The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 14

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

Rest in peace, Dickey.

Worst Season Ever Watch

So that no one gets it twisted, I am first and foremost a fan of this team and have been one since the team was first announced in June 1995. So I am going to celebrate that FCD won on Saturday night.

But holy hell, they do not look good. Thankfully, our pals from Little Brother Green were in a giving mood, turned the ball over to Petar Musa on an errant backpass for goal #1, let Jesús Ferreira slip through on a breakaway for goal #2, and were only able to break through once in response, despite FCD giving them ample opportunities.

And it got them above the 2003 pace!

2024 – 3 wins, 6 losses, 2 draws, 11 points
2003 – 2 wins, 6 losses, 3 draws, 9 points

(By the way, match 11 in 2009 was a 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview for FCD’s second win of the season and it was the point at which 2009 became less dire than 2003, so I won’t mention that season anymore.)


Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (MLS Season Pass, 8:30)

Sometimes, I’ll talk down the Rocky Mountain Cup as one of MLS’ rivalries. And by “sometimes,” I of course mean “almost all of the time.” And the reasons why I do so are pretty simple: Colorado is usually garbage and Real Salt Lake is usually mediocre and corny. MLS helps in this effort by highlighting just about every rivalry in this league other than this one in the most flyover-y of Flyover Country.

But not this weekend!

You see, Real Salt Lake is currently top of the West, and Colorado is currently… fourth? (Really, fourth?) This is legitimately a game worth watching on the field for a change.

I can kind of get how RSL has overcome the limitation of Head Cornball Pablo Mastroeni. It turns out that having Chicho Arango on an otherwise competent squad full of young talent can make almost any coach look good. But all credit to Mastroeni, who’s maximized the third-lowest payroll in the league and gotten them to the top of the West.

What I can’t figure out are the Rapids. First of all, they’re led by Chris Armas, whose main skill so far in his coaching career seems to be “being the man that follows the legend.” He was Jesse Marsch’s successor at the Red Bulls and he was Greg Vanney’s successor at Toronto FC. Both Marsch and Vanney are the all-time winningest coaches at their respective clubs. Armas did not manage three seasons combined between the two clubs, but in fairness, he did win a Supporters Shield in 2018 at Red Bulls after Marsch left midseason.

The other thing I don’t get about the Rapids is the roster, which is actually marginally more expensive than FCD’s, according to the MLSPA’s 2024 salary dump:

They’ve got one guy who’s earning top-dollar, Kévin Cabral, who is on $1.95M, was jettisoned by the Galaxy, and has produced one goal and three assists this season. Their top scorer, Rafael Navarro, is a loanee from Palmeiras. Their top assist producer, Djordje Mihailovic, was last seen being jettisoned by the Chicago Fire.

This is MLS’ Island of Misfit Toys, they dogwalked FCD last month, and they’re currently fourth in the West.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Colorado. I ain’t mad. I’m genuinely impressed.

Little Brother Game of the Week

Austin FC vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

While FCD is down in the Bayou City, locking horns with Little Brother Orange, Little Brother Green will be getting a visit from Sporting Kansas City, who isn’t a Little Brother, largely due to the fact that they came into MLS at the exact same time as FCD, but they’re at least an annoying cousin that you are constant running into at weddings, funerals, and family reunions.

Better yet, they’re an annoying cousin who has managed to end up in a worse place at the moment than FCD:

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I wonder if SKC fans are on Worst Season Ever Watch

This is where the youths, and by “youths,” I mean “Millennials who are barreling toward middle age,” would say something ironic like “You hate to see it.” But honestly, I expected to see Little Brother Green down where SKC is right now, largely because they were trash last year and their big offseason signing was Jáder Obrian. This is why Josh Wolff gets the big bucks because I never would’ve guessed they needed a winger who was surprised by the presence of the offside rule five times a game.

But back to SKC. Has anyone other than me thought to themselves that maybe Peter Vermes probably already would’ve been fired if he worked for most other teams? Since 2017, when SKC last won any silverware, FCD has had three coaches: Óscar Pareja (2018), Luchi Gonzalez (2019-21), and Nico Estévez (2022-present). FCD has failed to qualify for the playoffs once in that time, in 2021. SKC under Peter Vermes has managed it twice, in 2019 and 2022. Both FCD and SKC are looking like non-playoff teams in 2024. Luchi Gonzalez was fired after 2021 and Nico Estévez’s seat is looking a little warm in 2024.

But Vermes? He seems to be Coach for Life. Must be nice. Keep up the good work, Pete.

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

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

New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)

One of the bits that I used to run into the ground was “Where is NYCFC playing this week?” I used to run it into the ground because you really don’t know from week to week which New York baseball stadium with a narrow field and bad sightlines NYCFC will be calling home in any given week. But I got away from that bit basically by realizing that no one who reads this column (and I love all of you) actually gives a crap about NYCFC and they stopped being good enough to cover otherwise, so they stopped making appearances.

But they’re back, baby!

Yes, since it’s MLS Rivalry Week Sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds, they’re playing their pals from across the Hudson, the club formerly known as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and now known as the New York Red Bulls. And since those clubs are third and fourth in the East, that game is making an appearance in this slot.

Not that anyone in the Greater Tri-State Area will actually give a crap about this game. After all, the Knicks are good and have advanced to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers are good and have advanced to the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals, the Yankees are on top of the American League East, and the Mets… will at least be collecting rent from NYCFC since Citi Field will be NYCFC’s home stadium this week.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Red Bulls, because they at least don’t make me look up where their games are.

Sickos Game of the Week

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Orlando City SC (MLS Season Pass, 9:30)

Man, it really pains me to have to put Orlando City in this slot. After all, one of the guiding principles of this column is a strong pro-Óscar Pareja bias. But they’re 11th in the East and they’re playing San Jose, who are last in the West, so what do you want me to do? I’ve already talked a bunch of crap about the Revs lately.

Plus, this game is interesting because it’s Óscar Pareja against Luchi Gonzalez, a coaching matchup that has happened before, but not while both managers are on something of a hot seat. And with Nico Estévez currently feeling a little heat at FCD, we might be in a situation where every manager that FCD has had in the last decade will be out of work by the end of the season. Or none will! (But if I were Luchi Gonzalez, I would have my resumé ready to go. Leave out the part where the Earthquakes have given up 32 goals in 13 games this season, though.)

But I don’t think that Papi will be looking for a new gig any time soon. He’s on a new contract, OCSC won the Open Cup two years ago, and they finished 2nd in the East last year with a ton of points. Yeah, they’re struggling at the moment, but he’s the most successful coach in the team’s history and you’d think that he and they will figure it out.

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A different picture of Papi with the Open Cup than you usually see at this site (Courtesy: Orlando Sentinel)

In the meantime, we’ll continue to entertain fantasies about Papi’s Triumphant Return to Frisco. Just keep him away from any signings of “experienced” players.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Orlando. Pro-Papi bias, Orlando’s an Eastern Conference team, and I want to keep San Jose below FCD in the crab bucket at the bottom of the Western Conference.

Good Guys Game of the Week

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


No one outside of Austin cares.

Seriously, for any Little Brother Green fans reading, here it is:

Guess you orange clowns shouldn’t have lost to Little Brother Green on Wednesday night, huh? But it is smart of you to focus on the CONCACAF Champions Cup the Open Cup winning the league (I had a hard time keeping a straight face writing that) and El Capitán without any distractions from Little Brother Green’s participation trophy.

The good news for you orange bozos is this: FCD does have at least one more distraction than you do. No, not Copa Tejas. Don’t be silly. No, they’ve got a Tuesday night game in St. Petersburg — the one in Florida, not the one in Russia — against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Yes, that trophy that y’all somehow managed to win last year and hilariously got bounced from this year… at home… by a USL Championship side… after taking a 2-0 lead? Your big brothers are still in it.

So if you have to consult your programs to identify some of your opponents on Saturday night and if they seem a bit distracted, that may be the reason. And if those of who are the fans of the true Kings of Texas laugh are laughing a little louder at 10 o’clock on Saturday night after it’s confirmed that El Capitán is staying in Frisco for one more year, that may be the reason.

In any case, feel free to eat shit.

1 Comment

  1. If you take out the $900K the Galaxy are paying of Cabral’s salary the Rapids are actually spending less than Dallas. 😉

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