MLS Week 17, USL Week 14 Preview

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas

BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston-8:00 p.m, Friday, June 23, 2017

The second iteration of the 2017 Texas Derby is tonight in Houston.  FCD and Houston played to a draw in Dallas a few weeks ago in Round 1.  The Dynamo are projecting the first sellout at BBVA Compass Stadium since 2015 tonight.  The historical results of the Derby are about as even as it gets, though Dallas has dominated the rivalry recently.

All-time: Dallas 9 wins (40 goals)…Houston 10 wins (40 goals)…Ties 9

At Houston: Dynamo 7 wins, 25 goals…FC Dallas 4 wins, 23 goals…Ties 3

Match preview on

United Soccer League (USL):

Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. San Antonio FC (SAFC)

Weidner Field-Colorado Springs, CO-9:00 p.m., CDT, Saturday, June 24, 2017

Can San Antonio keep the undefeated streak alive for another week?

Rio Grande Valley FC, after getting demolished in a midweek game in Sacramento, is off until next Saturday when they also travel to Colorado Springs.

Match preview in San Antonio Soccer News:

Texas National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) Week 7 Recap

Midland-Odessa was the first Lonestar Conference side to qualify for the 2017 NPSL playoffs after a win last weekend.


Week 7 Game Results:

Thursday, June 15

Dutch Lions FC-3 vs. Midland-Odessa FC-1

Houston Dutch Lions FC defeated the Sockers 3-1 Thursday evening in Conroe.  Midland-Odessa had a tough hill to climb when Jerry Scholman conceded an own goal to Dutch Lions in the 8th minute.  Carlos Acevedo doubled the lead for Dutch Lions in the 31st.  A late goal by Dutch Lions man-of-the-match Jesus Cortes then put the game away, though the Sockers pulled one back a few minutes before time when James O’Grady scored.

Saturday, June 17

Dallas City FC-2   Ozark FC-0

Two goals in the first 13 minutes from Sergio Lara and Archie Mesa led Dallas City FC to a 2-0 home win over winless Ozark FC.

Team photo prior to match at Greenhill School (Dallas City FC Facebook)

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, people standing, outdoor and nature

Dutch Lions FC-6   Tyler FC-3

Dutch Lions FC scored four first half goals, the first 8 minutes in, to dominate Tyler FC and eventually win 6-3.  A brace by Yinka Lawal led the way, with other scoring coming from four different players.  Trailing 4-1 at the half, Tyler FC scored twice in the second half to close the gap.

Dutch Lions starting lineup and Man of the Match-former UTRGV Vaquero Archie Massen (Dutch Lions Twitter)

Houston Regals SCA-0   Midland-Odessa FC Sockers-2

Goals by Maliq Cooper in the 65th minute and Gilbert Rocha in the 74th led the Sockers to a 2-0 road win in Houston.  This victory allows the Sockers to clinch a Lonestar Conference playoff berth and put them in the drivers seat for the conference championship with only two regular season games remaining.

Ft. Worth Vaqueros-0  Shreveport Rafters FC-0

Ft. Worth was held to a scoreless draw at home against Shreveport Saturday. More importantly, however, this score combined with a 2-1 win in Louisiana earlier this year allowed the Vaqueros to reclaim the Texas Trail Classic “horns” (pictured below).  The Vaqueros dominated the first half, but both teams had chances in the second.  At the end of the match Vaqueros coach Nick Stavrou had this to say on the Ft. Worth website:  “You always want to win and I thought we created enough chances.  Unfortunately it just didn’t end up in the back of the net.”

General Team News:

An Eric Blum article on OA Online profiled Sockers captain Andrew Moullin who is playing in the NPSL in-between trials with San Antonio FC.


