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.
Have you ever heard a Led Zeppelin classic performed on trombone and sousaphone? Now you have, courtesy of New Orleans band Bonerama.
Kos giveth, Kos taketh away. This column has a pro-Nkosi Tafari bias, so I was delighted with his last-second goal against Little Brother Green, but if I’m being honest, that moment in the 13th minute in St. Louis was… not good. So in the style of Buzz’s breakdowns for each game…
- Three points in two games, despite missing Jesús Ferreira for all 180 minutes and Maarten Paes for 77.
- No Paes Patrol on Saturday night.
- Eugene Ansah’s miss against the Toasted Ravioli Boyz. Woof. He got a little redemption in stoppage time, though.
- Copa Tejas. Are you serious that despite losing four of six games to its rivals, Little Brother Green can win this dumb-ass trophy if FCD and Little Brother Orange draw at the end of the month?
EL SUPERCLÁSICO DEL SIGLO (de la semana)
Sporting Kansas City vs. St. Louis City (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)
Welcome to MLS Rivalry Week, sponsored by… Wait, this isn’t rivalry week? But these two cities don’t really like each other. Isn’t that what Rivalry Week is for, not some garbage matchup like Portland-Vancouver?
Well, I guess that Abe Simpson is in charge of MLS now.
But aside from
intra-Missouri interstate rivalry, there is a little added heat to this game because St. Louis decided not to suck like most other expansion teams in this league’s history and because Kansas City sadly decided not to quit on the season after going winless in February, March, and April.
Y’all remember that, right? CF Montreal came to town, beat SKC’s brains in, and Johnny Russell gave his post-game articles of surrender:
How you fix it, Beardo, is to get some guys healthy… which SKC did, and now they’re somewhat competent. Mind you, they’re still below the playoff line, but at least they’re within sight of the playoff line. May they stay there.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: St. Louis. Keep the Sporks in the dirt.
Little Brother Game of the Week
New England Revolution vs. Austin FC (MLS Season Pass, 6:30)
On August 1, a press release emanated from Major League Soccer, announcing that New England Revolution Head Coach, Sporting Director, and Official Smartest Guy in the Room Bruce Arena had been placed on administrative leave for “inappropriate and insensitive remarks” and that the matter was under investigation. Since then, nothing.
Did he use the “hard R”? Did he say something anti-Semitic? Did he ride Ian Harkes’ butt too hard in practice and Harkes complained to his old man, who then made few phone calls? (Since the whole thing with Gregg Berhalter and Gio Reyna, we gotta give a side eye to all members of the US national team from the ’90s.)
MLS and the Revs aren’t saying. They’ve kept this more airtight than the CIA, which has annoyed the local media, who are forced to ask questions, rather than just report on what Alex Cora had for dinner last night. Obviously, that’s a big-city media at work. In cowtowns like Austin, they’d just cheerfully reprint whatever the team was telling them.
But I’m sure that this incident has some people in Austin thinking, “Can we have an incident like this with Josh Wolff and get rid of him that way?” So if you see something come in the next few weeks where Wolff is alleged to have said something provocative like “Breakfast tacos are kind of ‘meh.'” or “Nashville has a better local music scene,” you’ll know what’s up.
Or maybe not. Maybe FCD and Little Brother will tie on the 30th and then they can celebrate another trophy win, this time in their own parking lot, and all this “We should fire Josh Wolff” unpleasantness will be behind them.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: New England. We all know that Arena told a joke just outside of Robert Kraft’s office that featured the punchline, “I didn’t know this was that kind of massage parlor!”
“Let’s Pretend to Care About the Eastern Conference” Game of the Week
FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City (Apple TV+ free game, 6:30)
I haven’t featured Orlando City much in this column this season. And that’s a shame because
- They’re the defending Lamar Hunt US Open Cup champs.
- They’re pretty damn good this year.
- Óscar Pareja
Meanwhile, it seems like I’ve got Cincy every other week. These things happen when you’re blowing the doors off of everyone. This week, I’ve got ’em again, but this time, they’re playing Orlando.
Look, say what you will about Orlando. It’s not a real place, it’s essentially run by Disney, the weather is hellish for nine months of the year, the University of Central Florida is a third-rate commuter college that aspires to be the University of Houston, etc.
But I’ll say this: Has anyone ever said the following words in a non-ironic manner? “We should really go to Cincinnati on vacation.” The answer is of course no. The only thing that has ever made Cincinnati remotely attractive was a TV show 45 years ago.
And that show was only on the air for four seasons! Cleveland sucks, and Drew Carey’s show got way more than that.
Óscar Pareja must be excited about this trip. It’s one of the few road trips where he doesn’t have to worry about his guys getting into any trouble.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Orlando, of course.
Sickos Game of the Week
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (MLS Season Pass, 8:30)
What goes into an MLS Sickos Game? It’s quite easy. Any game that shouldn’t appeal to anyone but the fans of the teams playing is a sickos game. If you’re watching, why? This one has a couple of notable markers:
- The Colorado Rapids are playing.
- It’s at a time when there are better games to watch. You can miss the first half because you’re watching the good games that started at 7:30. You can miss the second half because you’re watching the much better games at 9:30, including Seattle-Portland, which I cannot believe hasn’t been shoved into a timeslot where it would be on FS1.
- One team is gonna shove the other other team into a locker.
But since this is Rivalry-Week-but-Not-Really-Rivalry-Week, we’re getting the Rocky Mountain Cup, which many people in this country don’t believe is somewhat organic, but it is.
Colorado and Utah don’t like each other and will talk shit about each other.
As a Colorado resident for the last 13 years, I can safely say that most of the shit talk heading over the Rockies to our fry sauce-addicted neighbors is well-founded. Sorry that you clowns have worse beer and weren’t smart enough to say no to the International Olympic Committee like Denver did in 1976.
My big quarrel is with the name of the trophy. It’s so generic. How about the “Loser Gets Grand Junction Trophy”? I don’t know. We can workshop it.
But the 2023 Colorado Rapids are one of the worst teams in league history and you’d have to be a real clown team to lose to them at home. I believe in you and your boys to be those clowns, Pablo Mastroeni.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Colorado, just for the lols.
Good Guys Game of the Week
FC Dallas vs. Atlanta United (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)
There’s so much to hate about Atlanta if you’re a petty FCD-supporting hater like me. They’ve got an owner who spends dough on his team, they’ve won MLS Cup, they have huge crowds at their games, they’ve even got reasonably priced concessions. Plus, Atlanta sucks.
And yet, I feel nothing for them.
I don’t know why. Maybe it’s pity. Maybe it’s because they are so needlessly squandering one of the best young players in the league. Maybe it’s because their goalkeeper played with a brown ball when he first became a professional. Maybe it’s because they’re firmly on the DC United-Chicago Fire path from early glory to eventual ruin.
Maybe it’s because they’re in the Eastern Conference and we hardly see them. I mean, I more or less have the same level of antipathy towards them as I do Charlotte FC.
Maybe it’s because FCD has a pretty good record against them.
If I only knew why.
Oh, I know why. Thank you for giving this guy a gig way back when: