaxy. And once those two games are played, decision day, the impact or the value of decision day will become far more clear because Salt Lake could be after that game, arguably Dallas could be just behind Salt Lake ahead of Portland going into decision day. Salt Lake could be as high as third going into decision day. And so everybody's going to want to battle for position because certainly you want to be one of the four home field advantage teams.
[00:32:51] Speaker B: Yeah, if you win this Colorado game, this game in hand, then lynched but that doesn't mean that the Galaxy game is not important because you don't want the play in game. You want to be one of the teams that gets to have a little bit of time. It's not long, it's just a couple of days off. You don't have that extra game where you can get knocked out. And there is a series happening here in the first round so there is a home field advantage to it. Maybe it's not as critical as if it's a one off but there still is value there. So you're definitely playing for stature. You want a worse opponent than a better opponent. So even if you win the Colorado game, and by all means, you definitely need to win the Colorado game because you don't want to put it into going to La. To win that last game because they're going to be fighting for jobs and they would love both those teams, love to screw with Dallas and knock them out. That's the history with both those teams screwing over Dallas for sure.
[00:33:46] Speaker A: I was sitting here listening to us discuss all these permutations of how this could play out and how ridiculous it is and then I flash back to ten minutes ago when you were trying to explain the 2010 MLS playoff structure. One team qualified for another conference's playoffs, ended up winning MLS Cup.
[00:34:06] Speaker B: They did.
[00:34:06] Speaker A: As a team that shouldn't have qualified for the playoffs.
[00:34:09] Speaker B: That's the most frustrating part is they shouldn't even have been in the damn playoffs.
If I remember correctly, like at that time there were six teams in each conference, so they were fifth out of six teams and got into the playoffs. One MLS cup. It was just worth. So frustrating.
[00:34:23] Speaker A: But hey, gratitude no less.
[00:34:25] Speaker B: Yeah. Good for Drew Moore.
[00:34:27] Speaker A: Oh my gosh, that makes me laugh. What a league. What a other. Yes, it is our league. And the other comment there's observation. Am I wrong in feeling like nobody is talking enough about the fact that St. Louis won the Western Conference in its debut?
[00:34:49] Speaker B: Yeah that's well, no, I think people are talking about that. I think people underestimate them though. People I think are assuming that they're like some fluke. They're not really as good as they on paper, but they definitely are built to win in this league. And the thing I will point out to demonstrate that goals four obviously is ridiculous at 62, but look at their away record. Six away wins tells you that they're legit, right?
Any team that's anywhere close to 500 or more on the road and that's not 506, eight and three, but it's pretty close to 500, which makes you wonder what's wrong with real Salt Lake. That their road record is way above 500 and their home record is terrible, but that's a whole different ballgame. But I think St. Louis is legit.
They don't play like most people in this league. They don't try and possess the ball and pass it around. They're like an old school US team from the 90s where they just go like a track meet. They just run at you every time. They don't want to pass the build around in the back.
They don't crush it route one, but they definitely just get up and go in a hurry. Don't really seem to care about possession that much. They're a fascinating team.
[00:36:02] Speaker A: Well, they also have to be the prototype for any future expansion. I mean, if I'm San Diego, I'm immediately trying to get my team put together and put in USL and play a season or two before you come into the league. So you have something established, not just players per se, but at the whole process of getting ready to play and understanding what it is to be a team and practice and all of those kind of things.
I'm a big believer that a part of the reason why St. Louis has been so successful this year is because of all the work that organization did in the year or two prior to.
[00:36:39] Speaker B: Coming in, playing in next pro ahead of time that was so valuable for everybody. And they did a really nice job with all their foreign signings. As far as I know, they hit on almost all of them, if not all of them. They just really did a really nice job building that team.
[00:36:56] Speaker A: Okay, so Colorado comes to town Saturday. Buzz this is the game that did not get played a little over a week ago due to weather hopefully. And what's crazy is the weather is going to be amazing. This so right. What do you think Nico rolls out?
Is he just struggle for the point.
[00:37:16] Speaker B: Or what do we do think? Well first off, I went to train today and it was a really nice energy to training and I don't think it was necessarily driven by coach. The players themselves seem to be not frustrated and moping, but frustrated and angry that they're getting all these damn ties. And so there was a really positive and aggressive attitude which I really liked seeing because sometimes you get a team that's feeling sorry for themselves and they just kind of mope a little.
[00:37:50] Speaker A: This is question sure, go ahead. How much of that vibe do you think is tied to the fact that they're out there practicing in 70 degree weather?
