Category: US Open Cup

Texas teams in U.S. Open Cup-Round 4

Both Texas MLS teams, who enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in round 4 tomorrow, are the only remaining teams from the state still in the 2017 tournament.

North Carolina FC vs. Houston Dynamo

WakeMed Soccer Park-Cary, NC-6:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 14

History is working against the Dynamo.  The club’s record in away U.S. Open Cup games is 1-7, including two losses in the Carolina’s to Charleston Battery.  The only Dynamo road victory came in 2009 when they beat the early version of the USL Austin Aztex (the team that moved to Orlando and eventually became MLS side Orlando City FC).

Because Rio Grande Valley FC doesn’t compete in the U.S. Open Cup and the players who were away on international duty will be missing, the Dynamo has taken the opportunity to call in seven players from its USL affiliate for this match.

Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera discussed how important this game was for the new players:

https://www.houstondynamo.com/post/2017/06/12/us-open-cup-most-important-game-players-looking-first-team-opportunities?autoplay=true

Toros iron-man midfielder Charlie Ward also discussed how important this game is for him and his fellow Toros:

https://www.houstondynamo.com/post/2017/06/12/charlie-ward-looks-forward-open-cup-opportunity-dynamo?autoplay=true

Dallas FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks 

Westcott Field (SMU)-Dallas-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 14

FC Dallas, the defending Open Cup champions, will likely field a reserve-heavy side for this game against Tulsa.  Below is a preview of the game:

https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2017/06/12/setting-stage-fc-dallas-2017-us-open-cup-match-against-tulsa-roughnecks-fc

 

 

U.S. Open Cup Update

San Antonio’s 2017 Open Cup run is over

San Antonio FC’s (SAFC) run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup ended in the Third Round when they suffered a bitter loss to fellow USL side, Tulsa Roughnecks, 0-0 (7-6 penalties) Wednesday night in Oklahoma. As has been the case most of the year, its opponents controlled possession, but SAFC was unable to break the Roughnecks down like they have done with others in the regular season.  Tulsa goalkeeper Fabian Cerda converted a penalty and made two penalty saves, including a stop against fellow goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, to secure the victory and the chance to play FC Dallas in the Fourth Round. SAFC Head coach Darren Powell was fairly matter-of-fact about the loss in comments on the San Antonio website after the match.

“It was a very tight game,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We felt we had chances in both halves that we could have taken advantage of. We defended solidly again and it went down to the wire, and it ended in eight rounds of penalties.” 

Fourth Round sees MLS clubs join the competition

Texas MLS Teams now enter the U.S. Open Cup competition in the Fourth Round. Both FC Dallas and the Dynamo play their first 2017 games in this competition on Wednesday, June 14.

  • Tulsa heads to Dallas to play FCD at Westcott Field on the Southern Methodist University Campus.
  • The Dynamo travels to North Carolina to play NASL side, North Carolina FC, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

Bulletin board material for Houston Dynamo

North Carolina FC midfielder Nazmi Albadawi is certainly confident about its chances against the Dynamo.  In an article in the Raleigh News and Observer by correspondent Brennan Doherty (@Brennan_Doherty), Albadawi was pretty certain where he and other NASL players fit in the pecking order in the North American soccer landscape when compared to those playing in MLS:

“I think the quality is very similar; I think there are small differences,” Albadawi said. “I think MLS teams have certain players that are being paid millions of dollars and those are usually the ones that make the difference.”

Interesting comment from somebody who has never played in MLS.  To be fair, he has a point and 10 years ago there might have been some truth to his statement.  It wasn’t that long ago that some soccer players deliberately stepped down because they could make more money playing in NASL, when combined with youth coaching and camps, etc.  MLS salaries for entry level players and those lower on the roster were very low at that time. This is no longer the case, at least for those players who occupy the top 2/3 places on MLS rosters and count against the salary cap.   He is right that high salaried players are difference makers, but I believe Albadawi seriously underestimates how good the MLS “middle class” has become and the increased level of competition to make a regular season game day roster. That aside, the Dynamo’s road form and history of losing away games in this competition mean that this game will definitely be a struggle.  A North Carolina “upset” would not be a surprise.

