Tag Archives: Bailey Brown

Another type of pro in Dallas: Alan Avila

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

It may seem like it has been awhile, but it was only in April that we saw our first MLS Cup winner of the year… an eMLS Cup winner. The buzz and hype around the eMLS Cup in Boston this past year was just something I couldn’t get enough of. Seeing supporters of all clubs actively backing their professional gamers to defeat opponents game after game was awesome.

I couldn’t help but be curious as to this notion of signing a professional gamer to MLS clubs and how people even got there. As a teacher, I see middle school students trying to play video games in class. I’m actually pretty sure if I brought in my XBox and allowed them to play FIFA in class, we would have an all-out tournament. However, according to Forbes.com, esports is on track to bring in $900 million in revenue this year. You guys… $900 million.

It’s no wonder that MLS has started signing their own eMLS players as this is a huge market that any business would be crazy to not touch.. So, my next challenge? Talk to the FC Dallas eMLS player who made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, Alan Avila.

 

Check out my interview – with former FC Dallas youth player turned eMLS star!

Okay so, let’s start with a little bit about your soccer background. You played for the FC Dallas youth system as a midfielder in high school. When did you start playing soccer and can you tell MLSFemale readers a little bit more about your soccer background?

I started playing soccer ever since I was four. My dad made a local team and coached me all the way up until my club soccer years. My first club team was the Dallas Texans. I started traveling 5 hours to Dallas and Frisco just to play my league games on the weekends, so it was a sacrifice I had to make, but it was all worth it. 1-2 years later, I joined FC Dallas’ Youth system and played in the Classic League. I played at Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, Texas. I was on Varsity since my Freshman year. Unfortunately, my sophomore year of High School I tore my left ACL and had to miss most of the season. I then went on to play my junior year. My senior year, I tore my right ACL and unfortunately had to sit out my entire senior year. I had surgery again and recovered just in time for collegiate soccer at the University of Texas of The Permian Basin. During preseason I re-tore my right ACL. I had surgery, recovered, but then started focusing more on FIFA and YouTube.

I read in your interview with FC Dallas that you started playing FIFA after your third ACL injury. Surely to be as good as you are, you were playing the game before you decided to start competitively. Was playing video games always a hobby of yours?

Playing FIFA was definitely a hobby of mine ever since I was in elementary school. My soccer mates and friends would always get together and play against each other and have tournaments. It was something I really enjoyed to play whenever I was not playing actual soccer because I just love soccer so much. FIFA, the video game, helped me learn more about the game of soccer. I would always try out new moves or passes that I would see in FIFA on the field. FIFA was a nice hobby to have as a soccer player because during the offseason or whenever I wasn’t playing actual soccer, I would start up FIFA and start playing. I believe many soccer players love to play FIFA.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Image: emlscup.us

With that, how did you decide to become a professional FIFA player? What is the process for those who didn’t know this e-world existed?

I got very fortunate with timing because, during my third ACL surgery recover, FIFA 17 introduced a new competitive game mode called “FUT Champions”. It is a competitive game mode where you play 40 games a weekend against the best players on your continent and compete with everyone from around the world. I started finishing in the Top 100 in the World leaderboard by winning 38, 39, or even 40 games out of the 40 we were required to play. It was no easy task by any means and it still continues to be very difficult. I then started qualifying for FIFA tournaments through FUT Champions and that’s how I made a name for myself. I posted YouTube videos and people started subscribing and really enjoying the content. In FIFA 18, the current FIFA, I did the same thing. The eMLS was introduced and luckily FC Dallas was able to scout me as a local Elite FIFA player and that’s how I signed my first professional contract. I stayed ranked among the best 100 players in the world. I qualified to the biggest tournament in Amsterdam hosted by EA Sports FIFA. It’s a continuous craft that I need to keep practicing and mastering.

When you saw other teams in MLS start to sign eMLS players, what were your thoughts? Did you initially reach out to FC Dallas about playing for them? How did the actual signing for you happen?

I have always brainstormed the idea of the eMLS becoming a thing long before it actually became an official thing. I saw other leagues around the world have their own FIFA leagues and it was something that I wanted to see in the USA and Canada with the MLS. When I found out about the eMLS actually becoming a thing, I was super excited because I knew that it would attract many people and that it was a great thing for competitive FIFA and the league. Like I stated in the previous question, FC Dallas did their scouting and found out about me through media sources and all of the FIFA rankings there are. They found out that I was a part of the actual FC Dallas youth program so it was just a great match for their program. I was invited to come down to Toyota Stadium and talk to everyone involved with FC Dallas and that’s where it all began.

Tell us more about the first eMLS Cup. I saw online that only current MLS players are available for teams. What were the other guidelines? How did you decide what squad to field? As a general fan, I didn’t know that you weren’t playing with the full FC Dallas squad. Tell us more about what goes into choosing the team you play with. How does your knowledge of playing soccer give you an advantage while playing people who maybe never have touched a ball in their life?

The first eMLS Cup was a success and a great experience. The guidelines were that we had to have three MLS players on the field at all times, two of which had to be from the MLS club you were representing. When I found out about this, I knew that I had to plan correctly and make a squad that would most benefit me. There is a lot that goes into making a squad to play with on FIFA. Many people want the fastest and most technical players.

In FIFA, there are 6 different categories that distinguish a player. There is Pace, Shooting, Passing, Dribbling, Defending, and Physical. As you can probably tell, everyone competing wants the players with the best overall attributes. FIFA has done a great job in making the game very realistic. This means that the players seem to perform as they would in real life.

Ronaldo, Messi, and Sergio Ramos are players that mostly everyone had on their squad in the eMLS. So if you are knowledgeable in soccer, making a squad in FIFA would become much easier because you will know what you are working with and how to use the players in each position to their best possible potential. I decided to use Kellyn Acosta and Urruti from FC Dallas because Kellyn had the physical and defending aspect of a midfielder and Urruti had the goal scoring ability. My third MLS player was Alessandrini because of his speed and ability to score. Many competitors selected Alessandrini for that exact reason.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Image: mlssoccer.com

How was the first eMLS Cup? What were the vibes like? Did you previously know any of the other eMLS players from the gaming community and your previous competitions?

The first eMLS cup was a great experience even though I was eliminated in the Western Conference Final. I definitely learned a lot and cannot wait for the next one. The vibes were great. Everyone was excited to get the first eMLS cup underway. It was an honor to be representing the club. Many players including myself played with immense passion for the club and wanted nothing but the best for all the fans and club. The vibes were honestly everywhere. Excitement, curiosity, anxiety, sadness, disappointment, thrill, and a whole lot of adrenaline was seen by everyone throughout the eMLS cup.

I did know most of the players from the online leaderboards, previous tournaments, or even social media. It was nice to be able to actually meet up with them in person and share a great experience. Some of them even knew me from watching my videos on YouTube so it was really nice being able to meet everyone that I hadn’t before.

So now that this tournament is over, what’s next for you? How long are you in a contract with FC Dallas in this position? What are your overall goals?

Now that the eMLS Cup is over, I need to focus on any major EA Sports tournaments I have. I also need to focus on being more active on social media whether it is via YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat to build a close community of great people. I also need to continue practicing a bit for whatever tournament is next. Most tournaments are over with for FIFA 18 so now I can take a little break and focus on starting strong in FIFA 19 in September.

I am in a contract with FC Dallas for a year but I’m hoping to sign again for the FIFA 19 season. There are many goals that I wish to accomplish. I want to win the eMLS Cup and any other major global tournaments. I also want to really build a community on YouTube and social media as a whole to help others in FIFA, their life, or whatever the case may be. Someone that they can look up to and enjoy being a part of the experiences.

For all of the aspiring eMLS players out there, what is one piece of advice you would give so that they could be the next eMLS player for their team?

One piece of advice that I would give to aspiring eMLS players is to never give up and learn from every loss. That is how you not only grow as a player but as a person as well.

And finally, if you could field your perfect 11 (not within the confines of eMLS Cup), who would your lineup be?

My perfect eleven would have to start off with David De Gea in goal. Marcelo at left back. Sergio Ramos and David Luiz at the center back positions. Kyle Walker at right back. Modric, Pogba, and Iniesta in the midfield. Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar up top.

You can follow Alan Avila on Twitter at @AlanAvi_ to see everything he’s up to and keep an eye on his gaming!

Featured image courtesy: Alan Avila

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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A recap on Dallas and how homegrowns can change our league

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Hey everybody! I would like to start off with thanking everybody for chillin’ on the FC Dallas content for awhile. Between a few moves and some trips, I had to take a short break. So, what happened in that time? Let’s take a QUICK trip down memory lane.

