Good news FC Dallas fans. You guys have got yourselves one of the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer.
On Thursday former Chivas USA captain and standout Dan Kennedy announced that he has agreed to extend his contract with Major League Soccer and will suit up for FC Dallas.
The 32-year-old American ‘keeper has been part of Chivas USA for the past seven years but was selected by Dallas in the dispersal draft last month as the Goats folded and a new franchise in LA will take their place in 2017.
Kennedy became a real hero for Chivas and around the league over the years for his insistence to stick with the Goats through all the bad times.
But Dallas did not waste a second to select Kennedy as they were at the top of the allocation order for the dispersal draft and the American goalkeeper confirmed he’s signed a new deal with MLS and is looking forward to getting started in Texas.
Excited to get to work with my new teammates and the staff @FCDallas, and looking forward to making a new home in a great city w great fans
Kennedy will replace Peruvian international Raul Fernandez, who was released by Dallas after Oscar Pareja’s side crashed out of the 2014 postseason in the Western Conference semifinals to the Seattle Sounders.
Having a ‘keeper with vast experience of the league and is a phenomenal shot-stopper will be a huge boost for Dallas’ defense going forward. Kennedy will do battle with Chris Seitz for the number one jersey in Frisco, TX.
Several players will either be unavailable or have uncertain status heading into the draft. The Goats’ best asset is unavailable, as Erick “Cubo” Torres belongs to Liga MX’s Chivas. MLS may be working out a deal to buy the young Mexican star, but that won’t keep him in the draft.
Ecuador’s World Cup midfielder Oswaldo Minda is out of contract in December, so a team could theoretically choose him and try to work out a new contract. That seems unlikely, and a few other Chivas USA players were on loan to the club, so forget about Felix Borja, Leandro Barrera and Luis Bolanos. Eriq Zavaleta is Sounders property, while Eric Avila is being sold to Santos Laguna.
There’s also the ban on trading picks, though one wonders if that prohibits teams from trading the players after they’ve been selected.
So where does that leave us for the draft? Let’s try mocking it out. There will likely be more than a few “passes” here, but we’ll assume everyone takes a player and have a little fun with a lot of spitballing.
1. FC Dallas – The top player on the board is goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who worked wonders for the Goats. But FCD doesn’t necessarily need an upgrade at keeper with Peru national teamer Raul Fernandez and longtime backup Chris Seitz in the fold. Will they choose Kennedy?
I don’t think so. For one thing, Oscar Pareja has already worked with Chivas USA midfielders Marvin Chavez and Nathan Strugis in Colorado. Plus, there are arguments to be made for a pair of Texas-born players, forward Kris Tyrpak and defender Bobby Burling, but I think in the end it will be hard for Pareja and company to pass on 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder Marco “Marky” Delgado.
2. New York City FC – If Dallas leaves Kennedy alone, NYCFC is in the catbird seat. To be able to walk into MLS with an established goalkeeper who knows the league would be a boon for the expansion side. With Orlando City having traded for Tally Hall, the league would have two new teams with experienced keepers. The pick is Dan Kennedy.
3. Sporting Kansas City – They need goals, but Chivas USA only scored 29 so there aren’t exactly loads to go around. Given the injury problems that thrust Erik Palmer-Brown into the Starting XI this summer, Sporting goes for an instant boost on D. Burling is a possibility, but I think Andrew Jean-Baptiste moves to KC.
4. DC United – They know how to defend, so DC United settles for the hopes of production by adding winger Marvin Chavez
5. New England Revolution – Chivas USA only saw second-round midfielder Thomas McNamara for a limited time, but the man made an impact before suffering a major knee injury. Jay Heaps can bet on the New York native and see what happens.
One game, 100 words or less: The LA Galaxy once again slumped to a disappointing fixture, failing to surpass Chivas USA in the SuperClasico. The “visitors” scored early in a torrent of pressure on the Galaxy back line, and Dan Kennedy kept LA from grabbing more than one of their own while setting the all-time Chivas appearances record.
Three moments that mattered:
1. 20′ Erick Torres got a charity hop off Leonardo, controlled the ball in a defender sandwich, and finished while off-balance to give Chivas USA the lead early after a spell of pressure.
2. 27′ A quick LA counter saw Landon Donovan’s beautiful curling effort bested by Dan Kennedy off the post and out, and he made it look even better by recovering in time to smother Marcelo Fazzio Sarvas’s recovery header.
3. 35′ Gyasi Zardes headed a back-post cross off the hand of Kennedy and in, and secured a point for the Galaxy, but they will have wanted more out of the pressure they placed on the Chivas defense in the second half.
Three lessons going forward:
1. The Galaxy aren’t the Galaxy without Robbie Keane – Not really a surprise here, but the end product is about half of what it is without Robbie Keane. Donovan put a brilliant shot on goal early and was unlucky it didn’t find the back of the net, but without Keane, it will be hard for the Galaxy to climb the table while he’s gone or injured. Even with 66% possession, they were unable to pull out the win.
2. LA can still be dangerous if they finish – Despite the negative tone surrounding the outcome, the Galaxy just missed their shooting boots. If they can turn that around, with Keane or not, they’ll rise up the table and make the most of the games in hand.
3. Chivas may not be gaining points, but they’re taking some – Chivas hasn’t gained points at any rate, but they sure are preventing anyone else from picking them up. Their bus is parked and has ensnared LA, Dallas, and Portland since April.
Where this leaves them:
The Galaxy have caught the Earthquakes, but they failed to pull within 1 of Portland, which would have seriously set them up for a charge up the table. The misleading part is the Galaxy still have four games in hand on some, but will it be enough without a cutting edge?
Chivas remains bottom, by 6 points, and while they have two games on some above them, they remain even with the Earthquakes on games played.
Best save of MLS weekend: Jaime Penedo or Dan Kennedy? You be the judge
Apologies for anything the foursome of ‘keepers do as Round 26 closes tonight, but I believe we have already seen the top two saves of the MLS weekend.
The first is from Saturday, where new LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo did precisely what former starter Carlo Cudicini was not doing previously: he made the big, game-changing save. This was a real “two-pointer,” a second-half stopped that helped ensure his side took all three points (on the road, no less) rather than walking with just one point for the draw.
Robbie Keane called it world class, which it certainly was. Here what Galaxy manager Bruce Arena said about it: “Great save! What more can you say? We’ve not had a lot of these opportunities this year where we can close out a game but we got it done tonight.”
And here was the save:
Case closed, right? I mean, that was seriously acrobatic and instinctual stuff.
But Dan Kennedy’s effort Sunday for Chivas USA wasn’t bad, either. Watch here as he the long-suffering guardian of Chivas USA goal gets across to parry Fabian Espindola’s point-blank effort.
Personally, I still like Penedo’s stop as top save in MLS Round 26 (again, with the caveat of two matches remaining). But you may feel differently. Here’s Kennedy’s stop in the first half Sunday at the StubHub Center against New York:
Three Good Questions for Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy
SEATTLE — Even with all the controversy surrounding Chivas USA this season and the team’s poor results, the locker room after the club’s 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC felt remarkably inviting.
The language I heard the most was English, despite the allegations of discrimination against those who do not have Mexican heritage and do not speak Spanish. Nobody treated me like a pariah, and despite the negative press the club has received recently, players didn’t seem to mind having a microphone in their faces — even after another tough loss.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy spoke to NBC ProSoccerTalk about how the team is dealing with the situation and about his personal career trajectory within the framework of Chivas USA.
This was your 100th game in Major League Soccer, all with Chivas USA. How much does this club mean to you?
This is the team that gave me a chance in this league. There’s something to be said about that. They continue to support me, and I’m trying to do my best to help us turn this thing around.
With all the controversy surrounding the club, you’re often seen as the American face of it all, and you’re the team captain. How much do you think about that kind of stuff?
I really don’t. To me, this thing’s about winning games. … We have a good locker room, and we come to work focusing on the task at hand, which is working out on the training pitch every day and trying to get some results. Fortunately enough, that’s our job.
Your name has been tossed around as somebody who possibly could or at least should get a look with the national team. Does that idea ever cross your mind?
Of course. It’s a motivating factor. I’m trying to take that next step in my career. I feel like I’m at a good age, and I have good experience for it. It’s nice to be recognized in those circles, but that’s one of the things I’m trying to push myself to compete for.
When I asked Kennedy if he has been in contact with the national team staff at all, he said he has received “no word” at all. The CONCACAF Gold Cup could have been the perfect chance to give this veteran a look, but Jürgen Klinsmann and his staff opted to stay away.