The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 5

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

Last week

Death, taxes, and a crummy result against the New York Red Bulls. But I thought that this was awfully mean of Major League Soccer Soccer dot com:

Rbny Fcd Lol

I believe it was Robert Kennedy — not the conspiracy-addled doofus running for President, but his dad — who said, “Some men see things as they are, and say why. I dream of 3-4-2-1 formations with only one real center back and no real wingbacks, and say why not.”


Atlanta United vs. Orlando City (Apple TV+ free game, Sunday at 6:00)

I present to you my completely unscientific assessment of the top five rivalries in Atlanta professional sports:

  1. Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
  2. Atlanta Falcons fans vs. the Falcons coaching staff
  3. Inside-the-Perimeter Braves fans vs. getting out to Cobb County to watch the Braves
  4. Atlanta Hawks vs. irrelevance
  5. Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC
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Dominique Wilkins, the only Atlanta Hawk most people can name. He hasn’t played for them since 1994. (Courtesy of The Sporting News)

Now, if we expanded this to college sports, we could throw in

  • Georgia vs. Auburn
  • Georgia fans vs. Mike Bobo’s playcalling
  • Georgia vs. Florida
  • Georgia fans vs. Nick #$%*& Saban
  • Georgia Tech students vs. trying to get dates

But ATL vs ORL is the original MLS rivalry in the Southeast. Never mind that I’m not really certain that Orlando is a real place. This rivalry is real… ish, and it’s between the only two Southeast teams that have won any silverware that’s been around for more than 10 minutes. (No, Miami, Leagues Cup doesn’t count.)

Besides, there aren’t really any better choices for this slot this week.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Orlando. Even if I didn’t have a pro-Papi bias, they could use a nice bounceback win after a rather unsuccessful trip to Monterrey this past week. And I’m already dreading the prospect of the Hunts’ paying stupid money to a fortysomething André-Pierre Gignac in a few years.

Little Brother Game of the Week

Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers (Apple TV+ free game, 7:30)

It’s not often that anyone can go into a game with Little Brother Orange and be the bigger villain. And yet, here we are. Why?


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OK, that’s the Thorns. Yes, it’s the same ownership, but surely the Timbers have been doing OK, right? Well…

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And there’s this:

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And what were those public statements?

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OK, but surely they’re getting better on this front, right? I guess.

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You can say that I’m being unfair to hold this against them, but when your organization has a particular problematic history with sexual abuse, domestic violence, and just plain sexism, maybe you should be doing a little more vetting of corporate partners beyond just counting the zeros on the check?

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Little Brother Orange. With any almost other team, I’d be 100% picking that team, but this is different.

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

New England Revolution vs. FC Cincinnati (Apple TV+ free game, Sunday at 1:00)

Speaking of the Timbers, it seems like the one person who has managed to exit that organization without looking absolutely horrible is Caleb Porter. Mind you, he’s still a schmuck. But I also might be forced to concede that he might be pretty good at his job.

“Of course he is, Dustin. He’s won MLS Cups with two different organizations.”

OK, fine. But he’s still a schmuck, which is, in my wholly unscientific assessment the reason why he manages to get himself canned within two years of winning those championships. Portland wins the championship in 2015 and Porter’s out the door after 2017. Columbus wins the championship in 2020 and Porter’s out the door after 2022. Some owners would give you damn near a lifetime contract for winning a championship. Just look at how much runway Schellas Hyndman got after almost winning in 2010.

Anyway, that’s probably something that Pat Noonan should keep in mind. Yes, Noonan led Cincy to the Supporters Shield last year. Yes, Cincy did kneecap him a bit by selling Brandon Vázquez to Monterrey. But no, that ain’t gonna keep the wolves away if results don’t get better really quickly.

I mean, you guys don’t have the fixture congestion of CONCACAF Champions Cup to blame anymore, thanks to getting hamblasted at Estadio BBVA on Thursday night.

And can we talk about how dumb it was to sell your best young player to a team that you might (and did) face in a future competitive match? Say what you will about FCD, but at least they don’t have to worry selling players to Venezia, Augsburg, or Boavista, and having it come back to bite them immediately.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Cincy. It’s fun watching Caleb Porter lose.

Sickos Game of the Week

Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Apple TV+ free game, 7:30)

At this point, I feel bad for Luchi Gonzalez. He may not be a very good coach, but man, he keeps getting kneecapped by his employers.

First, Thiago Santos is sold from under him the week before the 2021 FCD season, and he ends up getting canned close to the end of what would become the organization’s second-worst season ever. Then he lands in San Jose and gets Cade Cowell sold from under him, and the Quakes are 0-3 and look… not good.

Again, he may not be a very good head coach, but this ain’t helping.

And because of that, the Quakes look to be a contender for this slot every week. And I’ll feel a bit of human empathy for Luchi Gonzalez as he pilots this ship of the damned.

I, however, feel nothing but glee at having Sporting Kansas City in this slot. I just got done talking about how “Caleb Porter is a schmuck” is a direct cause of “Caleb Porter is now unemployed.” I must be really misjudging Peter Vermes, then. He probably brings donuts into the office every Friday and not just the crappy ones you get from the grocery store, either. The good ones. I don’t know who makes them in Kansas City, but he’s got to be bringing in boxes of them.

After all, look at the amount of leeway he gets.

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The “honors” listing from Vermes’ Wikipedia page

That’s four different trophies, but it’s been a while. Since the last time SKC won anything, they’ve missed the playoffs twice (2019 and 2022) and Caleb Porter has been head coach of three different teams. Like I said, Peter Vermes must be the most personable guy off the field or OnGoal must have the patience of Job. They make the Hunts look like they’ve got hair triggers.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: San Jose. We’re rooting for you, Luchi, and not just because we want to see Vermes self-immolate.

Good Guys Game of the Week

FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (Apple TV+ free game, 7:30)

It’s a shame that the Professional Soccer Referees Association is being locked out by PRO. No, not because the scab replacement referees are so horrible. They are, between the crummy inconsistent calls, the lack of fitness to keep up with the pace of MLS games, or the elementary mistakes like “recognizing that a guy you just let come onto the field is in an offside position,” which happened in FCD’s opener.

No, the reason why I’m lamenting the refs’ lockout is that it’s coinciding with Vanni Sartini’s six-game suspension. Let’s refresh our memory as to why Sartini got suspended:

Yeah, he got his money’s worth.

I’m sad that we’ve been deprived of his bon mots about the competence of the scabs replacements. Barring that, maybe somebody can ask him for more opinions on superheroes:

I’m personally hoping for a generally high level of competence from the referees on Saturday, but more than that, I’m hoping that the Injury Fairy stays far away, I’m hoping that Jesús Ferreira suppresses his wanderlust for 90 minutes and that Nico Estévez stops trying to put the round block into the square hole:

“Next we’ve got Bernie Kamungo. Where does he fit? That right, the square hole wingback.”

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