FRISCO, Texas — The Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season has come to its conclusion, which means the road to the MLS Cup has commenced!
After missing the playoffs in 2021, FC Dallas resurged back to the top of the Western Conference ranks and secured one of the coveted playoff spots.
FC Dallas' first round opponent will be Minnesota United FC, and the game will be played Monday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. So, for those people in Dallas-Fort Worth who may not be too familiar with FC Dallas, do not worry. We got your back! Hop on the bandwagon!
Here is a guide of everything you need to know before heading out to a match at Toyota Stadium:
What is #DTID?
Dallas 'Til I Die. This was FC Dallas' tagline before hashtags were hashtags on social media. They've been singing it at Toyota Stadium for decades:
"I'm Dallas Til I Die! I'm Dallas Til I Die! I know I am. I'm sure I am. I'm Dallas Til I Die!"
When their backs are against the wall ... Dallas 'Til I Die. When the odds don't look so great ... Dallas 'Til I Die. In 2016, FC Dallas won the Supporters Shield (the team with the most points in the regular season) and the club released this video of what Dallas Til I Die means to the fans ahead of their playoff run:
You'll see social media posts tagged with #DTID. It's the club's rallying cry.
Here's a more cringe-y rendition of the #DTID history, circa 2010:
We don't have a clue what all that shoulder bumping was from Daniel Hernandez ... but hey, Dallas Til I Die!
Meet the 2022 FC Dallas club
Here is the typical starting XI for FC Dallas, based on the players with the most starts this season:
Nico Estévez, head coach
FC Dallas announced Nico Estévez as the club's new coach in December of 2021. Before that, Estévez was an assistant for the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) and Columbus Crew under Gregg Berhalter.
Estevez took over an FC Dallas club that finished with the third-worst record in the Western Conference in 2021 and helped lead the team back to a playoff berth.
Before his MLS and USMNT coaching career, Estévez was a coach in Spanish football leagues for nearly 15 years.
Jesús Ferreira, forward/striker
Keep an eye on this guy because you'll likely see him scoring goals for the USMNT at the World Cup in Qatar this November. Jesús Ferreira plays the "No. 9" position, which is called the striker or center forward. Ferreira's job is to be the team's primary goal-scorer, and he's darn good at it (hence the USMNT spot). Ferreira leads the team in goals scored and is among the top goal-scorers in MLS.
Ferreira is also what is called a "homegrown player," meaning he came up through the club's youth academy. Ferreira's dad, David, signed with FC Dallas back in 2009 and Jesús joined Dallas' academy when he was 8 years old. This season, Jesús Ferreira and David Ferreira also became the first-ever father-son duo to be named MLS All-Stars (David back in 2010 and Jesús in 2022).
Ferreira was also ranked No. 1 on the MLS 22 under 22 list.
Paul Arriola, midfielder/winger
From one MLS All-Star to another. Paul Arriola joined Ferreira as the club's two All-Star representatives in 2022. Arriola is also plugging in minutes with the USMNT at the winger spot, but his World Cup chances aren't as shooed-in as Ferreira. But, Arriola and Ferreira serve as the one-two attacking punch for FC Dallas.
Arriola has been the second-most productive player in the FC Dallas attack. He came to FC Dallas before the 2022 season from D.C. United and immediately made an impact on the field. Arriola went on a tear in May, scoring six goals in five straight appearances.
He possesses pace that puts opposing back lines into stressful situations, so you'll likely see No. 7 making plays for FC Dallas.
Maarten Paes, goalkeeper
Say hello to FC Dallas' man guarding the goal: Maarten Paes. Paes is a dutch goalkeeper who came to FC Dallas on a short-term six-month loan from Eredivisie’s FC Utrecht before the 2022 season. FC Dallas exercised the option to make the transfer permanent in June, so now he's under contract with FC Dallas through December 2025 with club options for the 2026 and 2027 seasons.
Matt Hedges, defender
Matt Hedges has only played for one MLS club: FC Dallas. Hedges was drafted by FC Dallas in 2012 and has played in Frisco ever since. He's the heralded captain of this FC Dallas squad.
He's made more appearances than any other player in club history. Hedges surpassed Jason Kreis for that top honor back in 2020. Hedges is a two-time MLS Best XI nominee (2015, 2016) and was the 2016 MLS Defender of the Year.
Sebastian Lletget, midfielder
Sebastian Lletget is FC Dallas' newest piece to the roster. Lletget joined FC Dallas in the middle of this season from the New England Revolution. FC Dallas traded for Lletget in August in exchange for $600,000 in general allocation money (we won't dive into GAM, if you'd like to dive into the weeds ... read about GAM here on the MLS website).
As another USMNT regular, Lletget's arrival was a welcoming sight for Arriola and Ferreira, who had experience playing together for the national team.
