The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 11

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.

Musical accompaniment

The bassist Jaco Pastorius tragically died at the age of 35 in 1987, but in 2003, bandleader Peter Graves — not the actor — who had worked together with Pastorius early in his career, got together some great bassists and a terrific band as the Jaco Pastorius Orchestra and re-released some of Pastorius’ best tunes as Word of Mouth Revisited. This tune, “Wiggle Waggle,” is one that Pastorius originally did with Herbie Hancock and it features the bass line from a late ’70s gig performing that tune with Hancock.

Worst Season Ever Watch

Anderson Cooper Col
I just can’t quit you, Anderson Cooper meme generator

Still on track for worst season ever! This shouldn’t have come as any surprise, given FCD’s history at Mile High, between Mile High Stadium, the stadium now known as Empower Field at Mile High, and now Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, even when they’ve had good teams. This team, however, is not good, and the Colorado Rapids look to have improved significantly this season.

By the way, eight games was the point after which the 2009 team started showing competence, so this will be the last week where we have the “2003 was the worst season, but 2009 was the worst start” qualification. Let’s check the scoreboard!

2024 – 1 win, 5 losses, 2 draws, 5 points
2003 – 1 wins, 4 losses, 3 draws, 6 points

Game 9 in 2003: 4-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field on June 18.


New York Red Bulls vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)

All of you who had circled this game on the calendar before the season as the best game of this weekend, raise your hands. Now put them down, because you’re all damn liars.

None of us had this game as anything noteworthy before this season. The Red Bulls, despite being one of the better teams of the 2010s, had kind of fallen on… well, not hard times, but mediocre times. And the Whitecaps? Look, we’ve made plenty of jokes about how they are completely off the radar. Hell, they’re kind of the third wheel in what is otherwise a pretty heated Seattle-Portland rivalry.

But all jokes aside, both teams are in second place in their respective conferences, and both have done it without spending millions on any Ballon d’Or winners and whatever friends and hangers-on they can get cushy retirement gigs. OK, the Red Bulls sent what Transfermarkt has estimated to be 3 million euros through the Red Bull company mail to Leipzig for Emil Forsberg, but c’mon. In short, they’re the Clark and Dan Hunt dream.

Image 23
A handy meme to explain the Emil Forsberg transfer

And here they are, nipping at the heels of the conference leaders, the Galaxy and Miami. And to me, that’s more interesting than a game between the Galaxy and Miami. The fact that I can say this about the team formerly known as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, whom the league tried for years to prop up as the Cosmos’ heirs, would surprise Late ’90s Me.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: New York, which would also surprise Late ’90s Me.

Little Brother Game of the Week

Austin FC vs. LA Galaxy (Fox and Apple TV+ free game, 12:45)

Little Brother Green ends up in this slot by default because Little Brother Orange is playing a much more consequential game against the Kings of Texas, which at this point feels more like a hereditary title than a meritocratic one.

But they’ll just have to content themselves with watching their team get its doors blown off by the Galaxy. Look, it’s pretty damn hard to say this when our team is down at the bottom of the Western Conference, but I won’t get tired of laughing at the Little Brother Green’s big offseason acquisition being Jáder Obrian. When you sign a guy and almost every fan of the guy’s former team is laughing, that’s probably not a good sign. And this season has been bad for FCD, but the amusing thing is that I have seen pretty much no one complaining about FCD’s letting him walk.

Californians explaining pronunciation to other Californians

Of course, they got a win against FCD a few weeks ago and a win against Little Brother Orange last week, so they’re well on their way to retaining the most prized trophy in sports, Copa Tejas, and I doubt that anyone there is complaining either.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: LA, of course.

“Let’s Pretend to Care About the Eastern Conference” Game of the Week

Orlando City vs. Toronto FC (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)

A few weeks ago, Orlando City was struggling with one point in four games and people of an FCD persuasion started glancing at them and dreaming the impossible dream of Papi’s Glorious Return to Frisco. Since then, Orlando’s gone on a four-game unbeaten streak, looks to have figured a few things out, and has reminded us why Óscar Pareja is the best coach in two different clubs’ histories.

