FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas enters the last week of the MLS regular season with momentum and one uncertainty. With a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, FCD assured itself of finishing in first place in the Western Conference, a first in the team's 11 year history. It also officially eliminated the Galaxy from playoff considerations, also a first in the history of the L.A. club that a year ago won the MLS Cup right here at Pizza Hut Park. The teams meet again next Saturday at The Home Depot Center, and while Dallas will be looking to strengthen its form heading into the playoffs, the team will also be watching the other Western teams to await who it will face in the Western Conference Semifinal Series.
Monday, Oct. 9: Training - 10 a.m. (CT) at Pizza Hut Park
Tuesday, Oct. 10: OFF
Wednesday, Oct. 11: Training - 10 a.m. (CT) at Pizza Hut Park
Thursday, Oct. 12: Training - 10 a.m. (CT) at Pizza Hut Park
Friday, Oct. 13: Training - 10 a.m. (CT) at Pizza Hut Park
Saturday, Oct. 14: FC Dallas at. Los Angeles Galaxy - The Home Depot Center - 9:30 p.m. CT live on Fox Soccer Channel
Sunday, Oct. 15: Return to Dallas
* Schedule is subject to change. All times Central.
By securing first place in the Western Conference, FC Dallas must now wait to see which team finishes in fourth place, and will be Dallas' opponent in the home-and-away, aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinal Series. The first leg would be played on the road on Oct. 21 or 22, with the return leg confirmed to be played at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (CT).
The easiest scenario in determining FCD's opponent would be Colorado tying Houston on Oct. 14 in Houston, which would guarantee that Dynamo would finish second, Chivas USA in third, and Colorado fourth in the West. A win by either Houston or Colorado means that the final order of the West won't be known until the last regular season game of the year, when Chivas USA hosts Real Salt Lake on Oct. 15 at The Home Depot Center.
Rookie Dax McCarty has joined U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team for a four-day camp from Oct. 8-12 in Sunrise, Fla., which will include a closed-door match against the Haiti Under-23 Men's National Team. McCarty, who has captained the U-20's in various international camps this year, was a last minute call-up for this camp. He joined the players and staff today and will train for three days before facing Haiti on Oct. 11.
Two weeks ago, the FCD coaching staff organized a Hispanic Soccer Showcase, inviting 17 different Hispanic League's to nominate a player under the age of 25 to participate in a Showcase game at Pizza Hut Park in order for the team to identify top local talent. FCD coaches have invited eight of these players to train with the full Dallas team on Monday, Oct. 9.
Even though FCD could end the season tied with D.C. United with the most points in the regular season, D.C. wins the tie-breaker over Dallas by virtue of winning the season series between the teams. Dallas is assured of finishing in second place in the general standings. The two U.S. entries into the CONCACAF Champions Cup are the winner of the MLS general table, and the winner of the MLS Cup. If the team that wins the MLS Cup is also the overall point's leader, than the second U.S. entry into Champions Cup is the team that finished with the second most points at the end of the regular season.
The playoff format is as follows: the top four teams in each conference advance to the playoffs. Each conference plays a set of playoff game to determine the winner of the respective Conference. The first place team in each Conference plays the fourth place team, while number two plays number three. The first round is a two-game series, with each team playing once at home (the higher seed hosts the second game). The team with the most goals after both games advances to the single-game Conference Championship game, which is played at the home of highest seeded team. The winners of each of the respective Conference Championship games advance to the 2006 MLS Cup - which is played at Pizza Hut Park on Nov. 12.
Click here for the complete MLS standings: http://www.mlsnet.com/MLS/standings/