Rudy Calderon of MLSsoccer.com 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
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
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
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:
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.
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. (mlssoccer.com)
- 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. (mlssoccer.com)
- Urruti has also been extremely efficient in creating goals from the chances provided. In an article on mlssoccer.com, 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. (mlssoccer.com)
- 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. (houstondynamo.com)
- 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. (fcdallas.com)
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. (ussoccer.com)
- 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) (ussoccer.com)
- 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. (socceramerica.com and ussoccer.com)
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. (houstondynamo.com)
- 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.(houstontexans.com)
- 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.
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.
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)
Last week CONCACAF rolled out the group-stage schedule for the 2017 Gold Cup, which will be played throughout the United States from July 7-26. There will be 3 group stage nights played in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer.
July 11: Houston-Group A second group-stage match:
Costa Rica vs. Canada and Honduras vs. French Guiana
July 14: Frisco-Group A third group-stage match:
Canada vs. Honduras and Costa Rica vs. French Guiana
July 16: San Antonio-Group C third group-stage match:
Jamaica vs. El Salvador and Curacao vs. Mexico
Additionally, the first semifinal will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. If the stars align and the brackets hold to form, this game will include the United States National Team.