Juan David Cabezas Joins Houston Dynamo on Loan

Houston Dynamo has continued to build their squad for 2017 as they secured Colombian midfielder, Juan David Cabezas. The club announced the signing of Cabezas on Friday, joining the club on loan from Deportivo Cali with an option to make the move permanent.

In completing the transaction Houston Dynamo had to use Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to pick up Cabezas. But being on loan should mean that less TAM was spent than would have been needed to secure Cabezas permanently.

Cabezas joins Houston Dynamo from the soccer heartland of Cali, Colombia which has been home to many players who have played in the United States. He spent the 2016 season with Deportivo Independiente Medellin helping the club to the Apertura championship. In the first leg of the championship series he scored the away goal, a vital contribution to seal the title.

At 25 Cabezas is hitting his footballing peak but already has eight years of professional soccer experience. In that time Cabezas has managed 170 matches at senior level, scoring 19 goals from defense.

“Juan David is very hungry and excited to come to the Houston Dynamo. It is important for us to have a player with the ability to win the ball in the middle of the field, and he brings that quality to the team,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, in a press release. “He brings experience, and he wants to be a part of our club. That’s something that was important to us, and all of the signings so far have shown that. They’re all hungry and they all want to be part of the Houston Dynamo – not only as a club, but as part of our city and part of this new project that we are building.”

On top of his club play in Colombia Cabezas has represented Colombia at Under 20 level, playing at the 2011 South American Championship and World Cup. In the South American tournament he played in six of the nine matches before starting all five at the World Cup.

 

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Texans Abroad: Boxing Day 2016

Sunday December 25th 2016

CONCACAF (North & Central America)

Mexico: Liga MX

Liga MX Final 2nd Leg: Tigres UANL 1 Club America 1 (2-2 on Aggregate, after extra time, Tigres win 3-0 on Penalties)

Jose Francisco Torres was not in the match day squad as Tigres claimed the Liga MX title in a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory.

Monday December 26th 2016

UEFA (Europe)

England: Premier League

Chelsea 3 Bournemouth 0

Emerson Hyndman was not in the match day squad as Bournemouth were defeated by Chelsea.

  1. Bournemouth 18GP 6W 3D 9L -8GD 21Pts

 

Dynamo Lose Bruin and Gain Quioto

Romell Quioto in action at the Olympic Games (Photo: Andre Borges/Agencia Brasil, Creative Commons License)

Houston Dynamo has made two transactions this Christmas, losing one player but gaining another as a trade and a transfer came through on Friday. Will Bruin will leave the club and move to Seattle while the club has acquired Romell Quioto from Honduras to replace him.

Bruin was sent to Seattle for allocation money, in a convoluted way that only Major League Soccer (MLS) can manage. Houston acquired both general and targeted allocation money from Seattle as part of the trade, as is tradition in MLS the amounts of those specific allocations were not revealed.

After joining the club from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft Bruin has managed to play 178 matches scoring 50 MLS goals for Houston. 2016 saw Bruin’s output decrease scoring just four goals in his 31 matches, in a difficult year for Houston.

Some of that targeted allocation money was immediately spent as Houston Dynamo used it to acquire Quioto. Quioto, a striker, joins Dynamo from Honduran club CD Olimpia and comes as a full transfer to the club, not a loan signing.

Quioto is a diverse attacking option, having played centrally and on either wing, he will be useful to a Houston attack that was starved of goals. Including staring for Olimpia, Quioto has become a feature of the Honduras national team, playing 27 times, scoring four goals.

The Honduran becomes the second player to join Houston Dynamo who played at the Olympic Games in Rio this year. In Rio Quioto was an overage player for Honduras, playing five times and scoring once.

While at Olimpia Quioto has played 78 matches for the team, scoring 36 goals over three years, winning three Clausura championships in a row. Prior to playing with Olimpia, Quioto played for Vida playing just under 60 matches.

Houston is not Quioto’s first overseas club, as the Honduran spent time on loan in Europe, playing for Wisla Krakow in Poland. Quioto will add strike power for a Houston team desperately in need of it, and continues the long awaited change at Houston Dynamo.