South Conference -Lonestar Division

Rank Lonestar Conference Division GP W L T Pts GF GA GD Pts/GP
1 Midland-Odessa FC 8 6 2 0 18 16 7 9 2.25
2 Dutch Lions FC 6 4 1 1 13 18 11 7 2.1667
3 Fort Worth Vaqueros 7 4 2 1 13 10 7 3 1.8571
4 Houston Regals SCA 6 2 3 1 7 7 10 -3 1.1667
5 Shreveport Rafters FC 6 1 4 1 4 7 10 -3 0.6667
6 Tyler FC 7 0 5 2 2 5 18 -13 0.2857


South Conference-Heartland Division

Rank Heartland Conference Division GP W L T Pts GF GA GD Pts/GP
1 FC Wichita 6 4 1 1 13 16 10 6 2.1667
2 Little Rock Rangers 7 3 0 4 13 11 8 3 1.8571
3 Tulsa Athletic 6 3 2 1 10 19 10 9 1.6667
4 Dallas City FC 6 3 2 1 10 12 8 4 1.6667
5 Demize NPSL 5 1 3 1 4 8 10 -2 0.8
6 Ozark FC 6 0 6 0 0 7 27 -20 0


Week 8 Game Schedule: (Home Team Listed First)

Wednesday, June 21

Houston Regals SCA vs. Dutch Lions FC

Saturday, June 24

Shreveport Rafters SC vs. Houston Regals SCA

Midland-Odessa FC vs. Dutch Lions FC

Tulsa Athletic vs. Dallas City FC

Tyler FC vs. Ft. Worth Vaqueros


NPSL logos courtesy of ChrisCreamer’sSportsLogos.Net

50 years ago-First two Texas Derby matches

Friday night MLS Soccer action will feature round two of the 2017 Texas Derby in Houston, when MLS sides Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas compete for the 2018 rights to hold El Capitán, a replica 18th century cannon.

50 years ago on June 3rd and June 10, 1967, the first professional iterations of the Texas Derby were played in Dallas and Houston between the United Soccer Association’s (USA) Houston Stars and Dallas Tornado.

The background on the short-lived league (tournament) start-up and the Houston Stars can be found in the first post in this series:

The Dallas Tornado:

1967 Dallas Tornado (Dundee United):  Photo from and

Because the United Soccer Association started up with little preparation, the league brought in complete foreign teams to represent the franchises established in 12 North American cities.  The Lamar Hunt owned Tornado were actually in reality Dundee United FC, one of three Scottish First Division clubs brought to America for the tournament that summer.

The Tornado had opened the USA tournament on the previous weekend with a 1-0 road victory against the Mustangs (Cagliari/Italy) in cold and rainy Chicago on May 28, 1967. The Chicago Tribune writer covering the match, James Fitzgerald, somewhat sardonically expressed his amusement about the game and the foreign nature of the league with this lede the next day (1):

A Dane scored the winning goal for a Scottish team representing Dallas which defeated an Italian team wearing Chicago’s colors last night in the United Professional Soccer league opener in front of 9,872 in Comiskey park.”

The Dane who scored the winning goal was 23-year old Finn Dossing off an assist from Tommy Millar from 5 yards out.  The Mustangs were lacking many of their best players, as they had not even arrived in the U.S. yet, and were outshot by the Tornado 28-2. Dallas goalkeeper Sandy Davie did not have to make a save that day.

Finn Dossing (scored 3 goals in 1967 tournament and 76 goals for Dundee United)
Photo from and

Dundee United had originally arrived in Dallas on May 23 to find a gathering of 200 media, fans and pipers from the Highland Park High School band. The team was initially quartered at a SMU fraternity, which was a source of much griping by the players, and practiced at a school field across the street. Dallas mayor Erik Jonsson issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 28-June 4 “Soccer Week in Dallas”. (2)

The first Texas Derby match:  June 3-Cotton Bowl, Dallas

A crowd of 16,431 showed up to see the opening Derby match between the Tornado and Houston Stars (Bangu/Brazil).  The mystery for spectators about this first Texas Derby was expressed in this game report from the Grand Prairie Daily News on June 6th.

