The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 23

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 Soccer on TV.

Musical accompaniment

Worst Season Ever Watch

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Yeah, I’ve used this before. A month ago, in fact. Reduce, reuse, recycle, baby.

The Peter Luccin Hype Train was chuggin’ down the tracks, picking up speed, and then suddenly someone pulled the “emergency stop” lever. In Seattle, of course, where most FCD hype trains suddenly come to a stop over the years.

The thing is, this time looked like it was going to be different! 70 minutes in, they had a 2-0 lead against a team that had been on the struggle bus all season. Then certain subs were made, the team collectively forgot how to possess and defend, and 25 minutes later, they got to go home with the same thing that they’ve so often gone home with, a big fat L.

Even better was this nugget: Jesus Ferreira and Patrickson Delgado joined the injured list.

Oh good. This is where we see if the hype train gets completely derailed.

2024 – 5 wins, 9 losses, 5 draws, 20 points
2003 – 3 wins, 11 losses, 4 draws, 13 points


San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy (MLS Season Pass, 9:30)

Normally, this would be a prime candidate for the Sickos Game. After all, the Gals are pretty good this year, and the Quakes… have not been good at all. However, I’m sliding it in here for a few reasons:

  1. It’s an OG MLS rivalry.
  2. Because it’s San Jose-LA somewhere close to the 4th of July, the Quakes are playing this game at Stanford Stadium.
  3. All the other games are “meh” at best and junk at worst.
  4. New coach bounce for the Quakes!

Yes, the Quakes fired Luchi Gonzalez this week. To be honest, the surprising thing about it was that he outlasted Nico Estévez. But then, given the Quakes’ ownership, which also happens to be the Oakland A’s ownership, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.

It’s a popular recurring theme among our fans to complain about the Hunts’ focus on the bottom line, but next to John Fisher, they’re downright spendy. He doesn’t even try to hide it! When the A’s first announced their intent to move to Vegas last year, because that’s what all the cool kids — and Mark Davis — are doing, this is what they released:

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Savvy baseball fans took a look at all that foul territory, which is coincidentally one of the idiosyncrasies of their current ballpark in Oakland, a byproduct of that ballpark being multipurpose and former shared with the Raiders, and they said, “Hey, wait a minute, they just took the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and photoshopped it a bit!” How cheap is that? They couldn’t even spring for renderings depicting a completely new, original ballpark!

While I don’t personally think that owners in this league are obligated to spend the equivalent of a small island nation’s GDP on players, I simply condone that level of buffoonery in the name of cheapness.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: LA

Little Brother Game of the Week

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

It gives me no great pleasure to tell you, ladies and gentlemen and others, that Little Brother Green may not be junk this year. Mind you, they’re not good, either. They’re currently above the playoff line, yes, but they’ve got 1.35 points per game, which is tied with Portland for the least number of points per game of anyone currently in the playoffs and which in most years is good for not making the playoffs. But hey, the West kind of stinks this year. Colorado’s being so high in the standings is probably a tipoff there.

However, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to tell you, ladies and gentlemen and others, that the Fightin’ Vermeses are almost certainly junk. 14 points in 20 games is a very big clue there. As much as we’ve talked about the Dallas Burn’s all-time worst season in 2003, this year’s SKC team is getting even fewer points than they did. The 2003 Burn got 23 points in 30 games. This year’s SKC team would be on pace for 21 points in 30 games.

Frankly, it couldn’t happen to a nicer team. Are the fans in middle America calling for Peter Vermes’ head? Don’t know, don’t care. Just as long as they don’t figure things in time for FCD to come to town in a couple of weeks, it’ll all be good.

Meanwhile, let’s play a game I like to call “Guess the Broccoli Player”:

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If you guessed Matt Hedges, you win the grand prize, which is a hearty handshake from me the next time you see me at a game. I hate this for him, but it’s something to keep in mind the next time someone wants to act like Father Time isn’t undefeated. In a related story, Little Brother Green has just signed a center back from Ukraine.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw. Yes, this would raise SKC’s points per game.

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

Nashville SC vs. Inter Miami (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

The surprising thing about this year’s coach firings was that neither Nico Estévez nor Luchi Gonzalez were first out the door. It was Gary Smith who was fired by Nashville SC on May 16. I don’t root for people to be fired, but in Smith’s case, I’ll make an exception because of his Hack-a-Ferreira strategy in MLS Cup 2010 when he was in charge of the Rapids. Eat shit, Gary.

But enough about terrorists. I’d rather talk about endorsements, specifically the endorsements featuring one Lionel Messi. Some endorsements make total sense, like Roger Federer’s endorsing Rolex. When I first saw him in a Rolex ad years ago, I was struck by how it was just so perfect. But Nick Kyrgios, for instance? It wouldn’t be so good.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have endorsements that make less sense. At first glance, Shaq’s doing ads for The General low-cost insurance might fall into that category, until you learn that he had their insurance when he was in college. OK, fine. That almost seems wholesome, considering we’re talking about insurance.

But sadly, Leo looks like he’s working this end of the believability spectrum. First, there was the Michelob Ultra ads, which we discussed a few weeks ago. C’mon Leo, I can’t believe anyone drinks that crap, let alone you. White Claw would be more believable. Now, we’re starting to see TV ads for this campaign:

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To be fair, Lowe’s is getting their money’s worth on this shirt sponsorship deal (Courtesy: Lowe’s)

Again… c’mon Leo. You spent your entire adolescence at La Masia. You signed your first big money deal before you could legally drink Not Michelob Ultra in the United States. You have spent your entire adult life making insane amounts of money and now you are earning more in a single year than almost anyone earns in several lifetimes. There is no way that I can ever believe that you will ever darken the door of a Lowe’s.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Nashville. They deserve something nice for canning Gary Smith.

Sickos Game of the Week

CF Montréal vs. Philadelphia Union (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)

I’m going to show you something that’ll blow your mind:

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That’s right, kids. Both these teams are at or below FCD in the overall standings. The Philadelphia Union, who stomped through the Eastern Conference the past few years and was within a whisker of winning MLS Cup 2022, and Montreal, who blew FCD’s doors off at Toyota Stadium early this season, are both down in the muck with FCD.

It’s terrible for them and their fans, but it makes me chuckle.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw. Keep ‘em in the muck.

Good Guys Game of the Week

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

You know who the Hunts like to hire as head coaches? Guys who are on their first full-time head coaching gigs: Nico Estévez, Luchi Gonzalez, Schellas Hyndman, and Steve Morrow. But you know who else has done that? FC Cincinnati.

Yes, Pat Noonan is everyone’s Belle of the Ball when it comes to MLS coaches, but this is his first gig as a head coach. He had a few gigs as an assistant with the Galaxy (under Bruce Arena), the USMNT (also under Arena), and the Philadelphia Union (under Jim Curtin, who is coincidentally enough still in his first head coaching gig).

For an added degree of difficulty, look at his boss. Chris Albright was the technical director who helped build Curtin’s machine at the Union, then went over to FC Cincinnati to be their general manager. So for those of you keeping score, he had great success in his first technical director gig and now he’s having great success in his first general manager gig.

Huh. Maybe it’s not about how many stops you’ve got on your resume, but about showing some level of competence for the gig you’re interviewing for.

Maybe it’s something that FCD’s technical staff could give an honest try, rather than tactics that don’t fit the club’s players or signing players that are two steps away from slicing meat in a deli somewhere.

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