A new MLS season begins in earnest Saturday, with most of the league playing their openers. FC Dallas is included, as they host the Chicago Fire at Pizza Hut Park. The game will be on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30.
We'll start with the basics for FC Dallas newcomers:
- Dallas had an exciting season in 2010-11, finishing third in the Western Conference and fourth overall before knocking out the star studded LA Galaxy in the conference championship and then losing a 2-1 heartbreaker in the MLS Cup to Colorado. It was their first trip to the league final.
- Their coach is Schellas Hyndman, who, before the summer of 2008, was the longtime coach of SMU's successful program.
- Among notable player comings and goings, sometimes US national team left back Heath Pearce was traded in the offseason to free up money. With the flexibility added by moving Pearce, Dallas added a young Columbian stud named Fabian Castillo earlier in the month to replace a couple of forward losses. He will not play against Chicago. Brek Shea, a Texan who has made two appearances for the US and just turned 21, is making a move from the left side of midfield to central defense. Given his size (6'3") and skill level, Shea could become a difference maker if the move works out.
- David Ferreira was last season's MLS MVP for Dallas, and he's back to lead their attack in the middle of the field.
As for a little more hearty info, we'll turn to SB Nation's great new Dallas soccer blog, Big D Soccer.