Texas Soccer news of interest this week.
Major League Soccer:
- The Dynamo have freed up a Designated Player (DP) slot by using Targeted Acquisition Money (TAM) to buy down the contract of young Columbian striker Mauro Manotas. At the same time, they acquired his full-acquisition rights (important if he is ever transferred to a club outside of the U.S. and Canada.) from his former Columbian club. MLS allows their teams to sign 3 high-impact DP’s at any salary the individual club is willing to pay, with only $480,625 of the amount counting against the salary cap. The Dynamo currently have two designated players on their roster…forwards Alberth Elis (Young DP) and Erick Torres. Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera has commented in the past how important it is for an MLS team to have a play-making “Number 10” attacking midfielder. The club was unable to find such a player in the offset, or one that came at an affordable price in any event. Opening up this DP slot provides flexibility to consider such a signing later this year. To that point, Dynamo GM Matt Jordan, in an interview with Sam Stejskal on mls.com this week, said that the club is considering signing a third DP during the summer transfer window. (Houston Dynamo Communications/Sam Stejskal…mlssoccer.com)
- Dynamo forward Erick “Cubo” Torres and FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges were named to the Week 2 MLS Team of the Week. Torres superb goal on Saturday night was also nominated as a Goal of the Week candidate. The Dynamo’s Alex Lima and Alberth Elis were named to the “bench” as further reward for the comprehensive 3-1 victory over Columbus last Saturday night. On a negative note for Alex, The MLS Disciplinary Committee fined him an undisclosed amount after finding him guilty of simulation/embellishment during the 37th minute of the Columbus match. (mlssoccer.com)
CONCACAF Champions League (CCL):
- Chris Seitz of FCD was named CCL Goalkeeper of the Week and also claimed the Best Save of the Week. Not surprisingly, Kellyn Acosta’s spectacular free kick on Wednesday night was named Goal of the Week. Seitz’s excellent save is in the video below provided by concacaf.com
United States National Teams:
- Two FC Dallas and one Dynamo player were called into the United States Men’s National Team roster ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama. Walker Zimmerman and Kellyn Acosta, the two FCD selections, have only played in one World Cup Qualifier (WCG) between them. Acosta made his first appearance (and start) in a 6-0 victory at St. Vincent and the Grenadines last September . On the other hand, DaMarcus Beasley of the Dynamo, who keeps trying to retire from international play, has been called-in again to help address the seemingly endless left back issues the U.S. side faces. If he plays in either of these two qualifiers, it would be his 34th such match since he first appeared in 2001. Other Texans selected to the roster were Nacogdoches and Seattle Sounder Clint Dempsey, a surprising addition given recent health issues, and Dallas native Omar Gonzalez, who started for Pachuca in Wednesday nights CONCACAF Champions League loss against FCD in Frisco. Former Dynamo star, Geoff Cameron, who now plays at Stoke City in England was also called in to the camp. (ussoccer.com)
- Texans participating in the U.S. U-16 Boys camp March 5-13 in Florida included goalkeeper Michael Collodi, defender Nathan Toledo and midfielder Thomas Roberts from the FC Dallas Academy and midfielder Marcelo Palomino from the Dynamo Academy. This group is preparing for an April tournament in France. (socceramerica.com)
United Soccer League (USL):
- Rio Grande Valley FC (RGVFC) defeated F.C. Reynosa of the Mexican Third Division 1-0 in a closed-door exhibition game 1-0 in Edinburg on Wednesday night. Jose “Memo” Rodriquez scored the only goal on an 83rd minute header off of a penalty that had hit the crossbar. RGVFC play their final preseason game next Wednesday when LigaMX’s Monterrey F.C. visit to open the new H-E-B Park in Edinburg. H-E-B Park-Edinburg, TX (Photo courtesy of RGVFC)
- San Antonio F.C. played Tulsa Roughnecks to a 1-1 draw in an exhibition game at Toyota Field last Saturday. Billy Forbes scored the only SAFC goal in the 24th minute and Rafa Castillo was shown Red in the 50th minute. SAFC will play their final preseason game this Sunday in Frisco against the FC Dallas Reserves. They then travel to play RGVFC in Edinburg a week from Sunday (March 26th at 6 p.m.) for the USL regular season opener for both teams.
Premier Development League (PDL):
- The Bryan City Council recently approved $1.6 million in funding for Nutrabolt Stadium, which will be the home of the new Bryan/College Station area PDL soccer team, recently named the Brazos Valley Cavalry. The money will be to install artificial turf, improve lighting and reconstruct the grandstands. Nutrabolt Stadium is a multi-use facility that also is the home of a minor league baseball team. The image below shows the overlay of the soccer field on the current baseball stadium field. The Cavalry, an affiliate of the Houston Dynamo, will begin their 2017 PDL regular season on May 25 at Mississippi Brilla. The PDL is a nationwide amateur soccer league that predominantly serves as a place for college players to play at a higher level, while retaining their NCAA eligibility. (Bill Miller/wtaw.com posted March 3rd.)
Image provided by the City of Bryan and wtaw.com