On the other end of the touchline on Saturday night will be one John Herdman, last seen running his mouth as Canada’s coach at the World Cup about his Croatian opponents in the second group game. After getting beat 4-1 by Croatia and 2-1 by Morocco in the final group game, we stopped hearing from Herdman, largely because who cares about the Canadian men’s national team?

Image 24
This is a screenshot because this a Hatewatching Guide for the whole family, and let’s just say there there’s a maple leaf below the waist that ain’t covering much.

Little did we know that Herdman’s resume of leading a competent Canadian women’s national team, leading the Canadian men’s national to top the final CONCACAF octagonal qualifying group, and running your mouth at the World Cup while getting not a single point in three group matches is just what Toronto FC, long known for their discriminating taste in managers, were looking for in their next boss. And to his credit, TFC are actually showing competence.

Which a lesson to us all, I guess. You can be really good at your job, but if you say “Eff Croatia” into an open mic at the world’s biggest sporting immediately before getting hamblasted by Croatia, guess what people are gonna remember.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Orlando. Hopefully, Herdman said something like “Eff Disney” this week.

Sickos Game of the Week

New England Revolution vs. Inter Miami (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)

Earlier this month, right after the New England Revolution lost at home 4-0 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal against América, head coach Caleb Porter immediately took responsibility for the loss in a tearful press conference at Gillette Stadium. No, just kidding, we’re talking about Caleb Porter here. He blamed it on his assertion that América fielded “essentially 11 DPs.”

Everyone seized on that proclamation as evidence that all the rest on MLS needs to spend like Inter Miami and open up the wallet and complain that MLS’ restrictions are holding MLS back. No one offered up the possibility that maybe the Revs just stink this year, even though that has become apparent over the course of the rest of the month, as the Revs have managed to become of the two teams with fewer points than FC Dallas.

Of course, this also warms my heart as someone with a decade of disdain towards Porter. Mind you, since he’s also won MLS Cups with two different teams, my disdain for him would appear to be nothing more than sheer pettiness. On the other hand, since winning each MLS Cup has only bought him two years of employment before being fired at each stop, it would appear that I’m not the only one out there with little patience for his act.

Image 25
The glasses don’t make you look like less of a schmuck, Caleb (Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe)

The good news for him, however, is that he’s got a ready-made excuse when Inter Miami takes the Revs to school at Gillette Stadium, just as soon as he counts the number of DPs on Miami’s roster.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Miami. After all, you gotta root for someone who would be so desperate for cash that he’d become a pitchman for the beer-flavored seltzer known as Michelob Ultra. But hey, it’s a step up from Lance Armstrong.

Good Guys Game of the Week

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

I’ll be honest with y’all: I’m currently holding my index finger and thumb about 1/100th of an inch apart, and that’s about how close I am to giving up on this season. After all, after eight games, you can pretty much go with Bill Parcells’ famous quote, “You are what your record says you are.”

And this team is not very good. If you listen to the best MLS podcast out there, 3rd Degree the Podcast, the fellas will tell you exactly why. If you read Steve Davis’ new Substack, you’ll know why. Even if you read some of the chucklemonkeys at Major League Soccer Soccer dot com, you’ll know why. It ain’t a state secret. It’s because at almost every position, from head coach down, this team is not very good. There are a couple of exceptions, whom we can get a fair amount of agreement on, but other than that?

But this week, none of that matters. The orange clowns are coming to town, and there’s only one thing that matters: Victory. In fact, I will go so far as to say that there are only two league games that matter in the final 26, Saturday night’s game and May 18 in Houston. If FCD wins those two games and goes winless in the other 24, it won’t be great, but we’ll all have something to smile about.

Next week, FCD plays Toronto in Toronto. Like I give a single damn about that game or any other league game the rest of the season that don’t have Little Brother Orange as the opponent. I don’t care if victory means six more months of Nico Estévez’s buffoonery. Just win, baby.

But, Nico, if you treat the Open Cup like an afterthought again, if you field North Texas SC and Special Guests on May 7 against Memphis 901, I will personally volunteer to help load the moving truck in front of your house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *