The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 27

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

Fort Worth’s own King Curtis. If there was some hot sax being played on an R&B hit in the ’60s, there’s a decent chance that it was him. But he had some hit of own, and this is a live version of probably the biggest one, performed at Fillmore West in San Francisco in 1971, where he was on a bill with Aretha Franklin. Tickets probably cost $2 or some shit like that, which your friendly neighborhood Boomers will tell you is proof that life was better back in the day, even though there are 1000 reasons why it wasn’t.

King Curtis died 52 years ago this week from a stab wound during a fight outside his apartment in New York. He was 37 years old.

Last Week

Last week? Try last month. This is the MLS version of Thanos’ snap. The MLS season was humming along and was at Matchday 26, and then a bunch of stuff happened, and we’re picking things back up at Matchday 27, a month later.

I feel like Spider-Man, except without that “does whatever a spider can” part.

Anyway, in the last month, we had Leagues Cup, which I’m sure the Liga MX bosses expected to go better for their clubs than it did, even though all the games were being played in the USA and it’s really early in their season. C’mon, they’d playing a bunch of gringo clubs for three extra Champions Cup berths.


Of course, now they’re whining about the format of the competition that they agreed to. Here’s a better idea: Use the money that you’re earning from the 10,000 friendlies a year that your clubs play in the USA to make your smaller clubs less CLOWNFRAUD.


Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC (Apple TV+, Saturday at 8:00)

I’ll be honest with y’all: I thought that Leagues Cup was a big pile of bullshit when it was announced, all the way until it actually started. But CONCACAF gave three Champions Cup berths to the finalists and the third-place winners, so everyone started taking it seriously, and we got some really great games.

And then we got Lionel Messi. Look, I expected Messi to ball. The guy was tearing it up six months ago in the somewhat overrated Ligue 1. He was tearing it up eight months while leading Argentina to the World Cup title. What do you think he was gonna do here? But if you wonder why he’s the greatest of this generation, just look at the effect that he’s had on his teammates on a team that was formerly hot garbage.

Leonel Messi shoots again FC Dallas. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)
Leonel Messi shoots again FC Dallas. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)

Have Miami had a little bit of luck with their opponents? Sure. Atlanta and Charlotte treat defense as a purely theoretical concept, and they’ve conceded the most and second-most goals in the league thus far. Of course, Messi was gonna feast on them.

But Philly is somewhat competent on defense and they got sonned by Miami. Only FCD — also somewhat competent on defense — has been in any danger of actually beating Miami.

So here they are in the final against Nashville. Since this is an FCD-centric column, I’ll be shameless and refer to Nashville SC as the FC Dallas Alumni Association, Middle Tennessee Chapter. Seriously, I’m glad for the glow-up that Walker Zimmerman and Dax McCarty have gotten since they were shipped out of Frisco by Óscar Pareja and Schellas Hyndman. And oh yeah, Fafà Picault is there too.

Most importantly, they get to play with the human cheat code known as Hany Mukhtar. He might not be Lionel Messi, but he ain’t bad.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Nashville, just so we can be treated to the spectacle of Messi fanbois around the world expressing amazement that they actually play soccer in Nashville and that the team in Nashville had the temerity to beat their boy. As an added bonus, maybe Cristiano Ronaldo will chirp up again.

Little Brother Game of the Week

St. Louis City vs. Austin FC (FS1, Sunday at 8:30)

When these two teams last met, Little Brother Green was handing St. Louis their first-ever win in club history. It was absolutely hilarious, as is every loss suffered by our little friends down I-35, mostly due to the fact that their fans are so ridiculous. It still is hilarious, even though St. Louis has since shown itself to be a pretty good team.

Meanwhile, Little Brother Green has shown itself to be not a pretty good team. When we last saw them, they were getting themselves three weeks of time off by losing to Mazatlán and Juárez in the Leagues Cup group stage. At home in both games. By identical 3-1. Oh well, I’m sure both those teams are quality.


Look, I hate that this is happening to Matt Hedges. We all know what happened. He was making good money with FC Dallas and when he hit free agency, FCD didn’t want to keep paying him that money and Toronto did. And whenever your club’s season goes sideways, they fire the coach, they decide to rebuild, and they want to clear salaries off the books, it’s not great to be pulling down $900k if you’re not a club legend. I’m not saying that he should’ve taken the buck and a half that FCD was offering, but staying at FCD would’ve brought a little extra consideration.

So now we get the awkwardness of the guy who is at the top of the charts in appearances for FC Dallas pulling on a shirt that resembles a green-and-black test pattern every week. And whenever Little Brother Green lets in a goal with him on the field, their ridiculous fans are gonna act like he’s some sort of FCD double agent, working to sabotage their team.

May that happen a lot. Nothing personal, Matt.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: St. Louis. If nothing else, we get the amusement of seeing a team with John Nelson and Lucas Bartlett in defense faring better than the one with Matt Hedges.

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

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United (Apple TV+, Sunday at 6:30)

This is the oldest and most frequently contested rivalry in the 28 seasons of Major League Soccer:

These two teams’ fans have hated their opponents since 1996 and it’s really a case of “same planet, different worlds”:

  • DC United has won every domestic trophy multiple times. The Red Bulls have won the Supporters Shield twice.
  • DC United is one of two teams from 1996 to have never rebranded. The Red Bulls have not only rebranded but put 11 little billboards for an energy drink on the field every week.
  • DC United until five years played in a decrepit dump of a stadium. The Red Bulls were one of the first with their own stadium.
  • The Red Bulls have one of the league’s top academies. DC United had Freddy Adu once upon a time.

This is a rivalry that has featured fireworks being fired in the direction of the New York supporters at RFK Stadium, and Alecko Eskandarian scoring a goal for DC United, then chugging and spitting out some Red Bull in his goal celebration. And on a less savory note, both clubs have had to jettison a player this season for being racist.

Given that DC is in 9th in the East, and the Red Bulls are in 11th, the stakes aren’t that high, but the crowd at Audi Field should be amped, and let’s face it, what am I gonna do? Tell you that you should watch the Cincy-Columbus game instead?

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Red Bulls. I don’t know how you’d do a goal celebration that lampooned the opposing coach’s hair plugs, but I believe in our pals from New York.

Sickos Game of the Week

Toronto FC vs. CF Montréal (Apple TV+, Sunday at 6:30)

As we discussed earlier, Toronto FC isn’t having a great season. Shockingly, the “sign a bunch of mismatched big-name players on the wrong side of 30 to add to a roster already chock full of players on the wrong side of 30” roster-building strategy didn’t work. But when you’re a soccer team that’s owned by the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s what you do.

What was impressive was how spectacularly it flamed out. Not only have they lost a bunch, those big-name players apparently hate each other. Insigne and Bernadeschi hate each other, they both hate Michael Bradley, and they hated Bob Bradley and thought that the elder Bradley had too much of an amen corner from his son.

Bob Bradley was probably the happiest man in the world to get relieved of his duties, continue to draw a paycheck, and not have to put up with a couple of loud-mouthed buffoni on a daily basis. And while we lament the fact that Matt Hedges is in Austin now, we can probably celebrate that he’s not part of that trainwreck anymore.

Matt’s prognostication back in February. Life comes at you fast.

They’re in 14th place in the East right now, but they’ll soon be in 15th because the team currently in 15th has signed a few thirtysomethings who are not mismatched and who don’t hate each other.

I usually take plenty of time to lampoon the buffoonery of their opponents this week, CF Montréal, but impressively, Toronto has managed to outdo them this season. But

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Toronto. While we’re all convinced that TFC will soon be inheriting Miami’s spot at the foot of the Eastern Conference, the longer we have the “MESSI STILL IN LAST PLACE” banter, the better.

Good Guys Game of the Week

Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas (postponed)

Philly will be playing Monterrey for 3rd place in the Leagues Cup and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Saturday, so this game, originally scheduled for Sunday night, has been postponed to September 27. Playing six games in a three-week stretch at that point in the season will suck, but for now, the boys get another week off.

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