[00:38:00] Speaker B: Oh, I definitely think 98 degree weather. Well it certainly is more comfortable for sure and it allows you to be more aggressive and you don't have to worry about burnout quite so much. But this team has always under this coach. They run training in a way that keeps it really moving and quick. But I do wonder over the course of the year, of course, how bad that gets in terms of the burnout. I don't know that I would put all the injuries that happened this year down to that because I did it last year too and it was fine. So I'm hoping that what I'm seeing wasn't just weather related but actually was the mentality related because there was an aggressiveness to it that was really nice both mentally and physically. So that was real positive. I will say that both Yara Mindy and Fakundo were not in training and I did ask about that. Specifically Yara Mindy was jogging on the side and he said basically they're just both old dudes and they're just protecting them a little know they don't want to have either one of those players get lost for the back of the season. So it's a little bit of like, you know, physical management. Even though they're only playing once a week, they're not spring chickens, those two guys. And so Jose Martinez, who's not a spring chicken either, was in there, but Fakundo and Yaramindi both just precautionary sat.
Like, you might look on paper and say, oh, I'm a little worried about whether it be available. Coach said, no, no, there's no problem, they're both going to be available. So even though they didn't participate in training today, but in terms of what you'll see on the field, I think they really liked the offensive set that we talked about, the double eight look now in execution, Iramondi sat deeper and played that six role, not quite, but almost like a single pivot. Paxton was always dropping in next to him all the time, but he basically stayed there as the fulcrum and slung the ball around from there. They really liked that and they really liked what OBrion gave them up. The center know, I of course, was immediately worried about, well, what does that mean in terms of Jesus walking around the field and where is he going to be and is he going to be in the right positions? Coach obviously knows that that's a problem and has conversations with Jesus about that. So I think you'll see something very similar to what you saw last game. In fact, I don't think there's going to be any more rotation at all going forward. I don't think you have to worry about man management in the game particularly. Obviously, giving Mindy and Fakundo Wednesday off is no big deal as part of that process. But I did question him on it seems like that you've stopped rotating the center backs and he said, yeah, that battle pretty much has been solidified with the combo that you're seeing.
We all know that Martinez has this problem going 90 minutes with the legs and the heat and various things like that. So you might see Martinez a little more, but I think you'll see Ibiaga and Nakosi the rest of the way as your center back combo. EMA has been doing pretty good at right back.
And then the past in Yarmini combo in midfield was really good. I don't know no reason why you wouldn't see that again. And then which just leaves you, Ariola, Velasco, OBrion and Jesus up there's. There's not anybody in my opinion, and I think most people would agree, like, if you watch this team play, there's nobody that's not in that starting group. That's like beating the door down. Like, I need to be starting.
Like, Kamungo has his moments, but when you play them over the course of 90 minutes, there'll be big chunks that aren't right. Dante sealy. Same thing. Moments that are really good, but moments that are not so great. You put Fakundo back in there, yes, defensive stability, some steel, but you lose something in terms of the ability to pass forward or dribble forward that you get with Paxton and Yara. Mindy now, I would have before been worried in terms of that double combo, like, is there somebody that's going to win the ball back enough in those positions? But then you look at what IRA Mendy does with his recoveries and interceptions that are just blowing everybody else out of the water in terms of this team, in terms of the numbers he puts together, which, by the way, is a circle back to the argument or not argument. The point I tried to make a couple of months ago about how I hate people that tackle too much, I prefer a six that intercepts and recovers. That's what you saw when Yaramani played six this week was the kind of six I like, which is intercepts and recoveries, not flying, two footed, studs up.
[00:42:36] Speaker A: Bullshit you prefer Yara to.
If you ever wanted to kind of demonstrate your differences between those two styles, those would be the two players to point to, I think.
[00:42:53] Speaker B: Yeah. The only way it could be worse is if you went back to Daniel Hernandez and the way he just destroyed people.
I don't occasionally mind. Now, let's be clear. I'm not talking about a tackle where you run up to a guy and you take the ball away from him and move away. I'm talking about when you sliding and wiping dudes out. That's the kind of tackling I don't need or want. To me, that means that you've made a mistake. And so Fukundo is not a flying, two footed reckless like that, but he definitely is not the progressive passer and game reader and pass cutter that Mendy is.
[00:43:26] Speaker A: Well, I'm going to say I bet Fukundo goes to ground more in one game than we've seen Ilara do go to ground the entire time he's been here.
[00:43:37] Speaker B: Yeah, I would imagine. Yeah, I would be hard pressed to remember a single time that Mendy has done that. And coach and I even had a laugh today about we always circle back to messi with this is the quit running know because Yaramini doesn't run hardly know but he's always in the right place and there is still a quality to the reading. What a guy that's played for that started in La Liga for twelve years or whatever. There's a different caliber of player there than we have yet to see in this league from a domestic coming through homegrown or whatever. I just whacked the crap out of my mic.
So to me, I think there's a way forward with that sort of look. Whether it's a pure double like we kind of saw last know, or whether it's know in that game, yarmini was definitely the stay at home player and Paxton had the freedom to go, but he wasn't like up next to Jesus or anything.
It definitely was more of a double kind of combo in my mind. In there.
[00:44:34] Speaker A: Have you had a conversation with anybody, Nico in particular about Elara's future here and the likelihood of him resigning and staying for the 24 season?
[00:44:44] Speaker B: I have not. I kind of was waiting sort of towards the end of the year on that. But I mean, just having a conversation with Coach about him today and how good he is I can't imagine that they won't pick up the option.
The whole idea of having it just be an option was so that if he came here and just can't cut it anymore that you would be like, hey, you know what? Thanks. That's good. But obviously he can.
[00:45:06] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:45:07] Speaker B: And the numbers he's putting up are just obscene.
You can use your eyes and just see what he does. That's so immaculate. But if you can't see it, if you're a person who can't read the game and that's fine, that we have lots of fans that are new or just don't have that kind of thought process, you can dig into the numbers yourself and look, that he's just doing absolutely extraordinary things with the ball.
[00:45:27] Speaker A: Or you can just trust good buzz.
If Buzz tells you he's kicking ass, just take it and assume it is so.
[00:45:37] Speaker B: Any coach that you know that will watch the game will tell you that he's just doing amazing things. Now, maybe they weren't sure that he would be more of kind of like this six role. Remember they talked about him being an eight. But there is still a place for a guy. Depending on who you're playing there might be a situation where you want a guy in there that's more of a defensive pure stopper a Frazier or a Vicundo. That's not the end of those kinds of players. I just think that for the purposes of this season where the problem is chance creation and finishing and not defensive stalwartness we haven't seen you put Yaramindi in there. There's no drop off in the defensive stalwartness of this team. So it's perfectly fine. It functions that way just as well as it does before.
[00:46:20] Speaker A: Yeah. One of the frustrations is that prior to Elara getting brought here in the window is we spent the first half of this season getting frustrated over the lack of having a midfielder who is doing some creative stuff at a midfield and kind of doing that first stage of attacking creation and creating opportunities. Not in the box or in the final third but somewhere between the middle third and the final third. Do you know what I'm saying? And now they've got a guy that's there and is doing it at an extremely high level and they don't seem to have the next step of it to take all of that creation and turn it into actual opportunities.
The idea that you would have an entire offseason to either, A, get the guys that you've got on the roster to figure that out and execute on it, or b find players that can because you've got this guy. Is exciting to think about for the next.
[00:47:18] Speaker B: I mean, back then we talked a lot about how Edwin surreal would shield and dribble away to relieve pressure and then pass, whereas Fakunda was more of a pure, progressive passer from his position. Now, neither one of them can do both of those things together. They were both one was good at one and one was good at the other. But Yeremani can do both of them really well. And the amount of times he is in the right position to cut off a play and circle it back, even without a tackle, just being there and picking up the ball and turning it back in and making them recycle their whole defense and their build out, it's just really high. There are multiple times a game where he'll do something and I'll just be like, oh God, that's so good. It's all really subtle stuff.
The question will be in terms of the future, can he do it for 34 games? Because I'm going to bet you money the answer is no, that you'll have to be really careful with him in terms of man management over the course of the next year, which is why you can't just have it be one guy. There has to be multiple bodies in all these positions now. It's no longer a case where you can particularly in Dallas with as hot as it is, you can't really have we know Paxton can't play 34 games, right? Even guys like Farfan who are as healthy as healthy as you could be and young. Remember last year he broke down at the end of the season when they tried to play him for 34 games. He didn't break down physically, but he broke down in terms of his performance. So we're moving into an era of Major League Soccer where you're not going to have guys play every single game anymore. They're going to be rotations all the time, so that's fine. But in terms of how you play with him going forward, I think last game is a really good demonstrator of how you do it. You want Paxton to excel with those dribble penetrations he was doing particularly good against a couple weeks ago. Last game he got a little bit lost in the second half when he started trying to do too much. But at its core it's still there. And he had a really nice game, statistically speaking. So that's a really good way forward. And there will be defensive guys in there too. And I think it's really exciting and it means in a way that you can move on to trying to fix other things.
[00:49:16] Speaker A: All right, can we have real talk?
[00:49:18] Speaker B: Sure.
[00:49:19] Speaker A: Here we are. We have two games left.
I think it's not unfair for us to make the declarative statement that Dallas has to win this game. Yeah, I mean, it's not technically a must win by any definition, but in a lot of ways it really is a must win game. They've got to beat Colorado at home at this critical juncture of the yes.
