Tagged: Weekly Preview-2017

Texas Professional Soccer Weekly Preview



You be the “Y” in this picture.


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.


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:


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:


Game preview from the San Antonio FC website:


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.


Texas Professional Soccer Weekly Preview


Major League Soccer (MLS):

Houston Dynamo (9-7-5-32 points-3rd place) vs. Portland Timbers (8-8-6-30-points-4th place)-BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston-7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Match Preview from mlssoccer.com:

  • Portland has never won in Houston
  • AJ DeLaGarza’s comments after road win in DC last Saturday:

“We didn’t come into the season wanting to win one road game,” DeLaGarza said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We have [six] more road games. We have to continue to get points, and if we don’t win this weekend then what really did that win at D.C. do for us?”

  • New playmaker Tomas Martinez, a classic Argentine No. 10 who officially joined up with the club on July 17, will not play this weekend as he gets acclimated to Houston and the club.


Preview article from the Oregonian including press conference with Timbers head coach Caleb Porter:


FC Dallas (9-3-7-34 points-1st place) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (8-8-3-27 points-6th place)-Toyota Park, Frisco-7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, 2017

Match Preview from mlssoccer.com:

  • The teams have evenly split their last six MLS games, dating back to the beginning of the 2015 season (2-2-2).  Dallas has won both of their home games by a 2-0 scoreline during this six-game stretch
  • Head coach Oscar Pareja commenting on Christian Colman finally breaking through with 2 goals in Montreal last Saturday:

“It’s important for Cristian to score, we have been waiting for this moment,” Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said after the match that night. “As a kid, he worked hard. He has been trying to adapt to the league, trying to adapt to the culture of the group, and all what he has done is just kept working. And today the game rewarded him and I’m very happy for him.”

  • FC Dallas get international players back, but will need to play with a makeshift back line again as outside backs Maynor Figueroa and Hernan Grana are suspended for yellow-card accumulation


Canadian National post article on Whitecaps Yordy Reyna:

FC Dallas will need to account for Peruvian midfielder and difference maker Yordy Reyna who may make his first start this season after returning from a broken foot injury suffered in the preseason:


United Soccer League (USL):

Phoenix Rising (6-6-4-22 points-11th place) vs. San Antonio FC (10-1-7-37 points-3rd place)- Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, Scottsdale, AZ-10:00 p.m. C.D.T.

  • This will be the first time San Antonio FC faces legendary forward Didier Drogba
  • Just over the halfway mark of the 2017 campaign, San Antonio FC matched its points total from last year in just 17 matches this season. The club’s 10-1-6 record 17 matches into the season added up to 36 points, which was the same amount that the team reached after their 30 matches in 2016

USL Stat-Pack on uslsoccer.com


Match Preview on the Phoenix Rising Website:


Portland Timbers 2 (T2) (1-15-3-6 points-last place) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC) (6-9-3-21 points-12th place)-Providence Park, Portland, OR-10:00 p.m. C.D.T.

  • Rio Grande Valley FC starts a 3 game Pacific Northwest trip in Portland
  • The Toros are 2-5-1 on the road this season and have been outscored 18-6

Match Preview on Portland T2 website:


MLS Week 19 Preview

Week 19 brings the final games for FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo prior to a two week break (July 6-19) for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  The Dynamo will resume play on the road when they begin a two-game road trip against Minnesota on the 19th.  FC Dallas, on the other hand, will play a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas next Tuesday (July 11).  Its next MLS regular season match will be on July 22 when they travel to Montreal to play the Impact.

FC Dallas vs. DC United

Toyota Field-Frisco-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, 2017 

  • DC United, on a terrible run of form that has seen it drop to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, will be playing its fourth consecutive road match in 11 days.  Interestingly though, D.C. has only earned three fewer points (18) than they did through the first 18 games of 2016 (21), before picking up 25 points over their last 16 matches to finish fourth in the East.
  • Because of injuries and international call-ups, FCD will be missing 4 of its first choice starters, including 3 defenders.  This has not seemed to present an issue lately as the team has been able to showcase its depth throughout the roster.  Most importantly creative midfielder and difference maker Mauro Diaz is rounding into form for a trophy run when all of the pieces return.


Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact

BBVA Compass Stadium-Houston-7:30 p.m,  Wednesday, July 5, 2017

  • The Dynamo have scored a boat-load of goals at home this season, leading to a 7-0-2 home record.  This run of form will be tested as three key attacking players will be missing on international duty.  Leading goal scorer (12) Cubo Torres, who received a surprise call-up to the Mexican Gold Cup squad as an injury replacement, will be available for this match.
  • Montreal has never won in Houston (0-5-1).  The Impact’s best player Ignacio Piatti is questionable with a groin strain.


MLS Week 18, USL Week 15 Texas Preview

Major League Soccer (MLS):

FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC

Toyota Field-Dallas-7:00 p.m., CDT,  Saturday, July 1, 2017 

  • This game is clearly the best in MLS this week.  Unfortunately, both sides will be missing key pieces due to international duty….FC Dallas starters Matt Hedges and Kellyn Acosta will not be available.  Toronto FC will have U.S. Internationals Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley on the game day roster, however, because they were not included in the group-stage U.S. roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • FC Dallas has never lost a home game to Toronto (6-0-2).  This is a much better Toronto team then when they last played in Dallas two years ago.
  • Toronto FC after winning the Canadian Championship Wednesday is interested in more trophies:  “We want to win every trophy; compete for every competition we’re in,” Michael Bradley said after that win. “At the end of the year we want to be the team that has held up the best, won the most, competed the hardest, and won the trophies. We got our first chance tonight.”


Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park-Commerce City, CO-8:00 p.m, CDT,  Saturday, July 1, 2017

  • Both teams are licking their wounds after being knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup midweek.  The Rapids lost 3 starters to injuries in its loss in Dallas and it is unclear if any of these players will be available Saturday night. Midfielder Michael Azira will miss the match due to card accumulation.
  • Colorado is a good home team at altitude (5-3-1) and have won 3 out of their last 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium after a miserable start to the season.  Colorado has lost just one of its last 13 regular season meetings against Houston (7-1-5).
  • A very frightening statistic for Dynamo fans…..Houston has only won twice in their last 33 regular season MLS away games (2-21-10).
  • The Dynamo played a reserve roster in the Open Cup loss to Sporting Kansas City Wednesday. Wilmer Cabrera said this was on purpose and demonstrated where his priorities lie in a post-game interview : “If we didn’t play the first team [on Wednesday], it’s because we have the goal to work to try and get to the playoffs,” Cabrera noted after Wednesday’s Open Cup loss.


United Soccer League (USL):

Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC)

Weidner Field-Colorado Springs, CO-9:00 p.m., CDT,  Saturday, July 1, 2017

  • How will the Toros respond to the 6-2 shellacking they took 9 days ago in Sacramento against a Switchbacks side that is riding high after handing SAFC their first loss of the season?
  • Three of the Toros players, including Charlie Ward who signed an MLS contract today with the Dynamo, played in Houston’s 2-0 loss to Sporting KC in the USOC Wednesday night.
  • Colorado Springs dangerous left-back Josh Suggs, who tormented SAFC and seemingly spent the entire night playing as a winger last weekend, is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.


Sacramento United vs. San Antonio FC (SAFC)

Papa Murphy’s Park-Sacramento, CA-10:00 p.m., CDT,  Saturday, July 1, 2017

  • How will young goalkeeper Lee Johnston handle his first start, likely replacing Diego Restrepo who received a red card ejection against Colorado Springs last week?
  • Sacramento United, nearing the end of a string of multiple-game weeks, will likely rotate the squad this weekend after the loss to LA Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night.
  • After defeating the Galaxy’s USL team last weekend, the Union have now won three consecutive league matches.  Since the club changed its tactical approach a few weeks ago, the offense has awoken.  Forward Trevin Caesar has scored four goals in the last two games.


MLS Week 16 and USL Week 13 Preview

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas (FCD)

BC Place-Vancouver, B.C., Canada-9:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

Vancouver Whitecaps:  6-6-1-19 points (Tied for fifth place in the Western Conference)

FC Dallas:  6-3-5-23 points (Tied for third place in the Western Conference) 

An extra time own goal allowed FCD to beat Tulsa 2-1 and advance to the 5th round of the U.S. Open Cup, where they will host Colorado Rapids on June 28.

A Key Question:

Can FCD return to the dominating early season performance after experiencing a slump where it has only won once in the last six league matches?


Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo

Stub Hub Center, Los Angeles, CA-10:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

LA Galaxy:  5-5-3-18 points (Eighth place in the Western Conference)  

Houston Dynamo:  7-6-2-23 points (Tied for third place in the Western Conference) 

Memo Rodriquez scored in the 109th minute to lead the Dynamo to a 3-2 U.S. Open Cup win in added extra time against North Carolina FC in Cary, NC.  The Dynamo played exclusively with a squad consisting of reserves and short-term contract players from Rio Grande Valley.  Houston will now host Sporting KC at BBVA Compass Stadium in the next round June 28.

A Key Question:

Can the Dynamo build on its first road victory and also secure its first MLS road win, against an in-form but short-handed Galaxy, in the same week?


United Soccer League (USL):

San Antonio FC (SAFC) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks

Toyota Field-San Antonio-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

San Antonio FC:  9-0-4-31 points (Second place in the Western Conference)

Tulsa Roughnecks:  5-6-0-15 points (Eighth place in the Western Conference)

A Key Question:

Is Cyprian Hedrick ready to step back in for the full 90 to replace suspended Steven McCarthy at center back?


Los Angeles Galaxy II (Los Dos) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (RGV FC)

H-E-B Park, Edinburg-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 17, 2017

Record and Standings:

Rio Grande Valley FC:  5-4-2-17 points (Tied for fifth place in the Western Conference) 

LA Galaxy II:  2-8-2-8 points (Fourteenth place in the Western Conference)

A Key Question:

How many Toros players returning from their stint with the Dynamo in NC will be in the lineup tomorrow?


USL Week 12 Preview

Seattle Sounders 2 vs. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (RGV FC)

H-E-B Park, Edinburg-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 10, 2017

Record and Standings:

Rio Grande Valley FC:  4-4-2-14 points (Tied for Eighth place in the Western Conference)  Home: 3-2-1

Seattle Sounders 2:  5-5-2-17 points (Tied for Third in the West)  Away: 2-2-1

  • The Toros will look to rebound from the disappointing 3-2 loss to Reno 1868, a game where they lost the lead twice.  Three Dynamo rostered players (Kevin Garcia, Joe Holland and Memo Rodriquez) joined in Reno to bolster the RGV FC squad that is playing 3 games in 8 days.  RGV FC is undefeated in its last three outings at H-E-B Park.
  • Sounders 2 are coming off of an impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy II last weekend.  Unfortunately for them, forward Irvin Parra who had two goals and an assist in the victory and was named the USL Player of the Week, will miss the game due to yellow card caution accumulation.

OKC Energy FC vs. San Antonio FC (SAFC)

Taft Stadium-Oklahoma City, OK-7:30 p.m. CDT-Saturday, June 10, 2017

Record and Standings:

OKC Energy FC:  4-5-1-13 points (Eleventh place in the Western Conference) Home: 4-1-0

San Antonio FC:  9-0-3-30 points (Tied for first in the West) Away: 5-0-0

  • Energy FC recorded its third win in the past four games with a 3-2 victory against Phoenix Rising FC on Tuesday night.  Unfortunately forward Wojciech Wojcik, who scored twice, including the 69th minute game winner, fractured an elbow and will be out indefinitely.  OKC will also be missing goalkeeper Cody Laurendi who is away on international duty.
  • Undefeated SAFC can set a record for consecutive USL road wins with a victory Saturday night.  Left back Greg Cochrane is serving a one game suspension after picking up a red card late in last weeks draw with Swope Park.
  • SAFC’s success has been built on the back of its team defense.  The team has only conceded four goals so far in 2017 and has now gone 555 minutes in league play without conceding a goal. SAFC also leads the league in shutouts with nine, six of them by reserve goalkeeper Diego Restrepo since replacing injured Matt Cardone in April.

MLS Preview-Week 15

There are only three matches being played in MLS this week because of the international break.  FC Dallas will play one of those three on the road against Portland Timbers Saturday night.  In addition to Matt Hedges and Kellyn Acosta who are away with the United States National team, FCD starters Maynor Figueroa and Tesho Akindele have also been called into national team camps and will miss Saturday’s match.  Another reason MLS has no business playing during international windows.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas (FCD)

Providence Park-Portland, OR-9:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 10, 2017

Record and Standings:

Portland Timbers:  6-5-3-21 points (Fourth place in the Western Conference)  

FC Dallas:  6-2-5-23 points (Tied for second place in the Western Conference)

  • Dallas has only won once in Portland, though the Timbers enter Saturday’s match on a five-game winless streak against FC Dallas (0-4-1)
  • FCD midfielder Roland Lamah was named the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week due to his first-half hat trick against Real Salt Lake.  In addition to Lamah, forward Maxi Urruti was also named to the MLS Team of the Week.
  • This is the first of two back-to-back trips to the Pacific Northwest for FCD.  After returning home for the midweek U.S. Open Cup match against Tulsa, FCD will play Vancouver Whitecaps away next weekend.
  • With international call-ups and the injury to Walker Zimmerman, Oscar Pareja will need to cobble together a make-shift back line on Saturday night. Not something you prefer to do when facing two Portland attacking talents like Diego Valeri (8 goals) and Fernando Adi (6 goals).  Portland started off the season like gangbusters, cooled off and, most recently, won their first game in six last weekend against San Jose in Portland

The game preview on mlssoccer.com is below: