The FC Dallas fan’s hatewatching guide for week 31 of MLS

I’m Dustin “El Jefe” Christmann and I am an FC Dallas fanatic from Day One of the Dallas Burn. I’m also a hater. I used to yell mean, hateful things from the stands at the Cotton Bowl and Toyota Stadium, but now, I’m sharing my id with you to help guide you, my fellow FCD fans, in your enjoyment of Major League Soccer on TV.

If this column seems a little light, it’s because I’m on vacation. So I’m not going to work too hard on this column, especially for junk games. I’m not gonna take vacation time trying to make jokes about Colorado-San Jose.

Last week

What a week. Everything keeps coming up Milhouse.

FCD got the top team in the West at home, got a full house, got the man advantage on a slightly dubious call, coughed up a goal, and came up with two from Jesús Ferreira in response to get the win.

And if that weren’t enough, Austin got pantsed in Seattle, Minnesota didn’t get beat but was still impotent in Portland, RSL were held to a draw at home, Nashville and the Galaxy drew, and Chicharito provided us with more comedy as he made another keeper look good on a penalty kick.


Minnesota vs. LAFC (ESPN+, 7:00)

In the last three matches, Minnesota has been outscored 7-0 in the process of losing to RSL, FCD, and Portland, all on the road. Good thing for them that they’re returning home and can purify themselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka or have a Jucy Lucy or whatever other hoary Minnesota-related cliche you like to convey the fact they’re returning home after a terrible road trip.

Their opponents have won three games in the last month. All were at home. They have lost four games. All were on the road. Am I gonna say that that’s a reason to fade LAFC? No. What am I, a sleazy tout who’s advertising his hotline on a second-rate sports talk radio station? No, I’m telling you, the fine upstanding FC Dallas fan, what you should be rooting for.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, and if you’re calling touts to get picks for MLS matches, I’m rooting for you to get professional help. Or at least to switch to something less degenerate, like betting on harness racing.

Bruce Arena.

Houston vs. New England (ESPN+, 7:30)

“Wait, I thought you weren’t going to write about garbage games?” Well, yeah, I did say that.

But New England is the defending Supporters Shield holder, and they’re only three points away from the playoffs. I’m not saying that they’re good or anything, but if you squint really hard, they might actually look like a playoff team.

But the only way Houston looks like a playoff team is if you’re watching a DVD of their 2007 MLS Cup team. I love it.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: New England, because I love it when bad things happen to the Houston Dynamo and their fans.


Austin vs. Salt Lake (ESPN+, 8:15)

Remember when Austin had that big win over LAFC on national TV? Remember how a lot of people who pronounce verde as “VURDEE” called it the biggest win in franchise history as if such a pronouncement doesn’t sound a little silly for a team that literally had been around for a season and a half.

I mean, I should’ve had Jon Champion around to pronounce my getting promoted from first grade to second grade as the biggest moment in my life, even if most folks would point out that I was only seven years old.

But yes, all sorts of people in central Texas were filled with irrational exuberance after that win, which made the subsequent three losses so amusing for those of us who don’t live in central Texas.

Their opponents on Wednesday night made a little news this past week for selling the name of their stadium to a new company. No longer is Real Salt Lake playing their home games at a stadium named for a mining conglomerate. Now, the stadium is named for a credit union named America First Credit Union which has been around for decades. Rio Tinto Stadium is now America First Field.

There is not a single joke that I can make about this news that Buzz won’t shoot down or won’t put into the top secret, classified Patreon level.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, and since it’s at Q2 Stadium, people won’t be asking where you were last January.

Vancouver vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN+, 9:00)

This game is like one of those comic books where an A-list villain is slumming in a B-list hero’s title. You know, if Lex Luthor is the villain of the month who’s menacing Captain Atom. You’re gonna root for Lex Luthor to lose and he’s gonna eventually lose because bad guys eventually lose in comic books. (Except Batman. Batman’s got a lot of unresolved childhood trauma, but he’s a bad guy because he deals with that trauma by being violent toward other people dealing with unresolved trauma.) But you’re not exactly caring that much about Captain Atom that much.

Obviously, in this analogy, the Galaxy are Lex Luthor. You want them to lose because it feels good when they lose.

But the Whitecaps? Who gives a shit? They’re nowhere near the playoffs and the high point of their existence as a team was selling Alphonso Davies. I think that they’ve won the Canadian Championship one or twice or 17 times, but that’s pretty much on par with being the leader of Justice League Iowa or whatever.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: That the LA Galaxy lose. Who’s their opponent again?

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