[00:49:48] Speaker B: Yeah, if you can't beat a five win team in your home field, you don't deserve to make the playoffs. You're right. Mathematically, you could just beat La in the last game, but this is the game in hand. This is the game you don't want to rely on having to go on the road and win when your road record is three, seven, and six. Right.
[00:50:10] Speaker A: Right.
[00:50:11] Speaker B: That's bad. So your ability to win on the road this year is particularly poor. Last year was much better. So, yes, this is as much without it mathematically being a must win. This is as much of a must win as you'll see.
[00:50:25] Speaker A: Okay, but here's the problem.
We've been watching this club since the very beginning. I know who is Dallas's Bogey club, who has Dallas's number more than any other MLS club in the 20, however many seasons we've been watching this wonky thing.
[00:50:42] Speaker B: Colorado.
[00:50:43] Speaker A: Right, exactly. Colorado is terrible.
Let me just put this into perspective. In the last twelve games, Colorado has won three of those games. Two of those came against Austin at home and New England at home. Do you know who the third team was that they beat at home?
[00:51:02] Speaker B: No.
[00:51:03] Speaker A: Dallas.
[00:51:04] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:51:04] Speaker A: Two to one, way back, almost three months ago.
[00:51:08] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:51:09] Speaker A: That also MLS Cup is out there.
The Rapids have won four of the last games between the two.
[00:51:18] Speaker B: Yeah.
Anyone? That and playing for an interim coach, like I said, trying to win. Like if anyone ever doubts that what we're talking about with Colorado, go look up the history of the teams that have eliminated Dallas from the playoffs or from the regular season and you'll find that more than any other team, it's Colorado. Year after year after year, Colorado has caused this team problems. They always do. I don't know why. I don't know whether they overlook them or it's the altitude or whatever it is because it's been here, too, that they've done it. It isn't just on the road all the time.
[00:51:52] Speaker A: Dallas has the better all time record against Colorado. It's 35, 28 and 18. And Dallas, amazingly, has a really stellar record against Colorado here in Texas at 26, eight, and seven. But that all completely does not jive with how my sensibilities are about Colorado being Dallas's Bogey team.
[00:52:18] Speaker B: No. You have to keep in mind the context of games. Like, Dallas wins a lot of games that don't matter. The games Colorado screws over Dallas are in the playoff games, or these end of the season knock them out of the playoff games. It's happened like ten times. Maybe this team's knocked Dallas out of it. It's just ridiculous how awful it is. And anyone that's been around the whole time knows that, that knows that it's like you ask fans from day one, they all hate Colorado because it's happened time and time and time and time again.
[00:52:50] Speaker A: You think Nico's sweating this at oh.
[00:52:54] Speaker B: I doubt it because I think he believes in his you know and I don't think he's feeling any pressure either. Like, if people are worried, think that this coach is going to get canned if they miss the playoffs, I don't think there's any chance of that at all.
It's too blatantly obvious that without the devastating rash of injuries, we're not even having these conversations at all. Or it's too easy to claim that maybe you might think that that's not true.
[00:53:17] Speaker A: Well, this is also the same ownership group that fired their manager after selling off his critical holding midfielder before the start of the season.
[00:53:25] Speaker B: Yeah, but that was also three years in and the trend was going the wrong know, and you can go back to when Morrow got canned. It was because there was a really embarrassing know and Clark got canned when Colorado knocked him out of the first round of the playoffs when he was in first place know, the whole season. So they have emotional reactions occasionally. I don't think this would be one because the setup of the horrible stretch of games from those injuries was followed by this rebirth of good performances in leagues, cup, and then a rash of not losing. They haven't lost in a long, long time now.
I don't think there's a worry that the team would get well, I didn't.
[00:54:12] Speaker A: Mean to drag you to that point.
No, that's fine.
[00:54:15] Speaker B: It's a good discussion.
[00:54:16] Speaker A: All right. 730 on Saturday. Colorado in town, critical. Yes. Dallas really needs to win that one badly.
[00:54:25] Speaker B: Yes.
[00:54:25] Speaker A: This week. We also found out that the US women's national team is coming back to Frisco, which is exciting, this time against China on December the fifth at Toyota Stadium. So that'll be a lot of fun. I think they're playing China twice. They are in that window. And the second of the two games is the game in Frisco.
So that'll be fun. Have they announced a new coach?
[00:54:49] Speaker B: Know, honestly, I don't pay that much of know I thought it's fun for people to be able to go to the game. It's off World Cup cycle now, so it's way off my radar.
[00:54:57] Speaker A: I don't think they've hired a coach for the women's team yet.
[00:55:00] Speaker B: I think it's probably still part of the goodbye, Megan. Fair and fair, if that's your cup of tea or whatever.
[00:55:05] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:55:06] Speaker B: Other players, they're leaving. Okay.
[00:55:09] Speaker A: Also, hey, I don't know if you even know this buzz. The US women's Deaf national team won the World Championship last weekend, and there is a Dallas resident on that team, Ashley Darrington.
I've been to a couple of pickup games that she's played at. She's a really nice person. And so congratulations to them as they won that.
[00:55:32] Speaker B: I do know that because my wife is. Actually really good friends with one of their coaches. So I've actually been to a deaf team camp oh, cool. And watched a little bit of it. And my funny story of that is that one of the people that helps out coaching that team is Joy Fawcett, the American great. Oh, yeah. And she came up to me because I was with my wife, who knows her, and she was like, oh, hi, I'm Joy. And I was like I literally said, oh, I know who you like. Yeah, I know who Joy Foster is.
[00:56:07] Speaker A: And what did Joy say?
[00:56:08] Speaker B: Yeah, she laughed and chuckled. I said, It's really nice to meet you, but yeah, I definitely know who you are. Yeah, one of their coaches is a goalkeeper coach. That's really good friends with my wife. So Amy, her name is also Amy, strangely enough, former US goalkeeper.
[00:56:23] Speaker A: And then back to this other part. We got a bunch of US 23 call ups, including the best story going on in the league, which is Bernie.
[00:56:31] Speaker B: Yeah, super cool for Bernard Kamungo to get a U 23 call up. Now remember, he is Tanzania eligible. And they called him up and he did not play because his passport didn't arrive in time. So he's still US. Eligible. He doesn't need to file a switch or anything. So he's been invited to this camp. I don't know which way the young man will choose to go with his national team career, but whatever. A U 23 camp is awesome for him. Even if he chooses to go with Tanzania, which is his prerogative, it's still great that he'll get this camp because it'll be really good for him. And some people have lamented that he's missing for the Rapids game. It's like, dude, if you can't beat the Rapids without Kamungo, you don't deserve to be the Rapids. This guy's not a starter here. It's much better for him to go to a U 23 camp than it is to be here and sit on the bench.
[00:57:14] Speaker A: And Tanner got called up in that same group, did he not?
[00:57:17] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, tanner did. And so did Johann Gomez, who's the older brother of Jogo. Johann played for the academy and a little bit for North Texas. And he went to Germany and plays in some lower division in Germany. And then the other player that's on that list who's FC Dallas connected is Jonathan Tomkinson, who's the kid at Norwich. He's out on loan, but he's a center back. He played for FC. Dallas and Solar. Both more Solar than FC Dallas. But he was a wide player for FCD Dallas and then played a little bit of center back, but wasn't my first choice center back here. And he went to Solar, and Solar made him a pure full center back. And then he went to Norwich at U 18. He went over there on his own, and he's worked his way up through there and has made his first team debut since then, and so he's also in this camp. So cool that a local kid most people call him JT. Has broken that far on his own.
[00:58:05] Speaker A: Really nice to see a teammate of mine on my beer league team got to go to a Venezia game last weekend. Was in the stands when Tanner scored that goal for their big win last weekend.
[00:58:18] Speaker B: Very cool.
[00:58:19] Speaker A: That is really cool.
I got one more question about I.
[00:58:23] Speaker B: Okay, go ahead, Bernie.
[00:58:25] Speaker A: Sorry, I don't mean to jump on you. No good. You've watched him a lot more than is Bernie does Bernie have national Team potential? Level potential?
[00:58:38] Speaker B: Yes.
[00:58:38] Speaker A: Really?
[00:58:39] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:58:39] Speaker A: Okay.
[00:58:40] Speaker B: He's got huge upside because the thing to remember about Bernie is that he's doing most of all this stuff. Really? Still on pure instinct.
[00:58:47] Speaker A: Yeah, I know. That's why I asked the question.
[00:58:49] Speaker B: Yeah. His tactics are still, relatively speaking, a disaster. Like, he didn't even kick a real soccer ball. By the way, the podcast Taylor Swellman did with Bernie was phenomenal. Bernie didn't even kick a real soccer ball till he was 14. He was playing with bags of socks and stuff. He didn't walk on grass or play on grass until he was 14. When he came here to the United States, he only played high school soccer. He did not play club, so he had no real high level tactical coaching. So he is way behind on that stuff. And if you watch him play and this coach in particular is really big on that kind of stuff, so if you watch him play, you can see the moments where there's a hesitation or a delay because he doesn't really know 100% what to do yet. Even North Texas is not the same as Major League Soccer in terms of tactics. But he has, as Coach mentions, he has incredible instincts in the moment. One on one, he's able to score massive goals in big opportunities. He rises to the occasion. So the sky's the limit on this kid. It may be that his entire career is in Major League Soccer, but he has the potential, if he gets it all worked out in terms of his tactics and team concepts, to go to a level higher than Major League Soccer.
[00:59:53] Speaker A: That's great to hear. Very exciting stuff. All right. I jumped on you with that question. You had something else you were going to talk about?
[00:59:59] Speaker B: No, there's just more calls to talk about. So Antonio Carrera and Nolan Norris are both going to the Pan Am games, which is with what is basically like a U 20 team plus a few U 23 guys. And the thing that's really fun about that is that one of the U 23 guys is Nico Carrera, Antonio's other brother. So those guys are going to get to go represent the United States.
[01:00:18] Speaker A: Where is he playing now?
[01:00:20] Speaker B: He plays for Holston Keel.
[01:00:21] Speaker A: That's right.
[01:00:22] Speaker B: Yeah. They sent him out on loan last year to play to get some experience, and now he's back with them first team. So he's in their first team concept. He doesn't start, but he has made his debut for their first team. So I couldn't tell you the level comparison, but he's like corsa, I guess, like for FC Dallas, where he gets a game or two every once in a while. Mostly he's the bench player, but he's still only 21 or 22 or something, so lots of upside there still for him. And then Nolan and Antonio will go down there, too, and have a lot of fun. So Antonio Ramirez, who's the player I've talked about a lot from the Academy, he's got another Mexico U 18 call up. Steele Cook, who's one of my favorite names in the Academy, got a US. U 15 call up. It looks like somebody leaked the roster. It's not official yet, but he's on.
[01:01:07] Speaker A: The leaked roster, so that's how is Steel spelled?
[01:01:11] Speaker B: S-T-E-E-L. Steel like metal.
[01:01:13] Speaker A: Okay.
[01:01:13] Speaker B: I didn't know Steel is his nickname.
His actual real name is something else, but everybody just calls him Steel Cook. And Kevin I don't remember what it is. It shows up on the roster as something else. It's Chris Christopher, but he goes by Steel. That's what everybody calls him. I have no idea where the nickname comes from. I didn't even know his name was Chris until I saw a US. Roster with it on there one time. And then on the ladies side, let's see, Amiri Adams. I hope I pronounced that correctly. It's not Adams. It's. Adamus Maybe of Solar and Ava McDonald of FCD Dallas are in the U 19 team that's also going to the pan end games. And there's another girl that this is crazy. I had to mention her separately because she plays for Solar. Her name is Amelia Villarreal. She also plays for Michigan Jaguars. So she plays for two different ECNL teams. I don't know how you do that, but credit to her that she's playing that much soccer, that she's jumping back and forth somehow between those teams.
[01:02:11] Speaker A: She's the byproduct of product of divorced.
[01:02:14] Speaker B: Parents living in two different places, maybe. I don't know, because I missed that she was with Solar because it says Michigan Jaguars on the roster. And, like, if you Google her, her social media says both teams, so I don't know how it works, but shout out to her. That's a lot of soccer. And then some girls from Solar addison Shimick, Emerson Andreas, and Giselle Aguilar are all in the U 15 team, us. National Team. And Caroline Swan, which is the girl Caleb Swan's sister that I mentioned, plays for the Defeaters boys team. Yes, Dksc. I've double checked that. She definitely plays for the boys team. So she's also been called up to the U 15 Girls National team.
[01:02:53] Speaker A: That's fantastic.
[01:02:53] Speaker B: That's a whole bunch of local call ups. Again, just proving how great local DFW soccer is. And you guys should all go watch these kids play because they're awesome.
[01:03:03] Speaker A: I love you, Buzz. Yeah.
[01:03:05] Speaker B: Fort local soccer.
[01:03:06] Speaker A: Yes, absolutely.
There was something else I wanted to talk about, and I don't have completely oh, if nobody has read it, go to ESPN and go to the topoke section and read the article that they put out today about the most outlandish kits in world soccer. Have you read it?
[01:03:29] Speaker B: It's it's in the discord. I've been meaning to.
[01:03:32] Speaker A: Dude, there are there are kits out there that I have not yet seen, and some of them are amazing, and then some of them are utterly ridiculous. There's a team playing somewhere in Asia that their kits are essentially has, like, a tie drawn on it, and the shorts look like suit short, like suit pants, but in shorts with a belt and everything. It's pretty hilarious. So that's actually a uniform. People wearing soccer games.
Yeah. Go check that out.
[01:04:06] Speaker B: I'm definitely going to read it. I mean, I've been meaning to, but we got back to practice this morning.
[01:04:11] Speaker A: All right. Anything else?
[01:04:12] Speaker B: Yeah, one last thing. If anyone's listening to this podcast that's one of these people that all the time is talking about how they should be playing is that they're as good as this guy or that guy or whatever. Well, both the Outlaws and the psychics are having combines coming up this month. So if you think that you're actually as good as these guys, go out there and get on one of those teams, get paid to play soccer and start your upperly mobile soccer career and prove us that you are better than all these guys.
[01:04:38] Speaker A: You know, that's actually a really good point, because if there's an attainable level, that somebody who really thinks they've got game, that might be the best entry point out there. And that is setting aside the idea of NPSL or UPSL, because that to me, is still kind of just basic amateur.
[01:05:00] Speaker B: I think there is some crossover between indoor and NPSL. Outdoor, sure, but those indoor teams have some of the very best local semi pro pro players on them of the last decade play on those teams. Those are some really talented local players. These are guys that have advanced into the Open Cup. These are guys that have flirted around the edges of professional teams or even been full time professionals that are on these teams. So, like, Blas Perez is here now. Is Blas. Perez. Not for MLS. Well, no, but if you can't get out there and compete with Blas Perez, then you can't compete with anything else above that. So prove to us not to mean I don't you know, from time to time, I'm sitting in the stands, I hear people say, my dude's better than that guy, man. Okay, now's your chance. Get out there.
[01:05:45] Speaker A: For the super cocky of you out there, I specifically challenge you to go try out for the Outlaws and let Tattoo be your oh, yes.
[01:05:53] Speaker B: Yeah.
[01:05:53] Speaker A: Well.
[01:05:54] Speaker B: And Ed Puskarich has taken over sidekicks. That's a dude that's played at the very highest level in this country, even MLS and things before.
[01:06:00] Speaker A: Yeah, but Tattoo it's a miracle to me that Tattoo is still coaching in 2023 because of culture, and, I mean, Tattoo is such a hard ass as a coach, and it's just funny to me that somebody hasn't complained. I'm sure. I don't know. So if you think you're super cocky and you think you're good enough, just skip the sidekicks altogether. Go straight to the Outlaws and report back to me how you handled Tattoo in your tryout session.
[01:06:31] Speaker B: He'll make you better. And they got Nick Stavros, their assistant, who's a great former sidekicks and coach around here. Sagu is their goalkeeper coach. I mean, both of those teams have really good staffs that will make you better as a player. And if you think that you should be a pro soccer player, that is not a bad first step into proving it. There's guys that have crossed over from those teams to people like North Texas or USL One organizations. It happens. There's a guy leading a local guy here that's at the top. We'll talk about him some other week for sure. Who's at the top of the USL One scoring charts now? That came out of Denton Diablos and indoor as well.
[01:07:11] Speaker A: All right.
I think we've covered a lot of stuff today.
[01:07:15] Speaker B: Yeah. Got a little call out at the end there.
[01:07:17] Speaker A: Got a what?
[01:07:18] Speaker B: I got my call out at the end there.
[01:07:20] Speaker A: Okay.
[01:07:20] Speaker B: To all the dudes in the standings that lean over and tell me they're better than that guy.
[01:07:24] Speaker A: Okay, let's go. Yeah, you probably do get that a lot, Buzz, because you're that guy everybody thinks is somehow the conduit to their future pro career, which is, if I just tell Buzz I'm better than those guys, maybe Buzz will point me in the right direction. Well, Buzz has now pointed you in the right direction.
[01:07:40] Speaker B: The one I get even more is the people that tell me that Dallas is missing some kid or something or that there's some segment of the population that they're not. Like, they might be right.
It's possible that you're right. This is a way to prove to this is the most accessible way is to go to one of these tryouts for these indoor teams who need players, because there's plenty of players in this market that are good that maybe have been missed. You can go play with Jamie Lovegrove and find out how good that guy is.
[01:08:10] Speaker A: Yeah, for sure. All right. Well, again, I hope it's too bad that Dan has gone on vacation to someplace that he is not allowed to come back and share stories of his adventures.
[01:08:24] Speaker B: Yeah, I know. Pretty sure he's with his wife.
[01:08:27] Speaker A: That would be a fantastic bonus edition of third degree the podcast Dan in Vegas edition. That would be a lot of fun to hear that story.
[01:08:36] Speaker B: Maybe there'll be some in the discord.
[01:08:38] Speaker A: Yeah, maybe we'll make a special Dan's Vacation story channel in the discord. Which, by the way, feels like a good time for me to reiterate to everybody that if you are not offering up some sort of tithing to Buzz through his Patreon setup, you should be doing that. Because not only does it get you access to his fantastic individual podcast episodes that he calls Burns, which are just short little informational, kind of insight into the club or answering questions that are asked of him, but it also gives you access to Buzz's Discord, which is for those who are not aware, which is a platform that allows you to have just chat rooms with other like minded people. This one obviously focuses on FC Dallas, but soccer in general, and it's a fantastic community of good human beings and it's worth every penny you decide to give Buzz, whether it be a dollar or $1 billion.
