World Cup 2014
Lionel Messi, James Rodriguez, Paul Pogba and Manuel Neuer all came away with individual player awards while Colombia came away with the Fair Play Award. And with the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup we begin to look to the 2018 World Cup as Russia prepares to spend an estimated $20 billion as host.
San Antonio Scorpions
Our friends in San Antonio are savoring a sweet, sweet road victory over the NASL powerhouse New York Cosmos on Saturday...in New York. This isn't the first time the Cosmos have fallen to San Antonio this season, but this is just the second time since 1972 the Cosmos were defeated at home. A lot of credit goes to the Scorpions for playing high intensity soccer for the full 90 minutes, and not backing down from intimidation.
Where's the defense?
Once again the Houston Dynamo failed to plug the leaks along the back line, and the result was a Toronto FC come from two goals behind drubbing. It's one thing for the team to struggle offensively, but it is an entirely different scenario when a team praised for being consistent defensively year after year can't seem to cauterize their wounds.
Injuries are part of the problem, but eventually we have to really start looking hard at the personnel. Sure, Head Coach Dominic Kinnear has to field some of the blame, but with the Front Office hamstrung by veteran contracts it is hard to fault him for fielding the players he does. Until we are completely out of playoff contention he has to field the best XI he has, but I sure do want to see our youth get some minutes.
Kealia Ohai is pretty magical
When the Houston Dash were awarded the second overall pick of the 2014 NWSL College Draft everyone knew they were going to select Kealia Ohai, sister-in-law of Houston Texan Brian Cushing. It was the perfect PR move, and also the right move for the club. We all pretty much knew she would eventually figure out how to play in the NWSL, but what we didn't realize is it wouldn't be a huge change in how she played in college.
Hal Kaiser (Co-editor of Orange in the Oven) and I were talking Ohai on Twitter, and he mentioned for a while she looked timid and unsure of herself when taking on defenders following her injury in the first match at BBVA Compass Stadium. Throughout the season, as the injury has fully healed, he's noticed she's become fearless in her approach and it shows.
The brace on Friday night in front of the home crowd lifted the Houston Dash to a come from behind victory over Boston Breakers, and it was a reminder of just how good she can be when she plays fearlessly. Something tells me those practices with Houston Dash Managing Director and former Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching have sure paid off.
Also, while I didn't include it in my very quick recap from Friday night's match, Melissa Henderson the newest Houston Dash forward started and played the full 90. She looked very solid on the ball, and her touch and vision were on point for someone with limited time with the team.