Houston Dash secure first shutout
On Sunday evening the Houston Dash finally had half of their two biggest defensive pieces in the lineup, and it showed as they took it to Sky Blue FC for a 3-0 victory in New Jersey. Whitney Engen made her Houston Dash debut, and the result was a shutout for Canadian International Goalkeeper, Erin McLeod. Her first of the 2014 NWSL season.
Adding to firsts for the Dash this season the team took the first goal of the match and the early lead, which they had yet to do in any match prior. A brace from Tiffany McCarty and a headed goal from Ella Masar showed the firepower the Houston Dash have up top when needed.
For a more in depth recap of the match, check out our very own by Alicia.
USMNT head to BRADzil
On Saturday the US Men's National Team squared off against Nigeria and came away with a rousing 2-1 victory. Prior to the three send off matches over the last week or so, a lot had been made of Jozy Altidore needing to show well. In the first match against Azerbaijan he didn't look quite settled, and perhaps some of that can be chalked up to not having Clint Dempsey next to him to pull defenders away.
In the second and third matches, however, fans were offered a glimpse of just how special Jozy really is. While he didn't score in the second match, he was active and gave the Turkey defense fits all game long opening up multiple opportunities for other US players. It was the third match against Nigeria, though, where he really showed what he is capable of doing on the pitch.
There was one sequence, where a ball was cleared by the US back line, and he managed to win the aerial duel. He turned his defender around by sheer force of will, turned on his "jets" and ran up the flank a short ways, before cutting inside and sending one low and inside just beyond the outstretched arms of the keeper. It wasn't particularly pretty as far as shots on goal go, but it was a show of the effort and type of player Altidore has become for the US.
Ahead of the World Cup, Brad Davis picked up a small muscle pull/strain which he tweeted out isn't of any concern. While he was on the bench against Nigeria, he wasn't subbed on leading some to speculate whether Davis would get any shot to start in Brazil. Personally, I believe he starts one of the three group matches, and the start should come against either Portugal or Germany.
World Cup Break for Dynamo
The World Cup break is officially here for the Houston Dynamo, and with all the struggles the last few matches it is clear the team needs the rest. On Wednesday the team faces Laredo Heat in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match is part of a doubleheader with the Houston Dash facing Western New York Flash at 6:30PM followed by the Dynamo USOC match. Get your tickets now for this can't miss double header.
FIFA Corruption and Investigation
Speaking of the World Cup, over the past few days five of the six major FIFA World Cup sponsors voiced public concern over the allegations of the Qatar World Cup bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Sony, Adidas, Hyundai/Kia, Visa and Coca-Cola have all expressed publicly their concerns with the "taint" of their sponsorships of the world-wide event should the allegations of corruption and bribery surrounding the bidding process for the Qatar and Russian World Cup bids be found as true.
What does it all mean? Not a whole lot right away, but if Chief Investigator Michael Garcia finds any corruption at any level within the FIFA Executive Committee then there will be no choice. FIFA will need to consider not just the outcome of the investigation, but the harm to sponsor relations the outcry has caused. For once, this may be exactly what FIFA needs to finally oust Sepp Blatter once and for all…maybe. Heck, we might even see a rebid of 2022, or an awarding of that World Cup to a different host altogether.
Questions, thoughts, comments? Add some down below and let's keep the discussion alive!