Category: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

Weekly Soccer Notes-June, 3 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

An article by Anne M. Peterson from AP Sports reported on the recovery of FC Dallas’s Ryan Hollingshead, who was severely injured early this year when acting as a Good Samaritan on a Metroplex roadside. (AP Sports)

Sticking with national coverage of FC Dallas players, USA Today published a profile this week on goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and the difficult decision he has made to represent Mexico in any future national team career.  Despite rumors that FC Dallas continues to look at players in Mexico to fortify the goalkeeper position, Gonzalez was signed to a new deal this week that will keep him in Dallas until at least 2020. (Multiple sources)

United States Men’s National Team (USMNT):

  • World Cup qualifying resumes next Thursday night when the U.S. plays Trinidad and Tobago in Colorado.  Ahead of this qualifier, the USMNT will play a friendly against Venezuela in Sandy, Utah tonight. (
  • The 26 man roster (Timothy Chandler withdrew from the original 27 named) includes 5 players with Texas ties:  FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges and midfielder Kellyn Acosta, Houston Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley, Nacogdoches-native and Seattle forward Clint Dempsey and Dallas-native and Pachuca defender Omar Gonzalez. (
  • The next goal Dempsey scores will be his 57th and will tie Landon Donovan for the U.S. goal scoring record.  Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) from SB Nation’s Sounder at Heart Blog put together a list of all of Dempsey’s U.S. goals from his first against England in 2005 to his 56th which was scored in the draw with Panama on March 28th.  He will certainly break this record (maybe tomorrow night, Thursday or in Mexico City Sunday) and hopefully play a key role in a deep U.S. FIFA World Cup run in Russia next year.  I have been fortunate enough to be in the stadium to see him score 4 of the 56:
    • #6 against Ghana at the 2006 World Cup in Germany
    • #10, 11 against Barbados in a 2008 World Cup qualifier in LA.
    • #22 a game-winner against Panama in a 2011 Gold Cup semifinal in Houston  (

  • Former Houston Dynamo star, Geoff Cameron, is also on this USMNT roster named by head coach Bruce Arena.  Good news for his future career came this week as Cameron and Stoke City announced a contract extension that will keep him in England through 2020. (

United States Youth National Teams: 

  • U.S. Soccer released additional details and renderings this week of the National Training and Development Center currently under development in Kansas City.
  • The state-of-the-art facility will include five full-size fields, an 80,000-square-foot building and the nearby Wyandotte Youth Soccer Complex.  This facility will also serve as the first ever permanent home for the U.S. Soccer Coaching Department (which includes referee development).  Here is a link to the article on

  • Three young forwards from North Texas were named to 24 player roster for the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team camp in Chula Vista, CA that started yesterday:  Enzi Broussard (IMG Academy; Carrollton, Texas), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks SC; Dallas, Texas) and Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas; Prosper, Texas)
  • U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team head coach Clint Peay named a 20-player roster for the team’s second training camp of the year, that started earlier this week in Zagreb, Croatia.  During the camp, the U-14’s will play friendlies against Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, Bosnia, and will twice face Croatia.  Two Texas players were named to this roster, and as is becoming common, both represent FC Dallas: midfielder Reece Frage from Plano and forward Dante Sealy from Frisco. (

Central American Soccer News:

According to a report from United Press International, four people tragically died and several others were injured in a stampede before a soccer game in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Apparently fans tried to force their way into a section of the sold-out stadium last Sunday for a Honduran league championship between Motagua and Honduras Progreso.  Details are in the wire service story below: (

MLS Preview-Week 14

Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake (RSL)

BBVA Compass Stadium – Houston-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Record and Standings:

Houston Dynamo:  6-5-2-20 points (Tied for second place in Western Conference)  Home:  6-0-1

Real Salt Lake:  4-8-2-14 points (Tied for tenth place in Western Conference)  Road:  1-5-1

  • The Dynamo put their undefeated home record on the line tonight in a mid-week match against Real Salt Lake, who will be playing the first of two games in Texas this week. DaMarcus Beasley, who has been called into the U.S. National team camp ahead of the friendly against Venezuela and two upcoming World Cup qualifiers, will miss this game. RSL has their own issues as U.S. National Team goalkeeper Nick Rimando and four of their young players, who are in South Korea for the U-20 World Cup, will also be missing tonight.
  • Real Salt Lake has only won two of the twelve games they have played in Houston in their short history.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo

Century Link Field-Seattle, WA-9:00 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 4, 2017

The short-handed Dynamo travel to Seattle Sunday night to play the Sounders.  This game is a poster child for why MLS needs to figure out how to not play during international breaks.  In addition to Beasley, the Dynamo will be missing four key players who have been called into camps by their Central American countries.  It will be no picnic for Seattle either, as due to call ups and an injury to former Dynamo Will Bruin, basically have no experienced forwards on their roster.  Unfortunately for the Dynamo, South American qualification doesn’t resume until late summer, so Nicholas Lodiero will be present in Seattle this weekend.  Given the Dynamo’s poor road form in general and terrible form in the Pacific Northwest specifically, this match will be a challenge regardless of who lines up on top for the Sounders.

