Houston Dynamo get First Clean Sheet of 2017

Houston Dynamo players celebrate their second goal (Photo: Houston Dynamo)

Houston Dynamo has kept their first clean sheet of the 2017 season as they managed a 2-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.

It took just nine minutes for Houston Dynamo to open the scoring as Alex made a run in to the box and was then brought down for a penalty. That allowed Erick Torres to step up and send his penalty right down the middle as David Bingham moved out of the way, allowing Torres to extend his lead at the top of the MLS golden boot standings.

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Texans Abroad April 3 to 4 2017

Lee Nguyen (Photo: New England Revolution)

Sunday April 4, 2017

North America

Major League Soccer

Portland Timbers 1 New England Revolution 1

Lee Nguyen played the full 90 for New England Revolution and scored their only goal (84’ 1-1) in a draw, his third goal of the season. London Woodberry was not in the match day 18.

New England Revolution 8th (East) 1W 1D 2L 4pts

Monday April 3, 2017

South America

Colombian Primera B

Deportes Qunidio 1 Deportivo Pereira 2

Francisco Navas continued his run of starts as he played a full 90 as Deportes Qunidio lost.

Deportes Qunidio 6th 4W 1D 3L 13pts – Playoff place

Asia

Thai Premier League

Bangkok United 4 Sukothai 2

Anthony Ampai Pitakwong continued his return from injury as he played a full 90 as Bangkok United managed a win.

Bangkok United 9th 3W 1D 3L 10pts

George Malki to Miss Season for Houston Dynamo

After a promising start for Houston Dynamo’s season under a new head coach, Wilmer Cabrera, they have suffered a hit to their season as they announced on Tuesday that they lost George Malki for the season due to injury.

The announcement revealed that the injury, sustained at a training session last Wednesday, is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, an injury significant enough to already rule him out for the rest of the season. The injury will require surgery, with Malki getting that surgery on Friday at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital with Dr. Tim Sittler performing the surgery.

“We are disappointed for George with the news of his recent injury,” said Dynamo Vice-president and General Manager Matt Jordan. “We are confident that with his work ethic and attitude he’ll make a full recovery to return to the field stronger than ever.”

The loss of Malki is disappointing for Houston as he was a part of the rebuilding of the side under Cabrera for the 2017 season. Malki joined Dynamo the same way Cabrera did, coming with him from Rio Grande Valley FC Toros after playing 25 matches for the club last year.

This is the second time Malki has been with Houston Dynamo, having previously been with the team in the 2015 preseason but not gaining a contract. That saw him join Arizona United SC (now Phoenix Rising) for his first professional season, impressing enough to join the Houston Dynamo pathway in Rio Grande Valley and his performances there have brought him up.

San Antonio FC Claims First Ever win Over MLS Opposition

The two sides warm up (Photo: San Antonio FC)

San Antonio FC has won their first ever match against MLS opposition as they managed a 2-0 win over Minnesota United FC in Florida on Sunday morning. San Antonio FC rebounded perfectly from their disappointing double header last week and will gain a full steam of confidence from the victory.

There was a goal in each half as San Antonio FC managed a big preseason victory by upsetting the Loons in their final pre-season match. Defender Cyprian Hedrick scored his first goal for his new club while forward Devin Vega continued his stunning preseason with a second goal, forcing his way in to starting XI contention.

The opening goal came right at the death of the first half as Minnesota gave away a free-kick right in range for San Antonio FC midfielder Rafael Castillo. Instead of going for the direct shot at goal Castillo opted to send in a cross to Hedrick, with the big defender using all of his strength and height to get a header away, beating the keeper and hitting the back of the net to give San Antonio FC a 1-0 half-time lead.

The second goal came at the end of the second half as Vega was able to seal a famous win for San Antonio FC. New defender Ben Newnam was able to get a ball through for Vega to run on to, allowing him to slot home the winner.

While the scoreline makes the match sound like San Antonio FC dominated the match, it was a tight affair throughout. Often times San Antonio FC had their goalkeeper Matt Cardone to thank for keeping them ahead as he pulled off a number of classy saves.

As often happens in friendlies the second half saw the intensity drop due to the large number of substitutions. But soon enough San Antonio FC took charge of the second half and were able to find a second goal to win the match.

FC Dallas Complete Signing of Walker Hume

FC Dallas has signed their second round draft selection, Walker Hume to a Major League Soccer (MLS) contract on Tuesday. Hume joins FC Dallas after being drafted in the second round, 37th overall.

The signing comes after Hume impressed in FC Dallas’ pre-season trip to Argentina last week, where he played 195 minutes. His most significant contribution to the team came in the match against River Plate Reserves on February 12th where he scored the match winner.

Hume will be a signing that will please FC Dallas fans, being a local player, originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hume is a great advert for NCAA Division II soccer having started his collegiate career at Rollins College, scoring 12 goals and providing four assists. That saw him move to North Carolina where he scored eight goals and provided six assists.

After missing the 2015 season, Hume took a redshirt and played his senior season in 2016 playing his part in North Carolina’s loss to Stanford at the national championship semi-finals. Hume is listed as a defender but often played a holding midfielder role while at North Carolina, and could well do the same in Frisco.

Hume is the second member of his family to play professional sport in Dallas, with his maternal grandfather, Tom Franckhauser being a member of the inaugural Dallas Cowboys. He also already has a league championship under his belt, having been one of the younger members to win the Premier Development League title with Austin Aztex in 2013.

FC Dallas win Generation Adidas Regional Qualifier

FC Dallas celebrate a goal (Photo: Houston Dynamo)

Houston hosted the regional qualification for the Generation Adidas Cup with the finals taking place on Monday at Houston Sports Park. FC Dallas finished as the winners of the region and so move on to the national finals later in the year.

In the first match of the final day saw Toronto FC seal their place as the runners up in the region. It took penalties, with Toronto managing to save Houston’s last two penalties to seal second place. An own goal gave Toronto the opening goal in the first half, and that was seemingly enough until Heriberto Soto received a throw-in and shoot past the keeper to send the match to penalties.

Sporting Kansas City needed a win to have any chance of nudging in to the national championship. They defeated Chicago Fire 1-0 as Sean Karani scored in the 27th minute with a shot off the post. Kansas City had to finish the match with 9 players when three players were sent off in the final 15 minutes, but Chicago could not take advantage.

The final match of the day was the best of the tournament as FC Dallas won an eight goal thriller against Columbus Crew. FC Dallas managed a 5-3 win over the Crew to claim the region win and finish the regional qualifying undefeated.

It was the first hast where most of the goals happened, with Colin Brios opening the scoring in the 15th minute as he headed past the keeper. That lead only lasted for two minutes as Adrian Morales caught out the keeper. It was 2-1 to the Crew in the 28th minute as Biros sent in a ball for a wide open Derik Broche. But again two minutes later Morales buried the chance to make it 2-2 before Jesus Ferreira made it 3-2 to Dallas at half-time.

The second half was all FC Dallas, as they cruised to the win, and advance to the national finals taking place in April.

FC Dallas Head to Argentina for Preseason

Photo: FC Dallas

FC Dallas announced on Monday their pre-season schedule for their trip to Argentina after they left Dallas-Fort Worth Airport for the camp. The team is going to Argentina in an effort to get tough matches as they get ready for their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.

After arriving in Argentina on Monday night, FC Dallas will get one day off before they play a match every single day of their one week trip to Argentina. That first match will be on Wednesday morning as they take on Lanus.

The second match will be hotly anticipated as FC Dallas will play River Plate on Wednesday night. The Argentine giants have often given FC Dallas some talent as they took Mauro Diaz from River Plate, and this match should be a tough one.

It will be a tight turn around before FC Dallas plays San Lorenzo on Friday morning, presumably with a mixed squad. Following their match against San Lorenzo Saturday will be up against another big club as they take on the legendary San Lorenzo.

FC Dallas will take on River Plate again on Sunday, but this time it will be against the reserves, with FC Dallas deliberately calling this a reserves match. What is not clear is how many of those reserves will play in the initial match on the Thursday.

Two more matches will take place on Monday and Tuesday as FC Dallas will play Ferro and a second match against Lanus. The final match will take place on the 15th but the opponent has not yet been decided.

FC Dallas Forward Tesho Akindele Called up to Canada Squad

Tesho Akindele in action for Canada (Photo: Kilnsmann2011/Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons License)

Texas has seen another national team call up as FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele has been rewarded with a Canadian National Team call up, the club announced on Tuesday. Akindele was named in  Canada’s January training camp squad by the interim head coach Michael Findlay.

Akindele had his strongest ever Major League Soccer (MLS) season in 2016, as he managed 31 appearances, his host yet, and scored six goals in the regular season. On top of that he continued his run of form in the playoffs scoring a goal for the third straight season.

Since 2015 Akindele has been a regular player for the Canadian National Team after his strong performances with FC Dallas. Akindele has scored twice for Canada, first against Dominica in World Cup qualifying in Canada and then against Azerbaijan in Austria.

Of course Akindele was eligible for representing both the United States and Canada, but on June 2nd 2015 he received his first call up for the two legged series against Dominica. That cap tied the youngster to Canada, the country of his birth and his mother.

The camp will start in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 12th, running there until January 18th, Canada’s version of Camp Cupcake escaping the icy north for the week. From there Canada will travel to Bermuda where they will play a friendly against the hosts, ranked 187th to Canada’s 117th on January 22nd.

In his three seasons for FC Dallas, Akindele has appeared in 85 league matches, after a strong collegiate career at Colorado School of Mines. Akindele has scored 18 goals for FC Dallas, coming after a phenomenal output in college, where he scored 76 goals from 83 appearances.

FC Dallas Defender Ryan Hollingshead Injured in car Collision

Photo: FC Dallas

There was a scary moment for FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead over the weekend as the club revealed on Monday Hollingshead was involved in a car accident on Friday night. The accident occurred in Irving, Texas on Friday night and has left Hollingshead with injuries but he should be able to recover and return playing in the new season.

Hollingshead was being a Good Samaritan in difficult conditions in Irving as he was assisting a fellow motorist whose car had wrecked. In the process of doing this a second car lost control in the icy conditions and struck Hollingshead forcing him to be taken to a Dallas-Fort Worth area hospital. Hollingshead was discharged from that hospital on Sunday evening and is now making his recovery at home.

In the collision Hollingshead suffered fractures to three of his cervical vertebrae but due to the nature of them, stable fractures he will not risk any spinal cord injury or loss of function. It will, however, require Hollingshead to wear a neck brace for six to eight weeks.

That will obviously have a significant impact on his preseason preparations, with the MLS season just seven weeks away. Obviously Hollingshead will be not able to compete in the opening round or rounds on the season but the positive is that he will not be having significant changes to his life due to a spinal cord injury.

“The entire FC Dallas family is thinking of Ryan and his wife, Taylor,” said FC Dallas president Dan Hunt in a statement. “We are praying for a swift recovery and are looking forward to seeing him back on the pitch for our club.”

Three FC Dallas Players Called up to USMNT Camp

Photo: FC Dallas

Three FC Dallas players have been called in to the United States Men’s National Team squad for their January camp next week. Bruce Arena announced his 32 man squad on Thursday with Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman and Kellyn Acosta all called up to the squad.

The squad selection is Arena’s first squad since being named as the new Men’s National Team Coach in November. As usual a January camp has allowed the opportunity to bring in some fringe players but the USMNT will have a big match to conclude the camp with two friendlies, first against Serbia on January 29th, and then on February 3rd against Jamaica.

Of the three players Zimmerman is the most inexperienced and could well receive his first international cap in the friendlies. Zimmerman has never been called in to even a camp before, but has represented the United States at the various youth levels.

Acosta continues in the squad, having received his first international call up in the same camp in 2016. Since that time Acosta has appeared four times for the United States and will be looking to continue his fledgling international career.

Hedges is coming in to the squad for the first time since 2015 after a phenomenal MLS season with FC Dallas. Hedges won the Defender of the Year award last season and comes in after being left out of recent squads.

The 32 man squad comes entirely from Major League Soccer, with the extended nature of the camp making that a requirement. Houston Dynamo player DaMarcus Beasley has also been selected in the squad despite being out of contract at Houston and headed to free agency.