My last article concluded with a win against the LA Galaxy. Since then, the following major things have happened:

  1. Dallas continues to be #2 in Western Conference and I am happy about this. We are still debating whether or not we are headed into that notorious “summer slump” but I’m not quite convinced that we are there yet. I’m still feeling confident and optimistic going into the summer.
  2. Dallas lost to Sporting KC in the Open Cup. I’m not too terribly upset about this. With this loss, we cleared up our schedule from having to travel excessively which would absolutely take away focus from league play. Open Cup is great, but MLS Cup is what we have our eye on.
  3. The loss to New York Red Bulls was something to witness. Literally, I got to witness this in person and I wish I could say I could forget it. Hopefully we have learned that playing 5 back should NEVER happen. Like, ever.
  4. Matt Hedges is named to the All Star Team. Congratulations to him, but I could definitely do without this. I’m not a huge fan at the idea of my captain leaving to play a game that doesn’t matter with the potential to get hurt when we really need him in Dallas. Stay safe, Matty!
  5. Oh, and Mauro Diaz is gone. Did I mention that our unicorn is gone? Dallas social media is up in arms about this because people are claiming we just let one of our best players go. My take? Good luck, Mauro! People keep thinking about pre-injury 2016 Mauro. He hasn’t been the same since and is way too injury prone. I would much rather see one of our other midfielders taking that position and making it theirs…. Say, like, Paxton Pomykal. I’m absolutely excited and hope to see him get some more time.

I hope this gives you a quick insight into the happenings with FC Dallas over the past month. However, something I would like to highlight is the fact that June 29th, FC Dallas played 6 homegrowns in their win over a scrappy Minnesota United.

Let me go off on a tangent for a quick second.

I was supporting Germany this World Cup. As most people know, that didn’t turn out too well. However, I saw a tweet that said that people across the United States were now ripping up their German manuals on how to play soccer and trying to figure out how to play. This mentality is exactly what Dallas has been against under coach Oscar Pareja. I read that tweet and absolutely went back to the “Busca La Forma” philosophy that we hold onto so dear.

Papi always says that we shouldn’t tell our youth to play like people from other countries. We need to tell them they have their own way of doing things and we need to embrace finding the way that works for us. Seeing Dallas field 6 homegrowns absolutely shows that we are practicing what we preach.

We are giving those who have come up through our own system the opportunity to show everyone what we are made of. Last night, we had Acosta, Cannon, Gonzalez, Pomykal, Reaves, and Ulloa on the field. This made FC Dallas the first in MLS to play six homegrowns. I’m not here for a game break down this go round (we will get back to that with Atlanta) but I do want people to reflect on what this means for Dallas and how it sets the standard for MLS.

Dallas has only lost two games this year and are actively playing people who came through our system. This allows Pareja to absolutely establish a certain type of play within the system. It is not a secret that he is active at Academy practices and brings in DA players to the first team practices.

You begin to have a fluidity that when you need players, they’re there already knowing the system and able to apply it in a game situation. We have seen this with the eagerness of some of our younger players, but the anchor some of the veteran players provide.

Ulloa has absolutely had a second coming under Pareja as he was a part of the Academy system that Pareja established. Papi gave him that chance to continue playing for Dallas and he has provided leadership and consistency.

I will always sing Kellyn Acosta’s praises. He is the face of Dallas, in my opinion. Coming through the system and applying it in a way to make him a staple in the midfield for the national team.

So, what could other teams learn from this?

I will say that I think the Red Bulls do a great job with following this same guide and you see them able to replace “key” players with their own without falling down the table. But, when we look at teams lower on the table, what are their Academies like? Are they relying on developing their own and bringing them into their first team, or are they trying to put together a puzzle with players who may cost a lot of money and are well known, but are not helping bring results.

I believe that we are starting to see the teams that follow the model of developing their Academies and signing homegrowns and then bringing them to actually have time on their first teams are going to be the clubs that succeed moving forward. I am a full believer that you can’t bring in a big name and continuously change your system to them and expect results. Instead, let’s look at Dallas and see that when you bring players through a system, the results come because you are developing your puzzle pieces rather than searching for them.

Congratulations to Kris Reaves on his MLS debut, Hollingshead on his 100th appearance, and Lamah on regaining most goals for FCD this season with his 7th goal. I look forward to giving y’all more Dallas content moving forward and more breakdowns of the games.