FC Dallas (FCD) vs. Real Salt Lake

Toyota Stadium – Frisco-7:00 p.m., Saturday, June 3, 2017

FCD learned this week that they will need to play without key central defender Walker Zimmerman for the next 4-6 weeks due to an MCL Strain suffered in the draw with the Dynamo Sunday night.  Center back is the one position on the team without significant depth and Zimmerman will be missed, especially since the other central defender, Matt Hedges, has been called into the U.S. Camp also.  Head coach Oscar Pareja will be faced with some interesting decisions on Saturday night.

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday April 27, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Austin-native Khiry Shelton, who currently plays for New York City FC, has been ruled out of action for 4-6 weeks.  Shelton suffered a hamstring injury near the end of a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union last Friday.

United States Youth National Teams:

  • Two North Texas youth players have been selected to the roster for the CONCACAF Mens U-17 Championship that started yesterday in Panama. Brian Reynolds Jr., a FC Dallas Homegrown signing, and Blaine Ferri from the Solar Chelsea Club are part of the 20-man selection for this tournament. This confederation championship doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be played Oct. 6-28 in India. The United States opens group round play tomorrow against Jamaica.
  • Three players from the FC Dallas program will be part of the U.S. U-18 men’s national team that will travel to play in the 2017 Slovakia Cup.  Paxton Pomykal from the first team and two Academy members, midfielder Brandon Servania and forward Shaft Brewer, have been selected. Additionally, midfielder Koby Carr from Houston-area club Texas Rush will be part of this squad. Last year the U.S. sent a group of U-19’s and won the tournament.
  • Starting today, the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team will hold a week-long training camp in College Station.  36 players, 3 of them from Texas, were invited to participate in this camp.  In two years the plan is for this group of players to become the core of the team seeking to qualify for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Azul Alvarez from Austin-area Lone Star SC and Olivia Pena and Trinity Byars, both from North Dallas Suburban Solar Chelsea, are the Texans selected to participate.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

After their season opening 2-0 victory over Chicago, the Houston Dash head to Seattle to play at 9:00 p.m CDT Saturday night. Rachel Daly’s superb strike in the Chicago match was named the NWSL Goal of the Week.  Two key Dash starters, United States international Morgan Brian and Brazilian Andressa, will miss tonight’s match.

CONCACAF Champions League:

  • FC Dallas’s disappointing semifinal round exit from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League a few weeks ago left two Mexican teams, Tigres UANL and Pachuca, to battle in the finals.  On Tuesday night, Pachuca managed to score a crucial away goal and tied Tigres 1-1 in the first-leg of the finals in Monterrey.  The second-leg will be played in Pachuca next Wednesday, April 26.
  • Panamanian defensive midfielder Amilcar Henriquez was shot and killed in Colon, Panama last Saturday.  Henriquez was a part of the Arabe Unido team that recently lost to FC Dallas in the qualifiers of the CONCACAF Champions League.  He also a key international who made 87 appearances for his country, including three CONCACAF Gold Cups played in the United States. Henriquez most recently played in the 1-1 World Cup Qualifying draw with the United States late last month in Panama City.  Panamanian authorities say they’ve arrested seven people and so far no motives have been advanced for this senseless killing.

National Professional Soccer League (NPSL):

Houston Dutch Lions:

Dutch Lions will play their second preseason game tonight against San Jacinto College at the Dutch Lions facility in Conroe tonight.  In other news, the team announced that 2016 top scorer Carlos Acevedo will return to the team for the upcoming season.  Acevedo was an Honorable Mention selection on the All-NPSL 2016 team.

Ft. Worth Vaqueros:

Fort Worth Vaqueros will play Sporting Fort Worth in a preseason game tonight.

Houston Regals FCA:

The Regals announced three player signings this week.  Two Brazilians from LSU Alexandria University, Pedro Diaz and Ricardo Caliman and a Spanish goalkeeper, Gonzalo Santa “Lalo”.

