Category: Uncategorized

MLS Week 17, USL Week 14 Preview

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas

BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston-8:00 p.m, Friday, June 23, 2017

The second iteration of the 2017 Texas Derby is tonight in Houston.  FCD and Houston played to a draw in Dallas a few weeks ago in Round 1.  The Dynamo are projecting the first sellout at BBVA Compass Stadium since 2015 tonight.  The historical results of the Derby are about as even as it gets, though Dallas has dominated the rivalry recently.

All-time: Dallas 9 wins (40 goals)…Houston 10 wins (40 goals)…Ties 9

At Houston: Dynamo 7 wins, 25 goals…FC Dallas 4 wins, 23 goals…Ties 3

Match preview on mlssoccer.com:

https://matchcenter.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2017-06-23-houston-dynamo-vs-fc-dallas/preview

United Soccer League (USL):

Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. San Antonio FC (SAFC)

Weidner Field-Colorado Springs, CO-9:00 p.m., CDT, Saturday, June 24, 2017

Can San Antonio keep the undefeated streak alive for another week?

Rio Grande Valley FC, after getting demolished in a midweek game in Sacramento, is off until next Saturday when they also travel to Colorado Springs.

Match preview in San Antonio Soccer News:

https://sasoccernews.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/week-14-preview-colorado-springs-switchbacks-v-san-antonio-fc/

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

SAFC Second Win of Road Trip

Seattle Sounders 2 (S2)-2  San Antonio FC (SAFC)-3   

SEA:  Sam Rogers-55 (Brian Nana-Sinkham), Zach Mathers-75 (penalty) SA:  A.J. Ajeakwa-13 (Ben Newnam), Billy Forbes-24, Devin Vega-69 (Pecka)

Efficiency

Seattle owned just about every statistic last night, except the one that mattered….shooting accuracy.  SAFC had only 5 shots on target, but scored three goals. That efficiency in front of goal, combined with 19 defensive clearances, was enough to win the second game of the three game Cascadia trip against S2.

Matt Cardone’s absence caused some nervous moments 

Early on in the game it was apparent that SAFC backup goalie Diego Restrepo was a little rusty.  There were numerous unforced errors that easily could have resulted in going down in the first 10 minutes.

Devin Vega

With the possible exception of Billy Forbes, no SAFC player has the raw talent and creates as much excitement as Devin Vega.  Vega was substituted on at half time for Forbes, and scored a second-half goal that demonstrated clearly why there is so much enthusiasm about his potential.  I imagine his stay in San Antonio could be short as MLS clubs will likely be calling soon.  Check out the goal below.

Seattle Sounders Academy well represented

USL teams are allowed to add up to five of their Academy players to their roster. These five Academy players do not count against the thirty allowed on USL Master Rosters and are able to participate in all competitions, while retaining amateur status. Last night S2 played two of their best Academy players.  Defender Sam Rogers, who is a member of the Sounders U-18 team, started and played the full 90.  A highly rated member of the U-16 side, Azriel Gonzalez, also made his USL debut as a substitute in the 72nd minute.  Unfortunately, Gonzalez’s big night was spoiled when his clumsy two-footed tackle on SAFC’s Zachary Herivaux led to a straight red card.
 
San Antonio finishes up it’s Pacific Northwest road trip Friday night in Portland against Portland Timbers 2.