The FCD Fan’s Guide to Hatewatching Matchday 8

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

“Worst Season Ever” Watch

In lieu of recapping what happened last week, I’m making the change to see how 2024 FCD stacks up against the worst season in the history of the club, 2003 when our beloved Burn fielded one of the worst teams in league history with six wins, 19 losses, and five draws in a 30 game season for a total of 23 points or 0.77 points per game.

It was so bad, that the second-worst season, 2021, with its 33 points in 34 games, doesn’t even come close. There have been worse seasons by other teams, but it’s a short list. FC Dallas: Better than you think Usually less awful than other teams.

But this year is looking like it’s gonna give 2003 a run for its money. Maybe I’m being a little kneejerk here and you can roast me later on this season, but I don’t know that that’ll happen. At least you’ll be able to buy beer at Toyota Stadium.

Without further ado, through five games:

2024 – 1 win, 4 losses, 0 draws, 3 points
2003 – 0 wins, 2 losses, 3 draws, 3 points


Los Angeles vs. LA Galaxy (Fox and Apple TV+ free game, 6:45)

It almost seems quaint how much the LA Galaxy have changed since LAFC came along six years ago. Once upon a time, they were the glamour team of the league, with one or two or even three actual-factual superstars on the roster just about every year. They had a truckload of trophies in their case and were contenders to win more every year. People, even ones not named Alexi Lalas, referred to them as a “superteam.”

Since LAFC came to downtown LA, the Galaxy have dropped to second-fiddle status rather suddenly. They were the team over in Carson. They had Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Chicharito Hernández, sure, but suddenly the steady flow of superstars was headed to downtown. And they stopped winning stuff, while the trophies were also flowing downtown.

It almost makes you feel bad for them. Almost.

But things have been changing. The Gals went out and started acting like a team that wanted to win stuff again. They brought in former Galaxy (and FC Dallas) great Greg Vanney, who had led Toronto FC to their brief foray into actual greatness in the late 2010s, as the new coach. They jettisoned team president Chris Klein, who had overseen the team’s slide off the top of MLS between 2013 and 2023. And they started bringing in players less for their ability to sell tickets, but more for their ability to win games.

And now they’re on top of the Western Conference, they’re scoring goals for fun, and they’re fun to watch. They’re nobody’s feel-good story, but it is impressive to watch an organization with baggage remake themselves on the fly with a coherent strategy.

Meanwhile, LAFC is down in 9th place, with more losses than wins so far, and has already brought in French international Hugo Lloris in the offseason, traded for Kei Kamara – who started in MLS when it only had 12 teams – and are about to bring in French international Olivier Giroud.

Soccer is a young person’s game, so bringing in players who were born closer to the Korean War than to the current day might be a bad idea, but LAFC are determined to follow Inter Miami’s path of trying to finally hand Father Time his first L.

Good luck.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw. First, it would be good for FC Dallas. Second, it’s a rivalry game, so as a neutral and a hater, I want them to both be unsatisfied.

Little Brother Game of the Week

Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

First of all, a spoiler alert: The other Little Brother will be appearing later on in this week’s column.

These two teams have a lot in common. First, they were once owned by Phil Anschutz, were sold to someone else who ran them into the ground and have since been sold again to new owners who are trying to pull them out of the wreckage that their predecessors created.

Second, they’re garbage teams for whom I wish nothing but pain and suffering.

Third, they each have a rivalry trophy with FC Dallas that has fallen into disrepair.

Fourth, they are the perfect counterpoint to the assertion that location is everything.

Image 5
Plenty of great seats available along the Lakefront for the 2023 home opener (Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune)

Look, back in the days when the Burn used to get 4,000 for some games at the Cotton Bowl and every other fan in the league wanted to move the team, I swore I’d never get into laughing at other teams’ crowds. But good crowds (to watch drone shows) is all that FCD has going for it these days, so here we are.

I’ll give Little Brother Orange credit for one thing, however: At least they didn’t move out of a perfectly good soccer-specific stadium to continue to draw crappy numbers.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw. Both of these teams are welcome to experience disappointment and lots of it.

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

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

As many “Cowlumbus” jokes I’ve made about the team from Ohio’s capital over the years, it is worth noting one thing: The Columbus metro area is actually about the same size as the Cincinnati metro area. Which is to say that Cincinnati is not a big place.

And FCC shares that not-very-place with one of the most tradition-rich Major League Baseball teams, a team that has been around since 1881. And oh yeah, the Bengals. A good friend of mine is originally from Cincinnati and the impression that I get from him is that there are two seasons in Cincinnati: The first being the anticipation of the upcoming Reds season. And the second is Reds season, during which people invariably end up wishing it was 1975 again.