Premier Development League (PDL):

2017 PDL Mid-South Preview from Aaron Cranford (

Brazos Valley Cavalry:

Three new players were added to the Brazos Valley Cavalry FC roster earlier this week. Huntley Munn, Emmanuel Usen Jr. and Matt Dorsey will join the team for the inaugural season which begins next month.  Dorsey, a Houston Dynamo Academy graduate from Spring, is currently a redshirt sophomore at the University of New Mexico.  Usen Jr., also an Academy alumnus from Katy, attends California State University Northridge. Munn is a defender who plays his college soccer at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Texas players who have appeared for their National Teams

Rudy Calderon of put in a full days work this week.  He researched and wrote an article ranking all 210 current MLS players who have played for their National soccer teams by country.  Here are all of the Texas-born (based on 2017 MLS data) and Texas based players who have received “Caps” ranked based on the number of appearances for their respective national teams.

TEAM/PLAYER                   COUNTRY                            APPEARANCES/STATUS

FC Dallas:                           

Maynor Figueroa              Honduras                            113

Atiba Harris                       St. Kitts/Nevis                      60           (Inactive)

Carlos Gruezo                    Ecuador                                17

Tesho Akindele                 Canada                                  13

Roland Lamah                   Belgium                                5              (Inactive)

Kellyn Acosta                     United States                       4

Carlos Cermeno                Venezuela                             1

Matt Hedges                      United States                        1

Walker Zimmerman        United States                        1

Houston Dynamo:

DaMarcus Beasley           United States                     124

Oscar Boniek Garcia       Honduras                           114

Adolfo Machado               Panama                               65

Ricardo Clark                    United States                      34            (Inactive)

Vicente Sanchez               Uruguay                               31            (Inactive)

Romell Quioto                   Honduras                            27

Alberth Elis                        Honduras                            15

AJ DeLaGarza                     Guam                                  10

Erick Torres                       Mexico                                  4

Eric Alexander                   United States                      2

AJ DeLaGarza                     United States                      2

Note:    AJ DeLaGarza could play for 2 countries because his appearances for the United States did not occur in FIFA-sanctioned (e.g., World Cup Qualifier) international matches.

Other native-Texan MLS players:

Clint Dempsey                  United States                     130

Arturo Alvarez                   El Salvador                         43

Brek Shea                           United States                    34

Greg Garza                         United States                    10

Lee Nguyen                        United States                     9

Drew Moor                         United States                     4



CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers-Match Day 4

Qualification for FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia continues this evening.  Last Friday night on Matchday 3, the United States, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago all won at home.  Mexico now leads the Hexagonal qualifying round with seven points, with only 4 points separating first from last.  Tonight games are (1) Mexico at Trinidad and Tobago (2) Costa Rica at Honduras and (3) United States at Panama.

Texas and Texas-based players involvement in Friday-Matchday 3:

United States:

Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca-LigaMX)  90 minutes

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders-MLS) 90 minutes-3 goals


Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo-MLS)  90 minutes

Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas-MLS)  90 minutes

Rommel Quito (Houston Dynamo)  43 minutes-left game with a shoulder injury


Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo)  75 minutes


Rommel Quioto’s availability for the Honduras-Costa Rica match, and also this Saturday night’s Houston Dynamo game against New York Red Bulls, is in question.   Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article by Corey Roepken as saying that he didn’t believe that Quioto was going to be available this week.

Texas Soccer Notes-Saturday, March 25, 2017

Other Texas Soccer news of interest this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

  • FC Dallas (FCD) Maxi Urruti was named the Alcatal MLS Player of the Week off his two goal second half explosion in the 2-1 victory over New England Revolution last Saturday.  As was noted in the announcement, FCD is 9-0-2 when Urruti scores a goal.  This is the second Player of the Week award in the first three weeks of the season for the Texas MLS teams.  Dynamo Erick Torres was the opening week awardee.
  • On a less positive note, MLS also announced that the Disciplinary Committee has fined and suspended FC Dallas left-back Maynor Figueroa for one game for serious foul play last Saturday.  Figueroa was given a yellow card for a tackle on Revolution forward Kei Kamara in the 54th minute in the incident that has resulted in the retroactive suspension.  Figueroa will miss FCD’s next MLS match on April 8 against Minnesota United. (
  • Maxi Urruti was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week (won by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez) for his second goal last weekend.  Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric was nominated for MLS Save of the Week (won by Vancouver’s Spencer Richey in his MLS Debut) for his 79th minute stop of Fanendo Adi in Portland on Saturday. (
  • Urruti has also been extremely efficient in creating goals from the chances provided. In an article on, Benjamin Baer using data from Opta, points out that Maxi is Expected goals (xG) is a sophisticated statistical measure that takes into account a wide variety of variables, using a large historical data base, to calculate chance quality and how likely a goal is to be scored.  So far this season, Urruti has made the most of any player in the league with his chances.  According to the metric, the eight shots he has taken have an xG of .58 meaning that he would not have been expected to score even one goal so far, given the shots he has taken.  Instead he has three and significantly overachieving. (
  • Recently signed Dynamo defender George Malki, who played in 25 matches for then Rio Grande Valley FC coach Wilmer Cabrera in 2016, sadly suffered a season ending left knee ACL injury.  The injury was incurred during a practice on March 15. (
  • On a positive note, FCD’s midfielder Victor Ulloa and defender Ryan Hollingshead are back in training and played in the friendly match against San Antonio FC last Sunday. Neither player has played this year yet.  Ulloa suffered a Sports Hernia and Hollingshead was hurt in a freak auto accident while assisting another motorist as a Good Samaritan.  (