Ben Newnam Joins San Antonio FC

Ben Newnam in action for Louisville City (Photo: Louisville City)

San Antonio FC has added another new player for 2017 as the club revealed on Friday that defender Ben Newnam would be joining the club for 2017. Newnam comes to San Antonio from Louisville City after four seasons in the United Soccer League (USL).

At Louisville City Newnam played 23 matches in 2016, starting all but two of them as Louisville had a stunning season, finishing second in the east. Newnam also managed some offensive work from the back as he managed a goal and three assists, the third most for a defender in the league.

After playing college soccer for Wake Forest in College, Newnam started his professional career in USL, playing with Charlotte Eagles. He spent two years at the Charlotte Eagles, 2013 and 2014 where he was a regular, playing 57 times for the Eagles and four goals.

Following two strong seasons at Charlotte, Newnam was snapped up by Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer (MLS). But Newnam only made one appearance for the Rapids and spent most of the year on loan at Charlotte Independence.

While at Charlotte Independence Newnam played 11 matches before Colorado Rapids transferred him out to Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Newnam finished his season at Pittsburgh where he played six times rounding out his time at the club.

Pittsburgh was Newnam’s last club before moving to Louisville where he had perhaps his strongest season to date. Newnam will likely play as a right winger for San Antonio FC where he can make strong runs in support of the attacking players for San Antonio.

“I am very excited to be signing with San Antonio FC,” said Newnam in a press release. “I look forward to meeting my teammates and fans, as well as getting involved in the community. I think very highly of Darren Powell and look forward to working with him and his staff. I can’t wait to get started on our journey to bring the USL Cup home to San Antonio next season.”

Newnam becomes the fourth new player to sign on to San Antonio FC and brings the confirmed squad total to 12.

Houston Dynamo add two More Defenders

Adolfo Machado (Photo: MarioLNC, Creative Commons License)

Houston Dynamo has added two more international players to their squad on Wednesday and Thursday as they continue to rebuild. On Wednesday Dynamo announced the signing of Adolfo Machado and on Thursday Dynamo selected Leonardo in the MLS Re-Entry Draft second stage.

Machado, a Panamanian defender transfers to Houston from Costa Rican legendary club Deportivo Saprissa. Machado has been a veteran for Panama, playing 67 times in the back line, proving a vital part of their recent years.

Since 2013 Machado has been in Deportivo Saprissa, initially joining on loan and has since gone on to play 130 matches for the club. While there Machado has claimed a double in 2014 and the Apertura in 2015 and 2016.

The Panamanian will no doubt be a significant loss for Saprissa as he has been the captain of the club and has been a stalwart. Machado comes to Houston having won the foreign player of the year award for the past three years.

In Thursday’s second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft Houston Dynamo selected Leonardo, formerly of Los Angeles Galaxy. Leonardo adds yet another defender to Houston Dynamo for 2017, pending his contract negotiation.

Despite being Brazilian Leonardo has become a US Citizen and so will not count as an international player on the roster. Given this was the second stage, Leonardo’s contract is up for negotiation, which will allow Houston to negotiate new terms with Leonardo.

Leonardo has played for LA Galaxy since 2010 and has won three MLS Cups with the club, while also winning LA Galaxy Defender of the Year in 2015. Through seven years in MLS Leonardo has played 85 matches, scoring twice and both signings will bolster the Dynamo back line.

2016 San Antonio Soccer Awards

USL Orange County Blues FC at San Antonio FC

San Antonio Soccer Awards Player of the Year: Stephen McCarthy (Photo: San Antonio FC)

2016 was a phenomenally big and busy year for soccer in San Antonio with lots of news and a brand new team. Ultimately San Antonio FC fell just short of the playoffs but created plenty of highlights along the way, and those are recognized in the 2016 San Antonio soccer awards.

Story of the Year: San Antonio FC’s season

Okay, so we’re cheating here a little bit, in 2015 this was perhaps the closest fought award, and in 2016 it proved even harder. So yes, this isn’t an individual story, but no individual story could be pinpointed that was as big as this one. San Antonio FC’s existence fundamentally altered the soccer scene in San Antonio and their rollercoaster ride of a season kept everyone excited until the bitter end in Edinburg.

Non-San Antonio Team of the Year: Swope Park Rangers

There was certainly plenty of contenders for this award, but in the end Swope Park Rangers’ incredible run to the United Soccer League (USL) championship game pushed them over the edge. They entertained when they played at Toyota Field, and they had a phenomenal season. Rio Grande Toros FC could also have been mentioned here but their playoff collapse hurt them. FC Dallas also get an honorable mention here but as they did not play in San Antonio they are not included in consideration.

Signing of the Year: Rafael Castillo

Castillo had a strong season, although that is not why he is the winner of this award, although his on-field performances were certainly a factor. Castillo’s signing by San Antonio FC as one of the first players announced was a phenomenally astute move from the club. It created a subtle link between the old club and brought some skeptical fans on board. There is more to signing a player than just what they can do on field, there are also commercial concerns to consider and in Castillo San Antonio FC was able to hit both on and off field concerns in a player.

Amateur Team of the Year: Reagan Boys

The first time a varsity team is being recognized by the San Antonio soccer awards, the Rattlers had another strong season, earning 10 places on the All-District Teams. Coach Gilbert Villarreal also earned Coach of the Year honors as he lead the Rattlers to the regional final, losing only on a goal with just three minutes to play.

College Team of the Year: Trinity Women

It was an agonizing end to the season for Trinity’s women, falling in the national quarter finals on their own pitch, to the eventual champions. That said, the Tigers had a phenomenal season, that quarter-final loss the only loss of the season as they continued to excel, building a strong program that looks set to contend for a national title again next year.

Game of the Year: San Antonio FC v Swope Park Rangers 4/9/2016

Yet again the best match of the year occurred in April, this time it was a club match as San Antonio FC played their first ever home league match. The atmosphere was electric, despite San Antonio FC conceding just two minutes in. The crowd of 8,466 set a Toyota Field Record, with San Antonio FC coming from behind in a 1-1 draw. In 20 years there will be 18,466 people claiming they were there, keep your ticket stub!

Goal of the Year: Franck Tayou Bicycle (9/17/2016 v Tulsa Roughnecks)

Needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, Tayou scored one of his most crucial goals against Tulsa. Sure they left him wide open for the finish, but his acrobatic finish was out of the blue, with San Antonio fans not used to seeing him score goals like that. Castillo’s free-kick against LA Galaxy II was a very close second, but bicycles have a strong record in this category, and being in general play helped Tayou claim the win.

Administrator of the Year: Tim Holt (San Antonio FC)

This is no doubt the lowest of Holt’s many accolades from a very successful career as a soccer administrator but it’s one that he deserves for all he has done for soccer in San Antonio this year. Holt comes in as a phenomenal administrator who has greatly improved the back office of pro soccer in San Antonio, following from the disaster that was Howard Cornfield, creating a successful on and off field product that can no doubt stand the test of time.

Coach of the Year: Dylan Harrison (Trinity Women)

In a year with two coaches new to San Antonio this was a difficult decision but in the end Harrison just edged out Darren Powell for the award. Harrison led Trinity, in his first season back at his alma mater, to an almost perfect season, losing just once, the national quarter-finals. While it was a bitter end to the season, Harrison has proven his credentials, deserving to be at a strong school like Trinity, and he seems on track to fill the big shoes of former coach Lance Key.

College Player of the Year: Laurence Wyke (Trinity Men)

Trinity had a number of strong candidates for this award but in the end Wyke’s consistency pushed him over the edge. Wyke was strong at the back for the season, but was also able to push forward, providing a number of goals and assists. Wyke was named a first-team All-American at the end of the season, and as just a sophomore has a strong shot at backing up for this award.

Player of the Year: Stephen McCarthy (San Antonio FC)

Another tough award in 2016, with a number of players making strong arguments for winning this award. In the end McCarthy just edged it as his strong defensive performances were vital for San Antonio FC keeping them alive. What clinched it was how much the defense struggled without him there and his leadership. McCarthy has re-signed for 2017 and San Antonio FC will be hoping he can remain fit for the season.

Janine Van Wyk Joins Houston Dash

Photo: SA Women’s Soccer

Houston Dash has added another international player to their squad as they announced the signing of Janine Van Wyk on Thursday afternoon. Van Wyk is the captain of the South African National Team and a star at that level.

Van Wyk is a legend of South African football having played for the national team for 12 years for 142 caps. She made a phenomenal start to her international career, scoring on debut as a defender, scoring off of a free-kick against Nigeria.

Just recently Van Wyk was announced as one of the finalists for the African Footballer of the Year award. That award has only once gone to a South African, in 2008 when Noko Matlou won the award, breaking a four year Nigerian streak.

In 2016 Van Wyk became the most capped South African football player, woman or man in a match against Cameroon. Van Wyk has become a fixture in South African football, even establishing her own team and academy which is the club she transfers from, JVW FC.

JVW FC joined the South African Women’s League in 2014 with Van Wyk purchasing the rights to the team herself. After three seasons JVW FC finished this season in second place, trailing the South African powerhouse, Bloemontein Celtic.

Van Wyk was brought to the attention of American fans after impressing in South Africa’s match against the United States earlier this year. Part of those impressed obviously included Houston Dash who snapped up Van Wyk, making Houston her first club outside of South Africa.

Alberth Elis Joins Houston Dynamo

Alberth Elis in action for Honduras (Photo: Angencia Brasilia, Creative Commons License)

Houston Dynamo have picked up another young designated player as they signed Alberth Elis from CF Monterrey on Tuesday. The Honduran international player will be joining Houston on a 12 month loan as they look to improve their squad.

Elis joins Houston with the potential to turn the loan deal in to a permanent deal, as Houston and Monterrey negotiated a fee for after the loan period. That will essentially make Ellis’ first season with Houston a trial, of course if he excels Monterrey could theoretically call him back.

Playing for the national under 23 side will have Elis as a name that US Soccer fans will remember as it was Elis who condemned the US to the Olympic playoff. Elis scored a brace against the United States in the CONCACAF Semi-final, knocking the US out.

He has done well at international level for Honduras having scored three goals through his 15 appearances. The crowning achievement of Elis’ career has come at under 23 level as Honduras finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Monterrey has only been Elis’ club since August, and he has appeared in just five matches through the season. That is likely why Monterrey have sought to loan Elis out, trying to find him more game time which Houston will presumably provide.

Prior to joining Monterrey, Elis was at CD Olimpia, a regular source of Honduran talent, managing 25 goals in 62 matches. While there Elis won the Clausura in 2014 and 2015, and won Best Young Player in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Elis is the third player from Olimpia in the current Dynamo squad with Boniek Garcia and Jose Escalante.

Texans Abroad: December 19th 2016

Emerson Hyndman training (Photo: AFC Bournemouth)

A new feature is entering the San Antonio Soccer News rotation as we will look regularly at the Texans playing soccer outside of Texas. If you know of any players that are not featured please contact us using the contact page.

Monday December 19th 2016

Europe (UEFA)

England

Friendly

AFC Bournemouth Under 21 v Bristol City Under 21 7-0

Emerson Hyndman played for AFC Bournemouth’s Under 21s in this friendly match and scored as part of a big 7-0 win.

Texas to Host Four CONCACAF Gold Cup Matchdays in 2017

gold-cup-logo

The 2017 Gold Cup host venues were announced by CONCACAF on Monday morning, with Texas coming up big. Four Texan venues, in three metro areas, will host matches in the tournament including San Antonio with the Alamodome named as a host.

The event will take place in July 2017, with Mexico as the defending champions following their win in 2015. Texas continues to be a regular host for the event, after hosting twice in 2015 in Frisco and Houston, both back as venues in 2017.

San Antonio was the biggest revelation in the announcement, as they are the only Texas city in the list to have not hosted previously. The Alamodome will be hosting the final two matches of the group stages with the last including Mexico as they are the seeded team in Group C.

Mayor of San Antonio Ivy Taylor was featured on the bid video saying “we can’t wait to welcome soccer fans from all over North and Central America and the Caribbean to our city. Let’s show the world that San Antonio is a soccer city.”

Bidding with the Alamodome may well be what pushed San Antonio to hosting the Mexico group, with a higher capacity venue than the other two Texas venues which will be hosting group stage matches. Houston Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium and FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium will be the other two venues hosting group stage matches in the tournament.

July 11th will see Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium host a Group A double header, with no teams in that group determined. Just three days later those four teams will head up I-45 to Frisco and play each other again at Toyota Stadium.

One more match will be played in Texas with AT&T Stadium in Arligton, the home stadium of the Cowboys playing a knock-out match. That match is not decided yet but odds are strong that it will be the semi-final or the final.