Where is Colin Clarke now? 

Colin Clarke, who was the head coach of FC Dallas (41-39-20 regular season record) from late in the 2003 season to 2006 is the head coach of North Carolina FC.  Clarke has been head coach at the Carolina NASL club since 2011.  Clarke first joined FCD as an assistant in 2001 when they were called the Dallas Burn.

San Antonio resumes Open Cup play tonight

San Antonio FC travels to Oklahoma tonight to play fellow USL side,  Tulsa Roughnecks, in a Third Round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match.

SAFC arrived here by beating Dutch Lions FC (NPSL) in Conroe 2-1 two weeks ago.  Tulsa won a wild game against OKC Energy’s U-23 PDL team 5-3 to allow them to move on to this round.  This will be first meeting of the year between the two USL teams, as their first regular season meeting will not occur until a few weeks from now at Toyota Field.

The winner of tonight’s game moves on to play a Fourth Round match against FC Dallas. This next round match will be played in Frisco if Tulsa wins and San Antonio if they win.

As part of their U.S. Open Cup previews, U.S. Soccer wrote a nice article, featuring San Antonio FC’s locals Maxi Rodriquez and Devin Vega.  The link to the article is below:

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017/05/29/16/42/20170529-feat-usoc-hometown-rookies-spur-san-antonio-success

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)

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday, May 13, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

  • Will Parchman weighed in on mlssoccer.com this week about the quiet “Greatness” of FC Dallas in our midst.  I especially found a couple of points in this article interesting. First, a question:  “Are FCD one of those perennially underrated franchises routinely passed over for the glitz of the coasts?”  My answer to this question is yes and I went off on this earlier this week in my rant about how ignored Maxi Urruti has been. Second, when comparing FCD’s current run to the Galaxy domination earlier in the decade Parchman stated:  “FCD’s system is instead many different points of pressure at a smaller magnitude, like the numbing drop on the forehead in lieu of one giant swing. It’s incontrovertible proof that living, breathing depth can exist in MLS.”  A link to the full article can be found here. (mlssoccer.com)

http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/05/08/parchman-time-wake-mls-greatness-our-midst-dallas

  • FC Dallas (FCD) has loaned highly-touted left back Anibal Chala to L.D.U Quito in Ecuador until the end of 2017.  Chala has been unable to get on the field during the regular season due to a sports hernia injury he suffered in the preseason.  FCD apparently rejected a $2 million loan/buy option from the Ecuadorian first division team, indicating he still remains in their long term plans.  (Dallas Morning News)
  • Former FCD youth player Emerson Hyndman, who was playing for Scotland’s Rangers on loan from English side Bournemouth FC., announced on his Twitter feed that he would miss the remainder of the season with an injury.  Hyndman is the son of former FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman and a future U.S. National team prospect.  (BigDSoccer.com)
  • The MLS transfer window closed on May 8th and only a few roster moves can be made by clubs between now and early July when the window opens again.  Kurt Larson wrote an article this week that anointed the Dynamo as “winning” the just closed transfer period.  Here is the full break down:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2017/05/11/kurt-larson-five-mls-teams-won-2017-primary-transfer-window

  • C.J. Brown, the legendary Chicago Fire defender who now is an assistant with Orlando, talked with Alicia DelGallo in a post on the Orlando Sentinel website this week about last Saturday’s blowout in Houston and how hard it is to prepare to play the Dynamo.  He also provided a template that Houston will probably see much more, especially at home, in the future.

“The biggest challenge was the speed, and the other part to that would be the organization … figuring out how to handle our back line when we’re under attack,” Orlando City defensive assistant coach C.J. Brown said. “A team like that basically sits around waits for your mistake and then has three blazing guys up top, put it forward and see what they can do.

“We should have probably been a little more conservative, sit back and see if they can beat us in a group versus one-v-one. That’s a lesson learned early. You don’t ever expect somebody to just leave three guys freely to sit up there like that.

Later in the article, he went on to discuss how hard it is to simulate the speed Houston brings in practice, noting that Orlando City only has one player capable of matching the pace of the Dynamo attacking group. (Orlando Sentinel)

United Soccer League (USL):

The RGV FC Toros signed Pharr-native and defender Omar Ontiveros late last week to a USL contract. Ontiveros, who was identified in January during the Toros’ Open Tryout, most recently played in Luxembourg for Club Sportif-Grevenmacher. During his two-year stint in Europe he played in 12 matches and scored twice. According to Houston Dynamo Assistant GM Nick Kowba, Ontiveros was signed to provide depth for regular Toros players who are on contracts with the first team.  (rgvfc.com)

“Our goal as a staff was to strengthen our depth in the center-back position. As Kevin Garcia and Taylor Hunter have signed with the first team and continue to contribute to RGV FC, it is important that we also sign players that are based here with RGV FC. The fact that Omar is a local player who made it through our open tryout process makes it even more of positive for our club.” 

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

The Houston Dash lost in Chicago 1-0 last Saturday.  They return from a three-game road trip to play New Jersey’s Sky Blue FC today at 3 p.m. at BBVA Compass Stadium.  The Dash are now 2-0-2 and are tied for third place with Chicago and Boston.

U.S. Open Cup:

Houston Dutch Lions FC (HDLFC) defeated NTX Rayados 3-1 Wednesday night in a first round Open Cup match at HDLFC Soccer Facility in Conroe. After a scoreless first half, Jose Pablo Cova and Lawal Olayimika scored second half goals in a short period of time. After an own goal brought Rayados back to within a goal at 2-1, Jerry Scholman finished off the scoring in the 89th min to finish the victory.  Remy Broekmans was named the Heineken Man of the Match.  HDLFC now advance to the second round where they will play San Antonio FC at Dutch Lions Soccer Facility next Wednesday evening. (twitter.com/HouDutchLions)

Picture from the Houston based “Peel” podcast, at the match, posted on the HDLFC Twitter feed.

Mexico Border Soccer Clubs:

Bravos de FC Juarez, who are partially owned by Texas-based Mountain Star Sports Group, lost the second-leg of the Ascenso MX (second division) League Championship 2-1 (4-2 on aggregate) at home to Puebla-based Lobos BUAP last Saturday night.  Juarez, who had fallen behind on a 25 minute corner kick, leveled the match in the 73rd minute off a Cristian Gordillo corner.  Unfortunately, Lobos scored in the 88th minute as Juarez desperately pushed players forward to get the goal they needed to make up the aggregate deficit and send the game into overtime. (El Paso Times)

U.S. Open Cup begins in Texas tonight

First round play in the United States Open Cup begins this week among amateur clubs throughout the country.  Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in U.S. soccer.  There are five Texas clubs that are participating in this years competition:

  • FC Dallas
  • Dutch Lions FC
  • Houston Dynamo
  • NTX Rayados
  • San Antonio FC

The two amateur teams, NTX Rayados (North Texas Premier Soccer Association-NTPSA) and Houston Dutch Lions (NPSL), will play their first round game tonight at 7 p.m. at the Dutch Lions FC Soccer Facility in Conroe.

The remaining three Texas professional teams will enter the tournament in later rounds. San Antonio FC will play the winner of tonight’s match in the second round next Wednesday, May 17.  If Dutch Lions win in the first-round, the match against SAFC will be played in Conroe.  If NTX wins, this second-round match will be played at SAFC’s Toyota Field.

Chuck Wharton from MLS Multiplex posted an excellent preview of tonight’s match.

https://mlsmultiplex.com/2017/05/09/steamrollers-ntx-rayados-houston-dutch-lions-u-s-open-cup-wednesday/

Texas Soccer Notes-Saturday August 15, 2017

Other soccer news of interest this week:

United Soccer League (USL):

Didier Drogba signed to play with Phoenix Rising.  Then there was this goal. Nothing else need be said (other than the RGV FC 3-1 victory Wednesday, which will be covered Monday) about what happened in USL this week.

U.S. Open Cup:

San Antonio FC learned details of their second-round US Open Cup match-up this week. SAFC will play the winner of the first-round match between NTX Rayados (North Texas Premier Soccer Association-NTPSA) and Houston Dutch Lions (NPSL), which will be played at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th at the Dutch Lions FC Soccer Facility in Conroe. Hopefully this season will work out better for NTX Rayados than the last.  In 2016, Rayados qualified for the Open Cup, but the club was disqualified on the night before their first-round game because US Soccer Federation rules require Open Cup teams to be active in a Federation-sanctioned league.  The Rayados were not participating in the NTPSA last season because of injuries and player availability.  Why it took until the day before the match to figure this out is a mystery.

The potential second-round games for SAFC are:

-If Dutch Lions win in the first-round, the match against SAFC will be played in Conroe at 7 p.m. on Wednesday May 17

-If NTX wins, this second-round match will be played at SAFC’s Toyota Field on May 17th at 7:30 p.m.

United States Women’s National Team:

The US Women beat Russia 5-1 at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium last Sunday. Houston Dash’s Carli Lloyd, moved up to forward for this match, scored the first goal on a penalty. She is now three goals away from becoming the sixth player in US Women’s National Team history to score 100 goals.

Youth Soccer Development:

The Generation Adidas Cup, an MLS-hosted tournament for U-17 Academy teams and invited international guests, wraps up today in Frisco.  FC Dallas will be playing against LA Galaxy for seventh place in the Champions Division.  After losing the opener last Sunday, FCD beat both Real Salt Lake and Real Madrid (yes that one).  They lost in the first round playoffs 4-0 to another Spanish club, Malaga.

The Championship game in this division will be contested by South American sides Flamengo (Brazil) and River Plate (Argentina).  River Plate reached the finals by beating New York Red Bulls on penalties.

Houston Dynamo, competing in the lower Premier Division, will play Chivas de Guadalajara for 5th place later today.  The Dynamo reached this point after defeating Portland and DC United and losing to Monterrey’s Tigres UANL in the group stage.  They reached this playoff stage by impressively beating FC Monterrey Rayados 3-1.

The Premier Division final will be played by New York City FC and Tigres UANL. 

Premier Development League (PDL):

Brazos Valley Cavalry:

The Cavalry added three additional NCAA Soccer Dynamo Academy Alumni to the roster for their upcoming inaugural season.  Mason Schuster (UNC-Wilmington), Elo Ozumba (Northwestern) and Christian Molina (Northern Illinois) join six other former Academy participants, who were previously announced, on the team that will begin play in June.

FC Cleburne:

Paul Davenport was named the head coach of FC Cleburne on Thursday.

Davenport is currently in his seventh year as the head coach of the Hill College (Hillsboro) men’s and women’s soccer programs.  Prior to joining Hill he coached at the university and high school level in the DFW area.  In the press release, Coach Davenport was quoted as saying  “It is an immense honor and privilege to have the opportunity to coach FC Cleburne in its inaugural season in the PDL.  I am thankful to Neltex Sports Group for the chance to introduce the city of Cleburne to this exciting league which will have some of the top college players in the region playing during the summer and being active in the local communities”.

Houston FC:

Houston FC announced their home for the 2017 season on Monday.

Additionally, the club announced a partnership with Houston Developmental Academy club….Houston Texans.  The Texans place a number of players into NCAA soccer programs and this partnership provides a summer home for these players in the PDL.

Texas United:

Ryan Higginbotham (picture below) has been named the head coach of Texas United on Thursday. Higginbotham has been the associate head coach at TCU’s Women’s program since January 2012 and serves as the program’s top recruiting assistant.  He has a long college level coaching career, including stops at top Division 1 programs like Akron and Furman Universities.  In the introductory press release he was quoted as saying,  “I am very excited to be named head coach for Texas United,  It is an honor to have a group of owners that feel I am the right person to lead this franchise in our inaugural season.”  It was also announced that current TCU assistant coach Sebastian Vecchio will be added to the coaching staff.

National Premier Soccer League (NPSL):

Dallas City FC:

Dallas City FC, who had previously been reported as closing down their NPSL team, are now listed on the NPSL website in place of Dallas area club Liverpool Warriors.  Dallas FC will be the only Texas team competing in the Southern Region’s Heartland Conference.  In addition to Dallas FC, the Heartland Conference consists of teams from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.