United States National Teams:

  • Late last night in San Jose, CA., Nacogdoches-native Clint Dempsey scored three goals in a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Honduras in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier. This game was virtually a must win for the United States Men’s National Team as they had lost their first (of only ten) qualifiers in this round.  It is probably not a coincidence that Dempsey, who has served as Captain for the National Team, missed both of those losses due to a scary heart condition that forced him to shut down his season last summer.  This was the teams biggest ever margin of victory against Honduras and also in a Final Round Qualifier. (
  • After eighteen years of operation, US Soccer announced late last week that they are closing the Men’s U-17 National Team Residency Program at the end of the current semester.  3 of the 32 players currently in Bradenton, FL for the Spring semester residency are from Texas:  Midfielder Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Midfielder Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas)  and Forward Bryan Reynolds Jr. (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas)  (
  • The United States Women’s National Team will be playing two Friendlies against Russia on April 6th at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Stadium in Frisco and April 9 at 1:00 p.m. at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
  • Over the last few weeks, the U.S. U-16 Girls National Team and U-19 and U-23 Women’s National Teams have called in a total of 86 players for training camps ahead of upcoming tournaments and FIFA competitions.  A grand total of 1 of these is from Texas (midfielder Taryn Torres from the FC Dallas Academy).  How is this possible?  I would love to have somebody in our North and South Texas Youth Soccer Associations take a shot at explaining this. ( and

United Soccer League (USL):

San Antonio FC announced a TV deal with Fox Sports Southwest for the 2017 season. Six games will be shown: Four Home and Two Away (at Colorado Springs and Sacramento). Houston Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis, former U.S. International player and long-term broadcaster Christopher Sullivan and local announcer Dan Weiss will call the matches. These TV games will also be live-streamed on Fox Sports GO.  The remaining SAFC games, except any possible future nationally televised games, will be streamed on the SAFC website. (San Antonio Business Journal)

International Soccer in Texas:

  • El Salvador will play a top Honduras club team, CD Olimpia, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston this Sunday at 4 p.m. (
  • Mexico will play Ghana, in a warm-up game for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, at Houston’s NRG Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28th.  This will be the 16th time that Mexico has played in this stadium.(
  • An effort to bring a derby match between English Premier sides Manchester United and Manchester City to Austin in July fell through due to scheduling conflicts.  The game was to be part of the International Champions Cup, a tournament which is played each summer in the U.S. by major European club soccer teams as part of their preseason preparation.  This story was reported on March 22 by Kevin Lyttle in the Austin America-Statesman.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers-Matchday 3

Matchday 3 of the final CONCACAF region qualification round for the 2018  FIFA World Cup takes place this Friday, March 24.  Each team will play home and away against the other five countries between November 2016 and October 2017.  The top three teams with the most points (3 per win/1 per draw) automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup.  The fourth place team will play a home and away series in November against the fifth place team in the Asian Confederation to determine one of the final two qualifying slots for the tournament.

Current Standings:

Points                  +/- goal differential

Costa Rica                         6                                     +6

Mexico                               4                                     +1

Panama                             4                                     +1

Honduras                          3                                     -1

Trinidad & Tobago           0                                     -4

United States                    0                                     -5

Matchday 3 Schedule:

6:00 p.m. CDT  Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama (Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad)

7:30 p.m. CDT   Mexico vs. Costa Rica (Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico)

9:30 p.m. CDT   United States vs. Honduras  (Avaya Stadium San Jose, CA.)

FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo players on team rosters:

United States:  Kellyn Acosta (FCD), Walker Zimmerman (FCD), DaMarcus Beasley (HOU)

Honduras:  Maynor Figueroa (FCD), Alberth Elis (HOU), Boniek Garcia (HOU), Rommel Quioto (HOU)

Panama:  Adolfo Machado (HOU)