Category: Houston Dash

Texas Professional Soccer Weekly Preview

 

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PREVIEWS FOR MLS WEEK 22 and USL WEEK 20:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Real Salt Lake (RSL) (7-12-4-25 points-8th place) vs. (Houston Dynamo (9-7-6-33 points-3rd place)-Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT-9:00 p.m. CDT-Saturday, August 5, 2017.

  • Dynamo beat RSL 5-1 earlier in the season, but face a much different side with key players returning from international duty and injuries who weren’t available at the loss in Houston.
  • Houston is 2-6-4 playing RSL in Utah, but have won three straight against them overall.

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/08/03/real-salt-lake-vs-houston-dynamo-2017-mls-match-preview

Philadelphia Union (7-10-5-26 points-9th place East) vs. FC Dallas (9-4-7-34 points-2nd place West)-Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA-6:00 p.m. CDT-Saturday, August 5, 2017

  • FC Dallas will be shorthanded again this week.  Atiba Harris (yellow card accumulation), Carlos Gruezo (red card suspension) will miss the match.
  • Philadelphia has never beaten FC Dallas (0-5-4) in regular season MLS action.

Preview from Big D Soccer:

https://www.bigdsoccer.com/2017-season/2017/8/4/16094966/fc-dallas-vs-philadelphia-union-preview-tv-schedule-watch-online

United Soccer League (USL):

San Antonio FC (11-1-7-40 points-2nd place) vs. Orange County SC (7-5-4-25 points-9th place)-Toyota Field, San Antonio-7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 5, 2017

  • San Antonio FC signed Mexican-American forward Ever Guzman for the rest of the 2017 USL season, pending league and federation clearance. Guzman joins the club with 10-plus years as a professional in the first and second divisions of Mexico and provides another needed good choice up front.
  • Orange County is only one point out of a playoff spot despite having played anywhere between 2 and 5 less games than all the teams ahead of them in the standings.  It comes to San Antonio after a midweek loss to LA Galaxy 2. The team has played so few games because it has been waiting for the opening of a new stadium described in the article below:

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/17/irvines-great-park-sports-park-with-soccer-stadium-and-fields-tennis-and-volleyball-courts-opens-aug-5/

Game preview from the San Antonio FC website:

http://www.sanantoniofc.com/news_article/show/820389?referrer_id=2436046

Seattle Sounders 2 FC (S2) (7-12-2-23 points-10th place) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC) (6-10-4-22 points-12th place)-Starfire Sports Complex-Tukwila, WA-08:30 p.m. C.D.T.-Sunday, August 6, 2017

  • The Toros finish the three game Pacific Northwest trip in Seattle tonight.  A loss to Portland and midweek draw with Vancouver leave the RGV FC in a position where wins are becoming very important to keep hopes for a playoff spot alive.
  • Midfielder Jose Escalante was named as the winner of the USL Goal of the Week:

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

Portland Thorns (7-4-4-25 points-3rd place) vs. Houston Dash (6-7-2-20 points-6th place)-Providence Park, Portland, OR-1:00 p.m. C.D.T

Article from Four Four Two on three possible explanations for the recent Houston Dash turnaround.  They are now only 8 points out of first place and have renewed playoff hopes:

  1.  Easier schedule recently (though Dash players avidly dispute this answer).
  2.  Game day lineup stability since head coach Omar Morales took over a few months ago
  3. US International Carli Lloyd returned from her loan to Manchester City FC.  This is maybe the best explanation. She is pretty good.

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/houston-dash-2017-nwsl-season-slow-start-turnaround-carli-lloyd?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_m_medium=t

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. (goutrgv.com)

http://goutrgv.com/news/2017/6/14/mens-soccer-garcia-makes-usl-debut-with-rgv-fc.aspx

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.”  (elpasoinc.com)

Here is a link to the article:

http://www.elpasoinc.com/news/local_news/article_4f8a4638-4eb6-11e7-88cf-0ff7824961f8.html

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. (houstondynamo.com)
  • 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:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/sports/soccer/2017/06/15/bel-air-alum-makes-mark-head-coach-houston-dash/397690001/

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.  (ussoccer.com)
  • 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.) (ussoccer.com)

Weekly Soccer Notes-June 10, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Bleacher Report’s Noah Davis wrote an excellent long-form piece on former Dynamo defender/midfielder and sometimes forward Geoff Cameron.  He used the word “unheralded” to describe Cameron’s arrival in Houston and that is true.  He joined the team as a third round MLS Super Draft choice in 2008 and in this article Dynamo head coach at the time, Dominic Kinnear, admitted about Cameron’s pick “It was a gamble” .  It didn’t take Dynamo supporters long to consider him heralded.  He scored on his home debut against FC Dallas and was in the starting lineup for the second-leg of a CONCACAF Champions Cup match (predecessor to the current CCL) in Costa Rica early in his rookie season. Now he is one of the top American exports to the English Premier League.

The link to the story is below: (bleacherreport.com)

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2714430-geoff-camerons-rise-from-unheralded-youngster-to-usmnt-star

CONCACAF Gold Cup:

  • The biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held in the United States from July 7-26. The U.S. submitted a provisional 40 man roster to the Confederation last week…this roster needs to be reduced to 23 by June 27th. Players from Texas teams, or those that are Texas-natives, named to the preliminary roster include:

Defenders:  Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, Mexico),  Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)

Midfielders:  Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)

Goalkeeper:  Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)

U.S. born Gonzalez had previously announced his intention to play for Mexico, since he is a dual-national and has represented Mexico in youth tournaments. According to an article on mlssoccer.com, Fox Sports analyst and former Houston Dynamo Stuart Holden reported that he had recently spoken to Gonzalez’s agent, who said Gonzalez would accept the call if he is selected for the US 23-man roster for the Gold Cup. (mlssoccer.com)

  • Other CONCACAF counties also released their provisional rosters.  Players with current Texas connections include: (mlssoccer.com)

Canada:  Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas)

Honduras:  Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas), Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia and Rommel Quioto (Houston Dynamo)

Mexico:  Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

Panama:  Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo)

  • The CONCACAF website featured an interview with former Dynamo legend Dwayne DeRosario who played for Canada in five Gold Cups before his retirement in 2015. Here is a link to the interview: (concacaf.com)

http://www.concacaf.com/article/concacaf-qa-dwayne-de-rosario-retired-canada

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

The Houston Dash were held scoreless for the second consecutive week, losing 2-0 to the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex last Saturday. Though held scoreless, the Dash forced eight saves from the Spirit goalkeeper.  With the loss, the Dash fell into last place in the league (2-6-0 and 6 points from 8 games).  The Dash now have a week off before their next match against Orlando on June 17th.  It is likely that a new permanent coach will be named at some point during the break, to replace Randy Waldrum who was fired two weeks ago. (houstondynamo.com)

United States Youth National Teams:

36 players have been called into the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team training camp in Portland, Oregon, from June 11-18.  Four Texas players will participate in this camp, three from the North Texas Solar Chelsea club…midfielder Olivia Pena (Irving) and forwards Trinity Byars (Richardson) and Alexis Missimo (Southlake).  Goalkeeper Azul Alvarez (Lonestar SC; Round Rock) rounds out the Texas group.

Youth Soccer Development:

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs will take place June 22-26 in Westfield, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis). The Academy conducted its 2016-17 Playoff draw on Wednesday, with the qualified U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams drawn into eight groups of four teams each.

  • FC Dallas, the defending champions at both age levels, was one of 23 club programs to qualify teams for the 2017 playoffs at both age levels.  At the lower age level, FCD has been grouped with Crew SC Academy Wolves, New York City FC and Baltimore Armour.  The older group will face New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders FC and Beachside Soccer Club in the group Stage.  The game against Red Bulls will be one of the marquee match-ups of the group stage.
  • The Houston Dynamo qualified a team at the U 15/16 level and face an all MLS group stage bracket, the first time this has happened in the Academy playoffs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, LA Galaxy, Philadelphia Union join the Dynamo in what will certainly be a challenging group.

Further details can be found in the link below:  (ussoccer.com)

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/06/08/21/32/20170608-news-group-pairings-announced-for-2017-us-soccer-development-academy-playoffs

Insight into the Houston Dash coaching search

Richard Farley (), who is the Deputy Editor of FourFourTwo USA published a piece on the magazine’s online site discussing the recent departure of Houston Dash head coach Randy Waldrum.  FourFourTwo is an English magazine that has recruited some of the best soccer writers in the U.S. as part of their expansion into our market.  This article is very well researched and demonstrates a level of knowledge and coverage about the Dash and NWSL that is lacking in any local publication.  Not surprising, given that the Houston Chronicle doesn’t have a full-time staff reporter to cover the two professional teams in their city.  Much of the most perceptive coverage of Texas soccer, especially in South Texas, comes from National or International media like FourFourTwo. The link to the complete article is below, but from my perspective the most interesting observations Farley made in the article were:

  • How the college success Waldrum had at Notre Dame did not translate to the NWSL. As an example, Farley pointed to the challenge Waldrum faced with the different communications strategies needed for a college athlete, who will not be there for more than four years, and a more mature professional soccer player who doesn’t “graduate”.
  • Despite the new responsibilities Waldrum inherited when Managing Director Brian Ching moved on and the fresh talent brought in during the offseason, the Dash made little progress this year and that is the main reason Waldrum is no longer in Houston.
  • That Dynamo and Dash President Chris Canetti hopes to replace Waldrum within 3 weeks.  This is the third coaching change Canetti has encountered in the last year. In the article Canetti commented on how the lessons he learned with the Dynamo coaching changes can be applied to the Dash coach search.

“I can say that without a doubt. I will say this: I did learn quite a bit from that process last year, of how things played out with [former Dynamo coaches] Owen [Coyle] and Wade [Barrett] and so forth, and will take, and have already taken away, my learning from that challenging situation and unfortunate situation and apply it to the Dash, here. They’re not connected, there are no ties there, but there’s definitely experience [to] take from it that can be learned and used.”

  • In the article Farley pointed out that the Dash may not have the right mix of players to thrive in a competitive NWSL and that another offseason may be needed to rebuild the roster, especially establishing the right balance between the defense and midfield mix of players.

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/why-houston-dash-fired-parted-randy-waldrum-nwsl-analysis

Houston Dash Fire Head Coach

The Houston Dash announced yesterday that head coach Randy Waldrum has been let go midway through the 2017 NWSL season.  The Dash have lost four games in a row, most recently 2-0 to Seattle last Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.  Waldrum had signed a contract extension at the beginning of the season, despite not making the playoffs in the first three years of franchise history.  It was clear that his performance was going to be scrutinized, however, because Dynamo management had relieved Dash Managing Director Brian Ching of his duties and seemed to consolidate additional responsibilities under Waldrum.  The team also went out and acquired new players, especially on the backline, to fix defensive problems from last year.  Nevertheless, the results have not been there and Dynamo President Chris Canetti and Waldrum decided a change was needed.  In an article by Corey Roepken (@RipSports) in the Houston Chronicle, Canetti had this to say about the change:

“Randy and I sat there and looked each other in the eye today and said perhaps this team just needs a breath of fresh air, a new voice, something different that can lead it and give players a different outlook when they come back and try to take the field tomorrow to prepare for the next game,” Canetti said. 

Assistant coach Omar Morales, who joined the team a couple of months ago, will coach the team in the next game at Washington Spirit this Saturday.  According to the article in the Chronicle, no decision will be made on a new coach this week.

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday, May 27

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

  • The Houston Dash lost to Sky Blue FC in New Jersey last Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 on a goal just minutes from the end of the game. Midfielder Andressinha scored the Dash goal, converting a rebound after her initial shot hit the post in the 40th minute.  The Dash are now 2-4-0 and sit in 9th place (in a 10 team league), 6 points behind league leaders North Carolina.  The Dash return home to face Seattle today at BBVA Compass Stadium at 3 pm.  (houstondynamo.com)
  • Four Dash midfielders have been called up to their national teams for games early next month.  Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd, who currently is playing on loan in England, for the United States, Denise O’Sullivan for Ireland and Andressinha for Brazil.  (houstondynamo.com)

National Premier Soccer League (NPSL):

An article by Nipun Chopra (https://twitter.com/NipunChopra7) on the upper-Midwestern based Soc Takes website discussed the potential of a new Oklahoma City/Norman NPSL team to begin play next year.  In the article he spoke with the potential team’s lead owner, Dustin Hooker, who was previously involved in the set up of OKC Energy’s Premier Development League (PDL) side.  Hooker stated that the ownership group were in the process of filing a franchise application with NPSL.  They currently have a trial team that is playing against other amateur sides in the Midwest and Texas. In the article he alluded to the potential of other new NPSL teams in Texas in the future. Here is a link to the article that provides additional details on stadium locations and the team name:

https://www.soctakes.com/2017/05/23/potential-south-oklahoma-city-applying-npsl/

Premier Development League (PDL):

Part of the mission for the PDL is to bring top players in their league to the attention of USL, MLS and other professional soccer leagues.  As a reflection of this mission, one of their brands is “Path-to-Pro”.  The league has enlisted the help of 24 scouts across North America, including coaching directors, technical directors and head coaches, to provide the PDL with valuable insight on the top Under-23 performers in the league throughout the season. This feedback forms the basis of a Top Prospects List, which serves as a resource for professional clubs who are interested in identifying and scouting high-level players, ranks players based on their performance within the PDL, their technical and tactical qualities and their potential to play at the professional level.  The league published the first Top Prospects List this week (link below of the Top 50 prospects).  No players on our Texas based PDL teams were identified on this first list…not surprising given that the all of these teams are new and the season has just started. (uslpdl.com)

http://www.uslpdl.com/2017-top-prospects?utm_source=Premier+Development+League&utm_campaign=676ed6ee30-Espinal+Headlines+First+2017+Top+Prospects+List&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d48040a326-676ed6ee30-

National Soccer Hall of Fame (HOF):

  • FC Dallas and U.S. Soccer released new renderings and an updated schedule for the Hall of Fame, currently under construction at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.  The new timeline projects that the museum will be completed in the Winter of 2018. Other new seating and amenities in the south end of the stadium, which has been closed since construction began last year, will be completed and open next summer.  New renderings of the HOF can be found at this link: (fcdallas.com)

https://www.fcdallas.com/hof

  • The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas have hired Djorn Buchholz to serve as the executive director for the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium. Buchholz has 15 years of experience in MLS, USL (Austin Aztex) and NASL team front offices. He comes to Frisco from Austin, TX where he ran his own soccer consulting firm that provided insight and operational leadership to teams, matches and large-scale tournaments. (fcdallas.com)
  • Former Houston Dynamo players Brian Ching and Pat Onstad are among 33 players nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017.  Ching retired following the 2013 season and is in his first year of eligibility. He is the Dynamo’s all-time leading scorer with 56 goals in the MLS regular season and 69 goals across all competitions. He led the Dynamo do MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007.  Onstad holds Dynamo records for shutouts, wins, saves and goals against average. (chron.com)

Youth Soccer Development:

A 64-player roster has been called to Carson, Calif. for U.S. Soccer’s first Boys’ National Team Futures Camp of 2017. The training camp, which consists of players who were born in 2002 and 2003, runs from May 26-30 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.  This is a very intriguing camp, designed to identify the most talented players in the ’02 and ’03 birth years who appear to be on a later physical development path and/or are born in the second half of the year. Such parameters serve to reduce the impact of physical maturity and relative age effect on identification and evaluation of talent, according to the US Soccer website.  Four North-Texas youth players, two each from the 2002 and 2003 classes and also from the Solar Chelsea and FC Dallas Academy clubs were selected to participate.  (ussoccer.com)

International Soccer in Texas:

The MoneyGram SocioMX Tour will come to both Houston and Dallas this summer. LigaMX sides Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey will play in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, July 2 at 7 p.m.  CF Monterrey will then play Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul will play Toluca in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. (Match organizer press releases)

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday, May 20, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

FC Dallas young star, Paxton Pomykal, suffered a knee injury during training on Wednesday and will miss four to six weeks while recovering from surgery. (fcdallas.com)

United Soccer League (USL):

Rio Grande Valley FC’s midfielder Todd Wharton was named to the USL Team of the Week as a result of the game winning goal he scored against Swope Park last Saturday

U.S. Open Cup

San Antonio FC eliminated Dutch Lions FC (HDL) from the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night with a 2-1 second-round victory in Conroe.  Goals by Victor Araujo and Aly Alberto Hassan led a reserve-heavy side to the win.  Araujo’s direct-kick goal was his first since returning from a season ending injury he suffered last June.  After the match, SAFC head coach Darren Powell discussed the lineup choices on the SAFC website.

“We’re very pleased with our guys,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We have a lot of guys who haven’t been playing in the first team in regular season games, so it was a good opportunity for them to play tonight in a competitive environment and show what they’re capable of doing.”

The Dutch Lions made a game out it in the 62nd minute after Nathaniel Coons converted a ricochet shot off a clearance to pull HDL within a goal.

SAFC now advance to the third-round to play in Oklahoma against fellow USL side, Tulsa Roughnecks, on May 31.  If SAFC wins this match, they would play FC Dallas in a fourth-round match in San Antonio on either June 13 or 14. (sanantoniofc.com)

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

The Houston Dash lost their second consecutive match last Saturday, when they fell 3-1 to Sky Blue FC at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium.  Poliana scored the only goal on an assist from Kealia Ohai for the Dash.

The Dash play a rematch against Sky Blue FC this afternoon at their home in New Jersey on the campus of Rutgers University; Yurcak Field. (houstondynamo.com/dash)

United States Youth National Teams:

A 40 player roster was named for the U.S. U-17 girls national team camp to be held May 14-21 in Florida.  Two of these players are from North Texas: Hollyn Torres and Diana Ordonez, both from the FC Dallas program. (socceramerica.com)

International Soccer in Texas:

  • A Tecate Summer Tour match between Liga MX clubs Chivas de Guadalajara and Club Atlas will be played at Toyota Field in San Antonio on Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. This match will be Chivas’s first game in San Antonio in over 18 years. (sanantoniofc.com)
  • Also at Toyota Field, SAFC will play a friendly against LigaMX side, Santos Laguna, on Saturday night July 8.  This game will be Santos’s third trip to San Antonio since 2013, having played against Club America in the Alamodome last summer and at Toyota Field 4 years ago. (sanantoniofc.com)