Grand Prairie Daily News-June 6, 1967

According to accounts in the excellent book Summer of ’67 by Ian Thomson, the game struggled to gain any traction early as the players adjusted to the heat and the narrow Cotton Bowl field, which only allowed 60 yards of space vs. the 75 yards available today at FC Dallas’s Toyota Stadium in Frisco.  The game report by Charles Clines in the Denton Record-Chronicle reported that the Tornado controlled the game early, but midway thorough the half the Stars came to life and forced Tornado goalkeeper Sandy Davie to make three saves, including two back-to-back saves on shots by Stars high-scoring forward Paulo Borges. (3)

The halftime break was originally scheduled to last 45 minutes, but was shortened to 10 after player complaints.  According to game accounts, the Tornado controlled play in the second half and scored a goal that was disallowed by a dubious offside call.  The Stars missed two golden opportunities to pick up the full three points near the end when Cabralzinho missed a shot at an open goal and hit the crossbar on a follow up after a poor clearance.  The fans apparently got into the spirit of the game, chanting “Score, Dallas Score!” near the end of the scoreless match.  How about that for a modern supporters group chant!  It must have been an entertaining match as the Tornado outshot the Stars 24-18

One humorous event happened during game play in the second half according to Thomson in Summer of ’67.  The Tornado had planned to have a parachutist deliver the ball to center circle for the start of the second half. Apparently nobody told the pilot that game had restarted, so midway through second half, according to the Tornado’s Donald Mackay,  “All of the sudden a gentleman in a parachute landed in the center of the park with the ball to kick off the second half.” (4)

Imagine how often this mix-up would have aired on SportsCenter or shared via social media if it had happened today.

The match box score from the Denton Record-Chronicle game report:

Denton Record-Chronicle

The Rematch-June 10, 1967-The Astrodome, Houston 

The Houston Stars won their first game of the ASA tournament in the Texas Derby rematch before 20,375 in the Astrodome.  Goals were scored by Borges and Peixinho in the first half to secure the victory.  The game story from AP has the details below, but in Summer of ’67, author Ian Thomson focused most of his match description on the challenges Dundee United faced playing indoors and on artificial turf for the first time.

The Astrodome “soccer” field configuration presented complications for both teams, but especially the visitors.  The field surface, set up for baseball a few days later, was a combination of dirt and grass, complete with holes where the bases had been removed. Also in Summer of ’67, Tornado player Mogens Berg attributed part of the issues to not having the appropriate shoes, stating that the Tornado players had not been informed about what type of field was used in the Astrodome before the match:  “We didn’t have the right shoes for playing on that.”  Because it was there, of course, once the Tornados entered the field they had to organize a competition to see if anybody could hit the roof with a soccer ball, which they quickly determined was impossible.

To add insult to injury, Dallas had played a midweek game in Vancouver three days previously and then traveled by bus to Houston.  Before the players expressed their dissatisfaction, the Tornado management had planned to bus down the day of the game and return to the dorms at SMU immediately after the game ended.  The team ended up coming in a day early, but still rode the bus back to Dallas Saturday night, arriving at 4:15 a.m. the next morning. (5)

8:00 p.m. on Friday evening in Houston the inter-state fun continues.

I will publish a story on Texas Soccer Journal in July to discuss the final results of the Tornado and Stars in this tournament played 50 years ago this summer.  I also highly recommend Summer of ’67-Flower Power, Race Riots, Vietnam and the Greatest Soccer Final Played on American Soccer by Ian Thomson if you would like to learn more about the single season of the defunct United Soccer Association.