Fun fact: you might see Becky G at FC Dallas matches because he dates the American singer/actress.
Alan Velasco, forward
Alan Velasco is one of the club's rising young talents. The 19-year-old Argentine winger singed with FC Dallas in February after leaving Argentina’s first-division side Club Atlético Independiente.
Velasco has been the third-most productive attacker on the field for FC Dallas, and has produced highlight reel goals in the 2022 season. He scored in his first game for FC Dallas, an 87th minute goal to seal the team’s 2-0 victory over Nashville SC.
Paxton Pomykal, midfielder
Midfielder Paxton Pomykal was born and raised in the Dallas area. He was born in Lewisville and played soccer for iUniversity Prep, a Grapevine Colleyville ISD Virtual Academy. He also attended Marcus High School in Flower Mound. Pomykal started playing for the FC Dallas youth academy in 2014 and signed a homegrown contract for the senior team in September of 2016.
Pomykal was named to the 2019 MLS All-Star game alongside teammate Matt Hedges. Due to his successful 2019 MLS season, Pomykal has made one appearance with the USMNT: an international friendly against Uruguay. He came on as a late substitute in that match.
Marco Farfan, defender
Marco Farfan is new to the club this season after being traded from Los Angeles FC for former for FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead. Farfan, a Portland native, started his MLS career with the Timbers in their youth system. Farfan played four seasons with the Portland Timbers before being traded to Los Angeles FC.
The young left back adds even more talent to the FC Dallas defense. He has also made an appearance for the USMNT: an international friendly against El Salvador in 2020.
José Antonio Martínez, defender
José Antonio Martínez joined FC Dallas just before the 2021 season. Prior to his MLS career, the 29-year-old center back bounced between soccer clubs in Spain.
Martínez made his FC Dallas debut in a 0-0 tie at Toyota Stadium vs. Colorado Rapids on April 17. He made 19 appearances and 16 MLS regular season starts throughout his first year. In the 1,503 minutes he played, Martínez he did not receive a single yellow or red card.
This season, Martínez has started nearly every match for FC Dallas at the center back position.
Emmanuel Twumasi, defender/midfielder
FC Dallas drafted Emmanuel Twumasi in 2018, but have loaned him to USL clubs twice (Oklahoma City Energy in 2018, Austin Bold in 2019-20). Twumasi returned to FC Dallas in 2021, where he played in 23 matches and started in 19 of those.
Twumasi is listed as a midfielder but has transitioned into the right back role for FC Dallas.
Edwin Cerrillo, midfielder
Edwin Cerrillo is Texas-born and raised and is another product of the FC Dallas youth academy. Cerrillo joined the FC Dallas youth academy in 2015 and was called up to the senior team in 2019.
Since joining the team, Cerrillo has boasted either the team's best or second best passing percentage each season. He's the FC Dallas passing percentage this season, too.
MLS Playoff Format
The top seven teams from each conference make the playoffs, with the top seeds earning a first-round bye. The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in each conference will all host home games in the first round. MLS released the playoff schedule and broadcast designations in late August:
Saturday, Oct. 15
- New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati – 11 a.m. CST (Univision / TSN / TVA Sports / local English-language broadcast / MLSSoccer.com / MLS App)
- LA Galaxy vs. Nashville SC – 2 p.m. CST (Univision / TSN / TVA Sports / local English-language broadcast / MLSSoccer.com / MLS App)
Sunday, Oct. 16
- Austin FC vs. Real Salt Lake – 2 p.m. CST (ABC / ESPN Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
- CF Montreal vs. Orlando City SC – 7p.m. CST (ESPN / ESPN Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
Monday, Oct. 17
- New York City FC vs. Inter Miami CF – 6 p.m. CST (FS1 / FOX Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
- FC Dallas vs. Minnesota United FC – 8:30 p.m. CST (FS1 / FOX Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
Thursday, Oct. 20
- Philadelphia Union vs. FC Cincinnati – 6 p.m. CST (FS1 / FOX Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
- LAFC vs. LA Galaxy – 8 p.m. CST (FS1 / FOX Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
Sunday, Oct. 23
- CF Montreal vs. New York City FC – 12 p.m. CST (ESPN / ESPN Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
- Austin FC vs. FC Dallas – 7 p.m. CST (ESPN / ESPN Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
Sunday Oct. 30
- Philadelphia Union vs. TBD – 3 p.m. CST (ABC / ESPN Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
- LAFC vs. TBD – 8 p.m. CST (FS1 / FOX Deportes / TSN / TVA Sports)
Saturday, November 5
- 3 p.m. CST (FOX / UniMás / TSN / TVA Sports)
Get more soccer coverage on at wfaa.com/sports.
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