[01:09:33] Speaker B: I don't have a $1 billion tier. Maybe I should make.
[01:09:38] Speaker A: You know, Dallas has like a bunch of billionaires, so maybe you'll just get lucky and one of them just loves you that much they decide to give you a billion dollars.
[01:09:47] Speaker B: I keep waiting to either win the lottery myself or have somebody I know win the lottery and be here's. XYZ you can quit your job.
[01:09:54] Speaker A: You know, if somebody patreons you a billion dollars, you will be required to essentially live in that person's house and be at their beck and soccer call. Twenty four seven.
[01:10:06] Speaker B: I believe that amount would trigger the taxation section of the Patreon to they'd.
[01:10:12] Speaker A: Get their own discord.
[01:10:14] Speaker B: Well, no, it's just in the sense that Patreon would report that total to the government.
[01:10:18] Speaker A: Oh, boy.
[01:10:19] Speaker B: Yeah, that part would get taxed.
[01:10:21] Speaker A: Yeah, they would take their 10%.
[01:10:24] Speaker B: They would take their 10%.
[01:10:26] Speaker A: They would absolutely take their 10%.
[01:10:27] Speaker B: Well, that's true. If someone wants to give me a billion dollars, let's skip the patreon and go straight. Let's go man to man and skip them.
[01:10:33] Speaker A: Okay.
[01:10:34] Speaker B: Because I don't want to give 10% to Patreon.
[01:10:36] Speaker A: I will say this more reasonably. Whether you're going to give Buzz one dollars a month or you're going to give Buzz $100 a month. How about that?
[01:10:45] Speaker B: There you go. That's fair.
I do have a tier for that.
[01:10:50] Speaker A: See, does anybody use it?
[01:10:52] Speaker B: No.
It was designed for someone that wanted to sponsorship opportunity and needed a way to facilitate a payment of a sponsorship opportunity. So that's why it exists. I don't actually expect someone to give you $100 a month. Man, I love what you do here's. $100 a month? That'd be insane.
[01:11:08] Speaker A: You may be a little suspect.
[01:11:10] Speaker B: It would be sus. Probably that person probably would have to have would be wanting lunch every week or something.
[01:11:15] Speaker A: And you probably have to accommodate them.
[01:11:19] Speaker B: At 100 hours a week a month. I probably would have to accommodate that.
[01:11:23] Speaker A: You take them to Chiba Hut once a month.
[01:11:25] Speaker B: Oh, my God, I went there again today. It was so good.
[01:11:27] Speaker A: Did you really?
[01:11:28] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, it's vaguely near Toyota Stadium, so.
[01:11:34] Speaker A: New ones at Preston and what.
[01:11:36] Speaker B: It's just south of the tollway off Preston. I say just south, like a mile south of it's.
[01:11:41] Speaker A: Where is it on one of those?
[01:11:44] Speaker B: It's on the east side of the if you know where the Hacienda Ranch is. North Preston? Yeah, it's right there.
[01:11:51] Speaker A: Okay.
[01:11:52] Speaker B: Yeah.
[01:11:52] Speaker A: All right. I went to the one in Deep Ellum like a year ago and I enjoyed it. It was great. But it was also not very easy to get to and convenient for weekday lunch.
[01:12:02] Speaker B: I mean, I love that place. I never went to the one in Deep Elm. That's really difficult to get it out of. The one in Preston is super simple. It's in a strip mall.
[01:12:10] Speaker A: Well, I wish I had thought of that because I was up in Plano for a meeting this morning and I was trying to think of a place to go to lunch and I never even thought about it.
[01:12:18] Speaker B: There you go.
[01:12:19] Speaker A: So I had a salad instead.
[01:12:21] Speaker B: Nothing wrong with that.
[01:12:22] Speaker A: Yeah, there kind of is.
[01:12:23] Speaker B: I know when there's third Degree, the podcast has been brought to you by Soccer 90. Com. They got all the soccer stuff you could need. European gear. Fcdowski, north Texas Soccer Club. Man, they got it all. They got the new winter stuff. Pretty cool. Very classic stuff for that there. Good for years and years. Soccer 90 com. Listeners from third degree. The podcast get 20% off your order when you use the code Third Degree at checkout. Some exclusions may apply.
[01:12:49] Speaker A: All right, Buzz, thanks so much, man.
[01:12:51] Speaker B: Thank you. And thanks for being here. Posted.
[01:12:53] Speaker A: Yeah, always. And hopefully Dan will be back next week. And thank you. You FC dallas curious fan you. We will speak to you next week on another episode of Third Degree. The podcast.
[01:13:04] Speaker B: Vegas, baby.
[01:13:05] Speaker A: Vegas.
Third degree nail podcast.
Third degree nail podcast.