(2)  Summer of ’67-Ian Thomson-pages 71-75

(3)  Denton Record-Chronicle, June 4, 1967 –Tornado Fails to Sweep Across Houston Goal

(4)  Summer of ’67-page 76

(5)  Summer of ’67-pages 118-119

Texas Premier Development League (PDL) Week 7 Recap


The Mid-South Division of the USL PDL is approximately 50% of the way through the 14-game regular season, which ends on Sunday July 16.  OKC Energy U23 has played two more matches (9 total) than all division teams except Texas United who has played 8 to this point.  The PDL Playoffs will begin with play-in matches on July 18, while the PDL Championship will take place on Aug. 5.

Energy U23, who are undefeated and on 27 points (impressive +21 goal differential too), are virtually guaranteed to win the division, barring a hard to imagine meltdown.  It just completed a two game road trip in Texas where the team won both, outscoring Houston FC and Brazos Valley FC 10-2. The race for second place, and if the 2016 PDL playoff format is repeated this year, a place in the playoffs, is still within reach for all Texas clubs. Mississippi Brilla, who along with Energy U23 are the only returning clubs in the division from last year, are 6 points clear of the Texas teams, though it does have a daunting road trip to Oklahoma where Brilla play two straight against Energy U23 during this upcoming week.

In the competition for the best first year Texas PDL team, Brazos Valley Cavalry, on a points per game basis, has a small lead over Texas United, only because it has played one fewer match.  One factor in the Cavalry’s favor is that it plays OKC one less time than the other teams and has finished the season series with Energy U23.

Texas PDL news:

The USL PDL website published a profile of Houston FC head coach Bruce Talbot last week.  Talbot was quoted in the article talking about opportunities the club is presenting for soccer players in Houston:

“We have been in the Houston area for three years now and think there is a great opportunity to unite a segment of soccer in Houston not in competition but complementing the MLS franchise,” Talbot told “Soccer is all over the city. You cannot drive five minutes without seeing a pitch. We believe that with the network we have in Houston, we can help shape the culture to one that helps benefit the youth of our community and give youth players in Houston another example and goal to reach in playing for our club and move them on to the next level.”

Week 7 Game Results:

Thursday, June 15

Texas United-1   Brazos Valley Cavalry FC-2

First half goals, both on penalties, by Rimario Gordon and Emmanuel Usen (his third of the year) allowed the Cavalry to weather a furious late comeback by Texas United Thursday evening in Grand Prairie.  Gordon, who was named to the PDL Top Prospects list for the first time last week, scored his 4th goal of the season.  Flavio Guzman scored a late goal off a well taken free-kick for United in the 90th minute, but it was too little, too late and the Cavalry was able to hold on.

Texas United starting lineup from its Twitter feed:

Houston FC-1   OKC Energy U23-4

The bad news is that OKC Energy U23 scored three time in the second half to blow open the match against Houston FC, played at Strake Jesuit High School, Houston FC’s second home.  The good news is that the Bayou City club doesn’t have to play the undefeated (8-0-0) Energy U23 anymore this season.  Houston FC weathered the storm in the first half and went into the locker room only trailing 1-0.  Unfortunately, the quality of the Oklahoma side showed in the second half and Julio Moncada (who now has 5 goals on the season) scored twice for the Energy youth side in the space of 8 minutes to seal the victory.  Christian Okeke chipped in with 3 assists in 74 minutes for OKC.  Daltyn Knutson was able to pull one back for Houston when he headed in a Ismaiel Alkayali corner kick in the 83rd minute.  The Energy U23 domination was also demonstrated by the 22-8 shots on goal advantage during the evening.

Saturday, June 17

Texas United-3   Houston FC-0

Texas United defeated Houston FC 3-0 in Grand Prairie last night.  Houston FC, who had played a difficult match against OKC Energy Thursday night and then had to make the long journey from South to North Texas on short rest, were outshot 14-7 and unable to muster much offense.  Jackson Crawford opened the Texas United scoring with his first of the season in the 14th minute which forced Houston to chase the match in the June Texas heat. United’s Alan Rivera scored in the 62nd minute and Patricio Botello completed the scoring in the 78th with his second of the year.    United goalkeeper Charles Schober kept the shutout with 4 saves.

Texas United goal scorers and Emmanuel Kiwele in front who was welcomed back to AirHog Stadium           (Texas United Twitter)

Mississippi Brilla-5  FC Cleburne-0

FC Cleburne made the long trip to Mississippi and it turned out to be a tough payback for Cleburne’s home win over Brilla last weekend.  Brilla didn’t wait long to send a message, taking advantage of a defensive mistake when Badreddine Boulajoul was left unmarked in front of the goal and finished a nice cross.  After a methodical build-up Boulajoul scored his second of the night and the season in the 35th minute, when he was again given too much space at the back post.  Three second half goals finished up a rough night for FC Cleburne and, I suspect, made for a long trip back to Texas.  There will be no rest as Cleburne plays again on Monday and Wednesday nights.

Brazos Valley Cavalry FC-1   OKC Energy U23-6

Unfortunately, the Cavalry were also on the back end of a battering, losing 6-1 to an undefeated and very talented OKC Energy side 6-1 last night in Bryan.  Noah Keats scored twice and four different Energy players scored the others, 3 in each half.  Energy U23 had 19 shots on goal and Cavalry goalkeeper James Fetterly needed to make a staggering 14 saves, including a penalty kick stop, showing that the scoreline could have been a lot worse.  Forward Elochukwu Ozumba scored his first goal of the season and the only goal of the night for Brazos Valley off an assist by Rimario Gordon.  The Cavalry played the last 20 minutes a man down after defender Stuart Close picked up his second yellow and was ejected from the match.  In the game story on Brazos Valley Sports by David Campbell (@ScoopSports), Cavalry star Rimario Gordon was quoted discussing the team performance and the teams 11 shots:

“That just means we have to finish our chances. We did good. They’re a very good team, obviously first for a reason. We have to go back to the drawing board, regroup and come again.”

Cavalry Starting Lineup (Brazos Valley Cavalry Twitter)


Southern Conference

Team GP W L T PTS GF GA +/-
OKC Energy U23 9 9 0 0 27 28 7 21
Mississippi Brilla FC 7 5 2 0 15 13 6 7
Brazos Valley Cavalry F.C. 7 3 4 0 9 11 17 -6
Texas United 8 3 5 0 9 14 13 1
FC Cleburne 7 2 5 0 6 9 19 -10
Houston FC 7 1 6 0 3 7 18 -11

Week 8 Game Schedule: (Home Team Listed First)

Monday, June 19

FC Cleburne vs. Houston FC

Wednesday, June 21

FC Cleburne vs. Texas United

Thursday, June 22

Brazos Valley Cavalry vs. Houston FC

Saturday, June 24

Brazos Valley Cavalry vs. Texas United


NPSL logos courtesy of ChrisCreamer’sSportsLogos.Net

Weekly Soccer Notes-June 17, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week.

United Soccer League (USL):

Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC)

Local UTRGV graduate makes professional debut in the Valley. (

Future El Paso USL team:

In a profile in El Paso Inc. on businessman and energy mogul Paul Foster, there was discussion about the future of soccer in that border city.  El Paso has a rich history of soccer in recent years. In a variety of configurations and names, most famously the El Paso Patriots, professional soccer existed in El Paso from 1989 to 2013.  A return would certainly be welcome by those supporters.

Foster and the other members of MountainStar Sports Group, which is involved in minor league baseball and has investors who are also involved in the second division Mexican team in Ciudad Juarez, are working to bring a USL team and a new soccer-specific stadium to El Paso.

In the article Foster stated: “I can almost guarantee that we’ll have soccer in El Paso within a couple of years.”  (

Here is a link to the article:

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

  • After a week off, the Houston Dash will host the Orlando Pride at BBVA Compass Stadium tonight.  This match will mark the return of the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd, to the Dash after a loan to Manchester City ended.  The last place Dash travel to Orlando next weekend for the return leg in a back-to-back. (
  • The El Paso Times published a profile story documenting the steady path up the coaching ladder that has led El Paso native Omar Morales to be named interim head coach of the Dash.  Below is a link to the story:

United States Youth National Teams:

  • U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team has announced a 20-player roster for the team’s second international tournament of 2017, that started on June 6 and ends on Monday. After three days preparation, the team flew to Japan for the 2017 U-16 International Dream Cup.  Four Texas players are on the roster (all part of the FC Dallas Academy):  Goalkeeper:  Michael Collodi from Frisco, midfielders Adrian Munoz from Richardson and Thomas Roberts from Frisco and forward Bryan Reynolds from Little Elm.  (
  • Last week the Under-18 Men’s National Team named a 20-player roster for the team’s second international tournament of 2017, currently taking place in Portugal. Three Texas midfielders were named to the roster and, surprisingly, two are not from the FC Dallas Academy!:  Christian Cappis (Texans SC Houston; West Chicago, Ill.), Koby Carr (Texas Rush; San Antonio, Texas) and Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.) (

MLS Week 16 and USL Week 13 Preview

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas (FCD)

BC Place-Vancouver, B.C., Canada-9:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

Vancouver Whitecaps:  6-6-1-19 points (Tied for fifth place in the Western Conference)

FC Dallas:  6-3-5-23 points (Tied for third place in the Western Conference) 

An extra time own goal allowed FCD to beat Tulsa 2-1 and advance to the 5th round of the U.S. Open Cup, where they will host Colorado Rapids on June 28.

A Key Question:

Can FCD return to the dominating early season performance after experiencing a slump where it has only won once in the last six league matches?

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo

Stub Hub Center, Los Angeles, CA-10:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

LA Galaxy:  5-5-3-18 points (Eighth place in the Western Conference)  

Houston Dynamo:  7-6-2-23 points (Tied for third place in the Western Conference) 

Memo Rodriquez scored in the 109th minute to lead the Dynamo to a 3-2 U.S. Open Cup win in added extra time against North Carolina FC in Cary, NC.  The Dynamo played exclusively with a squad consisting of reserves and short-term contract players from Rio Grande Valley.  Houston will now host Sporting KC at BBVA Compass Stadium in the next round June 28.

A Key Question:

Can the Dynamo build on its first road victory and also secure its first MLS road win, against an in-form but short-handed Galaxy, in the same week?

United Soccer League (USL):

San Antonio FC (SAFC) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks

Toyota Field-San Antonio-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

San Antonio FC:  9-0-4-31 points (Second place in the Western Conference)

Tulsa Roughnecks:  5-6-0-15 points (Eighth place in the Western Conference)

A Key Question:

Is Cyprian Hedrick ready to step back in for the full 90 to replace suspended Steven McCarthy at center back?

Los Angeles Galaxy II (Los Dos) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (RGV FC)

H-E-B Park, Edinburg-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

Rio Grande Valley FC:  5-4-2-17 points (Tied for fifth place in the Western Conference) 

LA Galaxy II:  2-8-2-8 points (Fourteenth place in the Western Conference)

A Key Question:

How many Toros players returning from their stint with the Dynamo in NC will be in the lineup tomorrow?

Around the World of Soccer

Best (or in this case worst) Quote of the Week:

“I kept piercing the Estudiantes strikers with a needle.  We know that top division players don’t like contact, they don’t like if we waste time or if we play dirty. So that was the way to do it. Football is like that. Football is for the clever.”

Federico Allende, a defender for Argentina’s lower division Sport Pacifico, quoted in an interview with a Columbian radio station about using a needle against strikers from a top-division club in a first round Copa Argentina match.  It apparently worked since Club Pacifico won 3-2. (BBC)

Best article discovered from outside of The Republic this week:

United States men’s U-20 coach Tab Ramos discussing the future of American soccer after the team advanced to the knock-out rounds of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea earlier this month. (Paul Gardner/Soccer America)