You could be reading anywhere during your Monday morning (insert routine) but you are here with us, and we appreciate you for it. Without further delay, let’s get right into it.
(all stats referenced from Fotmob)
The Houston Dynamo took on Atletico San Luis from Liga MX in the 11th edition of the Dynamo Charities Cup. The Dynamo were able to take the lead in the 50th minute when Adam Lundkvist sent a beautifully weighted ball for Tyler Pasher, putting him in on goal. The Canadian took one touch, hesitated, and then fired with his favored left foot, directly through the legs of the San Luis keeper into the net at the far post. The combination play of Fafa Picault and Lundkvist that led up to the goal was also smooth and well executed.
Saturday afternoon was a scorcher as far as the temperature was concerned. The match was stopped several times for water breaks, and justifiably so. The match had no limit on substitutions and both teams took advantage of that fact. The Dynamo played every single player on the roster Saturday night (23 players) and Atletico played all but for 4 players.
Besides the result, it’s encouraging to see that not only did the Dynamo use all of the players on the roster, but they also managed to maintain the level of play. There was not a drop off that allowed San Luis to come back into the game at any point. It was a team effort from starters, to bench and to the Dynamo 2 players making a name for themselves and showing they can be an asset for the 1st team going forward.
We did get a chance to speak with coach Paulo Nagamura at the press conference and he had this to say about the performance of the young players; “The younger players, they have been doing really well and I always say that whenever they show in training that they can help the first team win games, they will get opportunities. It’s about them performing when they get the opportunity as well. So, I think today it was a great display by the young guys—the guys that played. The guys that came on I think they took the opportunity really well and it will make my job more difficult. They are pushing the guys ahead of them not drop their performance because they’re doing well and that’s a great thing to have in our group, competitions. It will just drive our performance going higher and higher.”
The Dynamo are now 6-5 all time in the Charities Cup and will be back in league action against Orlando City on June 18th for an away match.
In a match the Dash would much rather forget, they fell 4-0 to the Portland Thorns on Sunday evening. There were some questionable calls in this one but this was not the reason for the loss. Sophia Smith (9.6 fotmob rating, 2 goals 1 assist, 3 chances created) and the rest of the Thorns were dangerous in creating and causing the Dash problems all evening. It would prove too much for the Dash to handle in this extremely tough matchup at home.
Olivia Moultrie, at just 16 years of age, got a goal and an assist, becoming the youngest player in NWSL history to achieve that feat. The possession was split down the middle, slightly favoring Portland, but the Thorns had 20 shots to 8 for the Dash. The Thorns created 5 big chances to 0 for the Dash and to make matters worse, of the 8 shots the Dash did manage, only 1 of them was put on target. Portland was able to take advantage of their opportunities and the Dash struggled to get anything going on Sunday evening.
Dynamo 2 faced off against Sporting Kansas City 2 on Saturday afternoon in the blistering 100-degree Texas heat. Much like the temperature, the match started off with heat in the box. In the 7th minute Papa N’Doye found newly acquired Kyle Edwards with a perfectly weighted ball. Edwards was able to break loose and in on goal but the SKC2 keeper came off his line and smothered the early attempt. There was a shade of controversy, with no VAR, when Talen Maples was called for a penalty on SKC2 forward, Rauf Salifu’s run into the box. The call was questionable, but the referee pointed to the spot without hesitation and delivered a yellow card to Maples in the process. Salifu would not squander his created opportunity and buried the PK into the back right side of the net, giving SKC2 the early lead in the 13th minute.
The combination play between Edwards and N’Doye was very promising to see. They have similar styles of play in being extremely dangerous on and off the ball, and that will make it difficult for the opposition to prepare for. With that combination of play, Dynamo 2 had the better chances and statistically were the better team on the field. They completed an impressive 83.2% of their passes, had 59.7% of the possession, and a total of 14 shots with 6 being on target. SKC2 only had 5 total shots and only 1 on target. In consecutive weeks now, we have seen Dynamo 2 look like the better team on the field and have done well creating chances. They have been very unlucky on some of the finishing as of late and these last 2 results could have been very different, but they hold their heads high and move on to the next.
Dynamo 2 are back in action on June 19th and will head to Hillsboro Stadium for an away match against Portland Timbers 2.
Major League Soccer
There were only 3 games around the league this weekend, let’s look at the results.
Charlotte’s new coach, Christain Lattanzio, was welcomed to the club with a 2-0 victory at home on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls. The match saw goals in first and second half stoppage time from Ben Bender and former Houston Dynamo player, Derrick Jones, 4 minutes after he came on the field. With that win, Charlotte FC take over the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Nasville SC and the San Jose Earthquakes ended in a 0-0 draw, with Nashville putting up the better performance, although neither team was able to push one across the line to take all 3 points. Nashville registered a 1.35 xG to San Jose’s 0.55 and created 4 big chances to San Jose’s 0. Joe Willis was Fotmob’s player of the match, registering an 8.3 player rating and making 6 saves on the night. Each team walks away with a point, putting Nashville SC in 6th and San Jose in 13th in the Western Conference standings.
In one of the more exciting league matchups of the weekend, the New England Revolution were without their top scorer, Adam Buska, as they faced off against Sporting Kansas City. Gustavo Bou would open the scoring in the 30th minute when Dylan Borrero flicked a pass up and over the center back, who miss-judged the ball, leaving Bou in on goal.
SKC would have things take a turn for the worse when Oriol Rosell received his 2nd yellow card and an early exit from the match, leaving SKC to fight the rest of the match being a man down. Despite that adversity, Sporting Kansas City were able to mount a comeback in the 52nd minute. Johnny Russell stepped up to take a free kick from 6 yards outside of the box. He sent in a screaming curler with his left into the right side of the netting. The free kick had such pace and movement that it left keeper Djordje Petrovic with no chance at making the save.
Being a man down for most of the 2nd half, SKC began to tire drastically and did end up giving up the late winner. In the 87th minute, Gustavo Bou laced a shot from outside the box that goalkeeper Tim Melia spilled directly towards a charging Emmanuel Boateng, who would use a class bit of footwork and speed to beat the keeper on the tap-in rebound. This one would end with the New England Revolution taking all 3 points despite the effort from SKC and they now sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings. SKC are now in dead last (14th) in the Western Conference standings.
Around The World
The USMNT took on Grenada in the CONCACAF Nations League match on Friday night. This one was not even close, the US were the far superior team throughout the entirety of the match. After a slower start than expected, the team (and mainly Jesus Ferreria) exploded for 5 goals and kept the clean sheet, extending their home unbeaten streak to 26 games. Ferreria was the star of the show in this one, scoring a ridiculous 4 goals on the evening. Paul Arriola was also able to find the back of the net in the 62nd minute in the landslide victory. The players you want to see doing well are really starting to heat up and that is especially beneficial with the World Cup just around the corner. The USMNT will be back in action on Tuesday evening against El Salvador in another Nations League match.
“Here We Go,” after some arduous negations, Liverpool look to have claimed the rights to striker Darwin Nunez. Nunez scored 34 goals in 41 games in all competitions (26 goals, 4 assists in league play). The deal is reported to be $64 million (GBP), with an additional $21 million in incentives. Liverpool narrowly missed winning the coveted Premier League silverware this season and with the Manchester City adding the ever-dangerous Erling Haaland, Liverpool will look to keep stride get with this massive addition. Next season will certainly bring the fireworks as the giants of the EPL battle for supremacy.