Featured image: FCD Academy | The Next One

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

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A chat between friends – Presidents of Dallas Beer Guardians and Angel City Brigade briefly discuss the recent game

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

With guest, Karina Ceja

Karina and I met this past year at the annual Independent Supporters Council Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We automatically became friends and have bonded over our love of soccer and Selena. She now serves as the President of Angel City Brigade, an independent supporters group for LA Galaxy.

After our game on Saturday, I reached out to her with some questions that I have had as an outsider looking in and trying to get her thoughts on the game.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Karina Ceja

BB: Hey girl! Thanks so much for being down for this. I think any time we can show supporters having a friendly discussion is always a plus. Anyways, I’m excited about this.

Okay, so let’s jump right in!

I have to admit, when you guys signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I was incredibly upset. Not because I was jealous, but because I felt like this was just another instance of 1. LA Galaxy flexing its money muscles and 2. The overall look of players from European Premier League not super in the prime coming to MLS for a new beginning. What were your thoughts when you guys finally made the deal?

KC: So, this was a rumor for a few seasons now. At first, I didn’t pay much attention because I didn’t know if/ when this would finally happen but a friend/ reliable source mentioned it to me a few days before the deal was finalized. Given the nature of his career and success, I was stoked, but I was also afraid because he hadn’t played in so long and I didn’t know how his personality would mesh with the rest of the team.

BB: Now that you’ve had him for a couple of games, do you think the investment was worth it/will continue to be worth it?

KC: I definitely think it was worth it. We had lots of games last season where our midfield and defense would play their role, we just didn’t have confident forwards to fulfill the goals we needed to capture the wins.  There are no words to describe how “worth it” he was/is during his debut, helping the team come back from a 0-3 deficit to beat the new team in town. I was crying in the stands, “I LOVE YOU, ZLATAN!”

BB: So, something I’ve come to on my own conclusion is that a lot of these big name players don’t affect the gameplay as much as other acquisitions. For example, in Chicago, I will always stand by the signing of Dax McCarty being a much bigger influence on their midfield than Bastian Schweinsteiger. I get that one brings in a lot more money than the other, but do you think there were any other signings for Galaxy this year that have made a bigger impact for you guys?

KC: Yes. Ola Kamara! Not a huge surprise, considering his stats with the Crew. He has shown heart and dedication since preseason and has continued to do so. He even got a goal on FC Dallas.

BB: Okay, I agree. Ola Kamara was a solid acquisition. I hope to see Zlatan deliver to him up more. I know they’re still working out the kinks and you could see that in the game this past weekend. Once both of them get a little more time together, I think they will both be able to work better at the connection piece.

Saturday, May 12: FC Dallas 3 – LA Galaxy 2

BB: Okay, so let’s start about the game. FC Dallas saw a glimpse of glory with Diaz coming back and making 3 assists for our team. For someone who has been starting on the bench and who has, for the most part, not been as consistent since THE injury (referring back to 2016), this was refreshing to see.

Not to mention Roland Lamah putting two balls in the back of the net for us. Were there any standout plays to you on your side? Reto Ziegler got his second caution in the 73rd minute ultimately sending him off the field and Dallas down a man. I really didn’t agree with it, but I’m not the ref. However, I do think this helped give you guys momentum for your second goal. What are your thoughts on all of it?

KC: To be honest, after the first Urruti goal, I was like, “Okay, here we go with 2017 all over again.” Dallas playing with 10 men seemed to have an influential drive for the Galaxy. They started attacking and eventually, Boateng landed that second goal- which helped the team feel like we were still in the game. Alessandrini and Zlatan both had shots that hit the post, so there was still hope that we’d get a shot in for the tie. Towards the end of the match, I thought we’d tie.

BB: Okay, and lastly… I know you joke about keeping the Wooden Spoon (Independent Supporters Council trophy for worst overall record in the league… the less spectacular sibling of the Supporters Shield), but I really don’t think you’ll have it again. If I’m being completely honest, I think that will be reserved for Seattle this year and I’m not sad about it.

However, I feel like you guys are definitely seeing a little more consistency this year overall. What are your thoughts after last year (I mean, I feel like Dallas ended well enough to share that trophy with you)?

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Picture of the Wooden Spoon on its way back to L.A.

KC: I haven’t completely lost hope in our season. I do joke about it but we still have a few months to get it together. Last year was a combination of bad coaching, poor defense, no performing strikers. We have a bit more consistency with scorers– we just have to get our team to defend the last 15 minutes of each game. We will come back– even if it’s just for a brief playoff appearance.

Featured image: Bailey Brown

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

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Dear, Jimmy: An FC Dallas Fan’s Open Letter to the Keeper We Don’t Deserve, But Needed

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Dear Jimmy Maurer,

First off, congratulations on being a part of the success of FC Dallas in the 2018 season. I honestly can say that without you, I’m not sure we would be the only undefeated team in Major League Soccer. FC Dallas had one of the most notable meltdowns in MLS history last year and fans weren’t sure what would happen this season. I don’t think we expected to have this start to the season, to say the least. However, I would like to put a lot of that credit to you.

I know you know your own journey to Dallas, but for others, I would like to give some background. You were drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Supplemental Draft in 2011 but never received a contract (minus the one day contract you were signed to). In my opinion, their loss. I get that journeys are a thing, though, and before long, you were in the NASL.

I would like to jump to your New York Cosmos years. First off, I’ll go on the record and say that New York will always be green. I started following the Cosmos with one of my friends who grew up in New York and started following them with the revival of the NASL.

However, from the time I started watching, I knew you were something special. You had plenty of shutouts and multiple championships with the Cosmos. I loved watching you and your interactions with the fans. At the time, Dallas was not getting that type of love from our team, even though we were finding success.

You seemed like a player of the people. You understood the culture of soccer inside and out. And then it happened… you signed a one-game contract with FC Dallas. You didn’t play that game, but I begged my club for a Maurer jersey. Never did I think the next season you would be our starting goalkeeper.

The fallout of the NASL in the American soccer season is a sad story within itself, but the acquisition of you was the best thing that came out of it for Dallas. I remember when the news dropped… like it was yesterday. I was sitting in JFK International Airport and waiting for a flight to Zurich. My phone blew up, and so did I. You were ours. I was a little unsure of how the transition to MLS would go, but I believed in you. I knew you would make it work.

Now, let’s be honest. The beginning of the season was a little rocky. I think that transition period had people scratching their heads if you would be able to cut it in MLS, but I always knew you would come out on top. With Seitz sold to Houston and Gonzalez injured, you were getting the starts and we had you in goal starting day one of the 2018 season.

Now, we are sitting back on your 540 minutes of gameplay with FC Dallas, and this is what I will take to my grave: You are the goalkeeper we needed and the one we don’t deserve. Starting with the first game, you have given us the consistency in goal where we can expect over 100% to be given to stop every ball.

In 6 games, we already have seen 3 shutouts and only 3 goals allowed with 21 saves. In my opinion, that is pretty solid for ANY keeper. But, combine this with your leadership on the field and communication to the back line, and you guys have become a wall of defense to reckon with. You are friendly with the fans and show your support to the supporters on a regular basis. You are one of us.

Now, let’s talk about this double save last night. Without a closer look, it just looks like a normal save. HOWEVER, from the Garden and upon closer look on film, we see the following:

This should be in the running for save of the year. This is beyond sheer athleticism. This save shows your heart for the game, for the team, and your determination on the field. I really just think the video says it all.

Anyways, I will wrap this up, but I appreciate your journey and that it brought you to us in Dallas. After last year, I was not sure we deserved somebody with your heart and dedication, but you are everything we needed. You have given us hope, consistency, and leadership to bring new life to the team. For that, I will forever be grateful for you.

I cannot wait to see how the rest of the season goes. I know that no goal will get past you without you giving everything you have to stop it. Thank you, Jimmy.

Sincerely,

Bailey Brown

Featured image courtesy: Bailey Brown

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

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Four games in: the good, the bad, the ugly

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Saturday, April 7: 1-1 Draw

If I’m being completely honest here, I didn’t get to watch much of the game even though I was at the game. That meant that I got to go back and re-watch it on Sunday to see everything the FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids game had to offer. As always, there are things that I liked and didn’t like — this is the plight of the fan. However, I can’t help but think about a few specific things, and for these, I am breaking down the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good – Diaz to Colman

It finally happened. IT FINALLY HAPPENED. We were always told they were supposed to work together. The unicorn was going to magically get Cristian Colman the ball and this was our future. However, this never came to fruition. Mauro Diaz was out on injury or not in form to play a full game. Colman never got the start. If one was on, the other was off.

