Weekly update: Europe trip
FC DALLAS PREPARES FOR EUROPEAN ADVENTURE: FC Dallas will close out the first month of its preseason campaign while also embarking on the European leg of the preseason this week. The team will gather on Tuesday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park for a preseason match against SMU at 4:30 p.m. that will be its final game of the month and its final game in the U.S. for at least two weeks. The Hoops will fly to La Manga, Spain on Thursday where they will stay for a week, playing three matches, before flying to Southampton on the South Coast of England. While in England, FC Dallas will play two games before jetting back to Texas to close out the final two weeks of the preseason before its season opener.
Tuesday, February 28: 4:30 p.m. GAME vs. SMU @ Pizza Hut Park
Wednesday, March 1: ***DAY OFF***
Thursday, March 2: ***DEPART FOR LA MANGA, SPAIN***
Friday, March 3: ***ARRIVE IN LA MANGA, SPAIN - First Training Session***
Saturday, March 4: Training in La Manga
Sunday, March 5: 11:00 a.m. GAME vs. Molde @ La Manga Club
* Schedule is subject to change. All times Central.
TWO REMAIN FOR RUIZ: FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz has two strikes remaining amongst the final five nominees for MLS Goal of the Decade. On Monday the League announced that the ten finalists, of which Ruiz had three, had been paired down to five with "El Pescadito" holding two of the five spots.
The Guatemalan international's first strike came on August 9, 2003 against the Crew when he lashed a volley just inside Jon Busch's far post in a 3-1 Galaxy win. Ruiz's other nominee was from the 2005 season, his first with the Hoops and narrowly missed out on being named Sierra Mist Goal of the Year. He scored both of his team's goals in 2-0 win at D.C. United on May 28, including a sensational opener shortly after the intermission. Bobby Rhine played a short pass to Roberto Mina on the right wing and the Ecuadorian striker cut into the box before deftly chipping the bal to the back post for Ruiz whose textbook bicycle kick left United 'keeper Nick Rimando with no chance to make the save.
In addition to Ruiz's two goals, the other three finalists are Brian McBride's finish for Columbus against D.C. United on April 13, 1996, John Wolyniec's clinical volley for the MetroStars at Giants Stadium that as a finalist for Goal of the Year in 2003 and Dwayne DeRosario's freekick against Los Angeles from October 15, 2005 season that was named Sierra Mist Goal of the Year.
BABCOCK RETURNS TO PORTLAND: Midfielder Sean Babcock has elected to return to the University of Portland to complete his senior year and receive his degree in Marketing and Management. The Corvalis, Ore. native played in three of the Hoops four preseason matches and notched his first goal with the club in Saturday's 5-1 win over Missouri State. Per MLS rules and regulations, Babcock will remain on FC Dallas' College Protected Roster through the end of the 2007.
You can see all the Hoops all season long at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. FC Dallas 2006 season tickets are on sale now. There are a wide range of seating options available, starting at just $180 per ticket for a full season plan which includes all 16 FC Dallas regular season home games, as well as four bonus games. There are also significant discounts available on FCD's ten and five-game ticket plans. Call 1-888-FCD-GOAL or visit www.fcdallas.net to reserve your spot at Pizza Hut Park for the exciting 2006 FC Dallas season.