And yet, with this team across this not-terribly-big town hogging all the spotlight, little ole FC Cincinnati has done the following things:

  • Get an MLS expansion team
  • Build their own stadium
  • Fill up that stadium on a weekly basis
  • Rebuild from the worst team in the league three straight years to winning the Supporters Shield last year

That’s a lot of accomplishments in less than a decade, it truly is a feel-good story. And they’ve responded to having sold Brandon Vázquez in the offseason, by… being on top of the Eastern Conference thus far.

They get to play their polar opposites this week, the team formerly known as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, who have accomplished about as much in their 28 years of existence. They’ve won two Supporters Shields, but only after being around for almost two decades. They got their own stadium after over a decade of existence, which they sometimes fill up. And they did all that in the nation’s biggest market, with the backing of an energy-drink company who spends lavishly on their sports properties, and with millions of dollars spent on players over the years.

It’s kind of like watching an Ivy League legacy admission working at their old man’s company. Since I’m a man of the people, you know which way I’m gonna go.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Cincy. Don’t ask me to continue this analogy because I’ve a lot of nice things about them, and I don’t want to allow for the possibility that I might have to also say nice things about THE Ohio State University.

Sickos Game of the Week

Austin FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

Last week’s game halfway between downtown Austin and Pflugerville at Austin’s “second downtown” at The Domain at Q2 Stadium almost sucked entirely, save for two things:

  1. Eugene Ansah played competently.
  2. Jader Obrian scored a nice goal against his own team… only to be ruled offside, and informed of this fact during his celebration by Omar Gonzalez.
Obrian Offside
The real ones know

The good news, though, is Little Brother Green has taken an early lead in their bid to retain Copa Tejas, which is nice because they care about it so much, even though neither we nor Little Brother Orange’s fans do.

And this week, they have an opportunity to get on a real-life win streak because San Jose is rolling into town. You know the San Jose Earthquakes, right? The one team that FCD has managed to beat this year, and then, only at the very death? Yes, that San Jose Earthquakes.

I’m not saying that Luchi Gonzalez is cursed. He just might not be a very good coach. But I can’t help but notice that the season that got him loaded into the ejection seat in Frisco in 2021 was immediately preceded by the sale of Thiago Santos immediately before the season. And this horrible season in the making? Preceded by the sale of Cade Cowell in the offseason.

Still, we’re rootin’ for you, Luchi.

Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: San Jose. On the one hand, I don’t really want the Earthquakes to climb above FCD in the crab bucket that is the bottom of the Western Conference standings. On the other hand, seeing their team lose to the Quakes at home would definitely drive the Broccoli aficionados crazy.

Good Guys Game of the Week

St. Louis City vs. FC Dallas (MLS Season Pass, 7:30)

If you had told me two months ago about how FCD had looked so far this season and then asked me what I expect out of this game, I probably would’ve said something to the effect of “St. Louis is gonna hamblast FCD.” And now, having seen how the Princes of Provel are doing this season? I’ll replace “hamblast” with “likely beat.”

The fact is St. Louis isn’t quite keeping up the same blistering pace that they had last year. Other teams have coaches too. For all the complaining that we’ve done about FCD’s falloff defensively, St. Louis is giving up goals at a faster clip.

But enough about St. Louis City. They’re just a delivery device for Tim Parker’s jackassery.

What I want to know are two things:

  1. What the hell is going with the training staff at FCD that half the team is out injured at the moment? I might almost be excited to see how the kids play in some real-life first-team action when given their shot through injury. But sadly, FCD’s coach is still Nico Estévez, who might actually play my slow 52-year-old self rather than some hot young prospect.
  2. When did FC Dallas decide that they had to wear all-white more than Real Madrid does? I know, I know, sponsorship considerations and all that. And yes, they’re gonna be wearing white this week because they’re the road team and the home team hasn’t lost their damn minds and will be wearing their actual home uniform at home.
Image 8
Two things only occasionally seen on the field for FC Dallas this season: Tsiki Ntsabeleng and the home uniform. (Courtesy of FC Dallas)

I’m really fired up about the second thing because honestly, I’m no sports medicine expert and can’t do anything more than lament the capriciousness of injuries. But I can at least dress myself in the morning, although my wife might express a few small doubts occasionally.

I don’t want to see Nico Estévez fired… yet. But I do want the person responsible for this nonsense with wearing white at home dragged in front of a camera and forced to give a confession for their many crimes, just like you see in some autocratic regimes. Then force them to clean the crappers at Toyota Stadium as their punishment. I know it smells crazy in there after some folks have eaten the Giant Taco.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *