MLS Week 12, USL Week 9 Recap

Philadelphia Union-2   Houston Dynamo-0

PHI:  Picault-17 (Pontius), Ilsinho-38 (Pontius, Sapong)   HOU: NONE

Atlanta United-4   Houston Dynamo-1

ATL:  Almiron-30 (Asad), 42 (Asad), 80 (Penalty), Gressel-76 (Villalba)   HOU: Torres-90 (Penalty)

The Dynamo are just plain lousy away from BBVA Compass Stadium.  The team has played 5 games so far this year and lost them all. The Dynamo has scored 3 goals on the road this year in the 5 matches, two of them from the penalty spot.  It doesn’t seem to matter what formation or players Houston puts on the field, the team is completely over-matched, out-played and seemingly less prepared than the opponents, despite what the statistics say. The Philadelphia game was bad enough, but Saturday night in Atlanta plumbed the depths of despair. Admittedly, Atlanta United is not your average expansion team, but it is a grand total of 11 games into its existence. Prior to the Dynamo game, Atlanta had lost 2 out of the 3 games it had ever played at home, including a 3-1 loss to an injury-ravaged Real Salt Lake team.  There is no excuse for the Dynamo getting obliterated like it did the other night.  The team lacks leaders and Wilmer Cabrera seems to be doing an awful job of preparing the club to play on the road.  President Chris Canetti, perhaps giddy over the teams strong home performance, weighed in on how the Dynamo were “ahead of schedule” a few weeks ago.  I am not sure what kind of schedule he is referring too, but if this is so, it is a pretty pathetic state of affairs for a team with the winning legacy of the Dynamo. Now the Dynamo travel to Dallas this Sunday and play an FCD side that will be smarting from their first loss of the season.  This doesn’t look like it will be a pleasant trip for Houston, but then what trip ever is.

FC Dallas-0   San Jose Earthquakes-1

FCD:  NONE   SJ:  Hyka-81 (Urena)

Two Observations:

  • There is a reason teams do not go through the season undefeated.  Sometimes things don’t go your way.  San Jose came in to defend and they did that well. According to Carter Baum on, the Earthquakes set an MLS single-game mark for 2017 with 34 interceptions in the match, and added 30 clearances, five blocks and a 75 percent tackle success rate in the win.  Add the goal Jahmir Hyka scored, which has a good chance to be MLS Goal of the Week, and things didn’t go FC Dallas’s way despite their best efforts.  After scoring the extra-time equalizer a few weeks ago to tie FCD, Hyka said after last night’s winner “I hope to play more against FC Dallas”.  Guess so.
  • Oscar Pareja doesn’t seem to be too worried about recovering from the first loss of the season.  The team gets back in action this Thursday in Chicago.

“This group of players that I have, in moments like today, they just make me admire them more.  I see that they are looking for any way possible to get the result and I have such a great respect for that behavior.”

San Antonio FC (SAFC)-1   Phoenix Rising-0

SA:  Akwafei Ajeakwa-12 (Kris Tyrpak)   PHO: NONE

SAFC just keeps finding ways to win.  Saturday’s game was not the prettiest. The team definitely seems to have a target on their back as the opposition looks to be the first to break the undefeated streak.  SAFC needs to keep winning to stay in first place as the second place side, Real Monarchs, are on fire and now are just two points behind in the standings after winning their fifth straight match Saturday.

Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC)-1   LA Galaxy II-1

RGV:  Kyle Murphy-36 (Emilio Garcia)   LA:  Justin Dhillon-72 (Ethan Zubak)

This was the final game of a long homestand for RGV FC.  The Toros had two excellent late opportunities to win the match.  Ruben Luna sent a shot just wide in the 84th minute and Eric Bird couldn’t get the ball on his foot right in front of a basically open net shortly after. Despite statistical domination, Galaxy II were able to exploit a defensive breakdown to score the tying goal on their only on-target shot of the night.

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