Fans felt that we were never going to see this connection that was supposed to be there. On Saturday, we finally saw it. Diaz crossed a beautiful ball into the far post and Colman connected with a header to equalize the game. Will we see this again? Who knows. But, for once, we saw this thing that was only spoken of as a possibility.

Our defense is consistent as well. I love the combination of Nedyalkov, Ziegler. Hedges, and Cannon in the back. They’re a solid back line. Hedges is doing his job of communicating and being the captain we need him to be.

Did Colorado score on us? Yes. But, they did what they should have in a 2 on 1 situation. I even think Hedges did well pushing a little more forward once Cannon came off. I firmly believe the consistency and communication from our defense is why we haven’t lost yet.

The Bad – Pareja, Diaz, and Much More…

Can Óscar Pareja command the field as the coach we need him to be? This is the question I find myself asking. I see some of the substitutes he makes and I am left scratching my head. I can say that I no longer can tell if he has lost the team, if he doesn’t have the personnel he needs, or if it is something else.

Pareja has respect in the FC Dallas community beyond measure and the team really seems to respond to him. However, is the relationship Pareja has made with people off the field ever going to come back to the field? I think we will really see by the end of the season.

A Few Quick Takes

  • I am over the Tesho Akindele experiment. I need him to make a difference with the minutes he gets on the field, and quite frankly, he is just another body to me at this point. That’s all I really have to say about him.
  • 2016 pre-injury Mauro Diaz may never come back. Actually, I think he is gone.
  • Carlos Gruezo needs to step up. At this point, I would prefer Jacori Hayes on the field over him every game. I already wrote about my love for Hayes previously, but if you look at the charts from the game on Saturday, you will see that for playing essentially the same spot, Hayes makes a much larger impact.
Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Hayes left, Gruezo right. Courtesy of MLS.

The Ugly

Even though FC Dallas is undefeated, we are 7th in the Western Conference. We have had 4 home games already with only one win. The issue is NOT shooting. Let that be known. The issue is FINISHING.

Out of 17 shots on Saturday, Tim Howard only had to make 4 saves. That is unacceptable to me. We have to get our shots on target and finish. Why does this matter? We are about to go on the road with our first away game against New England Revolution this Saturday.

FC Dallas is notorious for not getting points on the road. If we want to make the playoffs this year, we must connect through the field and put the ball in the back of the net. I’ll be interested to see how we do when we visit Boston (Foxborough… whatever) this weekend. I think it will be very telling of how we will fare on the road this year.

In the “real world”, I am a coach and I preach that offense wins games and defense wins championships. I would like to be proven correct this season by how our defense plays. However, FC Dallas needs more than just defense to be able to compete or we will end a mid-table team. This should not be where we, as a community, should settle.

I hope to see the team connect more in the top ⅓ of the field and hopefully start winning more than drawing.

Featured image of Cristian Colman courtesy: @FCDallas

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

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Time and Patience: Two qualities FC Dallas fans don’t seem to give, but it may pay off

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Sunday, March 18: 3-0 Win

I’m going to start this off by saying that I was shocked that we really put yesterday’s game away. My feeling could be very wrong, but I usually feel like FC Dallas doesn’t do a great job of really killing off teams when they’re a man up. However, yesterday was different. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But, I had a lot of other thoughts on things that I liked about the game other than the score.

FC Dallas had what was arguably the worst fallout of a season in 2017. I feel that going into 2018, fans were wary of what we would see on the field. We had some great offseason signings and the promise of playing some of our kids. Dallas fans are notorious for not being patient and wanting to see changes and improvements: looks at watch… like, yesterday.

One thing we could definitely benefit from is seeing that time on the field for some of these new players and being patient with them. It will benefit everyone involved. I feel like we finally got a glimpse of what we can see from some of these players and it may just pay off.

Anton Nedyalkov: I didn’t know what to expect from this man from Bulgaria when we signed him. I liked what I saw in film and some Dallas podcasts interviewed fans from his former team and we liked what we heard. However, the transition to MLS can be a lot for someone and may take some time. Let’s just say, in the short amount of time he has been in Dallas, Nedyalkov has definitely earned his new nickname, “The Bulgarian Butcher”.

This man is a blessing to our defense. He really seems to not care if he puts someone on the ground and I love every second of it. I tend to feel that MLS usually is about speed and Nedyalkov is there to literally stop someone in their tracks. Not to mention, he is not afraid to completely push up and just throw another team’s defense off. He actually did this yesterday and set Lamah up for his second goal. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to see more.

Paxton Pomykal: Pomykal is one of those Dallas homegrowns I have been waiting to see really get some time. He came in for Jacori Hayes and only played 26 minutes, but he showed us a lot. Paxton has the speed down the side, but also the skill to make defenders look dumb.

There are two plays of Paxton’s that really stand out to me. One of the first runs he had was dribbling down the field and what seemed to be around five different Seattle Sounders players. I was impressed and the crowd seemed to be as well. The next play that stood out to me was when he kept control of the ball and made a great through to Barrios.

Something I think Dallas has struggled with is getting balls to Barrios for him to make the runs we know he is good at. Pomykal can deliver those and it sets us up for success on many levels.

Jacori Hayes: Jacori Hayes supposedly almost didn’t get the start, but I’m sure glad he did. This kid has impressed me. One thing I like about him is that he is just consistent. The FC Dallas midfield is just not as strong as we want it to be. There just seems to be a missing piece.

While Kellyn Acosta is out, we seem to be lacking depth as well. Hayes can hold it down. We still need that connecting piece that makes the ball movement from defense to our forwards more fluid, but I really think Hayes could be a part of that puzzle. With a little bit more experience and time, I think Hayes will take more chances and really make it his own. Not to mention, he took some hard hits yesterday. He is definitely tough physically and mentally.

Our game against Seattle was everything I wanted it to be. Were they without some key players? Yes. Did Dempsey go out on a red because he can’t keep his hands to himself? Yes. But, defeating Seattle always feels sweet. We had some solid plays from Urruti, Lamah, and Barrios, and I hope the team we saw yesterday continues to jell together and puts games away.

Also, congratulations to Oscar Pareja on becoming the winningest coach in the modern FC Dallas era!

#DTID

Featured image of rowboat celebration courtesy: Bailey Brown

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Soccer is a part of my life, always

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play soccer. My parents always said, “You can only play sports that we are willing to watch.” I guess that shows one the generational sports gap.

Dallas, my hometown, has always had a rich soccer history. Starting with the Dallas Tornado in the NASL, the Dallas Sting, Tatu and the Sidekicks, and finally, the Burn which is now FC Dallas; one simply cannot ignore the impact Dallas has had on soccer with Lamar Hunt’s influence in the United States. I guess all along, this resonated with me whether I realized it or not.

My best friends growing up were all soccer players and we would wear our purple Dallas Sidekicks jerseys. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t realize that there was another soccer team in Dallas at the time, the Dallas Burn. My soccer journey doesn’t really start until my senior year of high school.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale

My senior year of high school brought a lot of changes in my life. I quit volleyball and started taking German. With my love for the language also came their men’s national team in the 2006 World Cup.

I was hooked and I didn’t want soccer to stop being a part of my life. I started researching some of my favorite players. At the time, Bayern held claim to Lahm, Ballack (who transferred to Chelsea that year), Kahn, and Schweinsteiger. That’s when FC Bayern Munich became my team of choice.

Throughout college, I would wake up and watch them however I could stream the game. This continued to 2012 when I finally got to visit Munich for the first time. This solidified my love of the team who I now have in ink on my right arm. However, even bigger was this was a Euro Cup year. I got to experience watch parties with German fans in Munich and Frankfurt. When I came home, the streaming wasn’t enough. I needed to be in the game.

That’s when I found FC Dallas.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale

I went to my first game in 2012, saw the Garden, and instantly bought season tickets for the next year. I didn’t know a lot about the team, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the growing soccer community in the United States. Fast Forward six years: I am now in my third year serving as President for the Dallas Beer Guardians and in my second year of leadership for the Independent Supporters Council serving as Vice President for the 2018 season.

Giving female fans and supporters a voice in the game is a passion of mine. We are a growing audience who don’t just show up because of a significant other. We are fans. We are leaders. We are role models.

I look forward to giving you write-ups from games that not only showcase FC Dallas but how females are impacting the fan culture in the United States every single day.

Featured image: 1984 Dallas Sting Team – Photo credit: Dallas Morning News

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale