We are back for the start of another glorious week here in the heart of Houston, Texas. We hope you’re staying cool and that your air conditioner is working properly in your vehicles. There was plenty of action this weekend in and around the organization with all three teams playing. There was some good, some bad and some downright ugly performances to be had. Regardless of the state of affairs within the organization, we’ve always got you covered, Houston. So, sit back and relax as we take you through the weekend of Houston soccer, a little bit around MLS, and happenings from around the world.
The Houston Dynamo got absolutely embarrassed on Saturday evening, 6-0 against the Philadelphia Union. This was a match that will not be soon forgotten, the beating was historic and not in a good way. The full match recap can be found right here via our website if you wish to throw salt in the wound and are a glutton for punishment, help yourself to an excellent recap of an awful showing from the Houston Dynamo.
The club is in a difficult position of trying to get the best out of a team that has more than its fair share of struggles. It is disheartening to see the team come out and play well to start the match and have it all turn 180 degrees. That penalty that wasn’t, the foul that was questionable and the free kick that was world class that gave the Union the lead after the Dynamo did well to start. After that moment it was all Philadelphia, and the Dynamo will have to go back and regroup after this trouncing. The schedule does the Dynamo no favors down the stretch and they are back in action this Friday against Vancouver at 9:30 PM CT.
Houston Dynamo 2 dropped heartbreaking points in a match where they dominated and looked good throughout, but were only able to leave with one point against Vancouver Whitecaps 2. Dynamo 2 came out flying, as they so often have, with a beautiful 2nd minute Papa N’Doye goal to start the match. Vancouver tied the match in the 26th minute and Marcelo Palomino scored yet again from a set piece outside the box to restore Houston’s lead. We might as well start calling him Mr. Automatic when there is a free kick within range. Unfortunately, Dynamo 2 would be caught out at the absolute death with a Vancouver goal in the 4th minute of second half stoppage time to send the match to penalty kicks. Dynamo 2 would not be able to prevail, and Vancouver Whitecaps 2 would take the vital 2 points. The points are always important, but they begin to carry more weight this time of the season with the playoffs on the horizon and the ending of the season coming to a head. Our full game recap will come out on Tuesday with our Dynamo 2sday article. We encourage you to follow along with Dos, there is lots to be excited about seeing the future of this organization come into their own. Dynamo 2 will be back in action next Sunday, August 7th against Sporting Kansas City II at 7 PM CT.
The Houston Dash are flying high, looking to reach historic heights. The Dash were the lone bright spot in the Houston soccer weekend as they completely dominated NY/NJ Gotham FC by a score of 4-2. The match wasn’t even close, the Dash pressed relentlessly winning back possession and getting forward with menacing accuracy and haste. Maria Sanchez is tied for the league lead with in assists and just continues to show why she is one of the best to do it. Shea Groom scored a thunderous header in the 36th minute on a perfect pass from Sanchez. In the second half, Marisa Viggiano played a beautiful ball back out to the top of the box to Sophie Schmidt, who was closing in with dangerous intentions. Schmidt, with no hesitations, crushed an absolute banger with her left, beating the keeper into the back right corner of the net. It was a world class strike from Sophie and I’m sure it will go in the running for goals of the season. Ebony Salmon scored again from a penalty in the 73rd minute after a high IQ move from Sanchez took advantage of tired legs and drew a foul in the box. Salmon sent in a no doubter to score the penalty kick, and has now scored 4 goals in her last 2 matches for the Dash. This was a massive 3 points taken for the Dash and they now sit in 3rd place in the NWSL standings with 21 points. The arrival of new interim head coach Juan Carlos Amorós has been phenomenal for the club, and the Dash have established themselves as one of the most feared teams in the league. The full match recap can be found on our website here.
Major League Soccer
D.C. United came back in epic fashion to beat Orlando City with 2 goals in stoppage time Sunday afternoon. Taxiarchis Fountas and Christopher Durkin both scored after the 90th minute, solidifying Wayne Rooney’s new era in the best way possible. D.C. United are still in last place in the East and Orlando City find themselves in 5th place.
New England Revolution played to a 0-0 draw against Toronto FC. Lorenzo Insigne is extremely exciting to watch for the Reds since his arrival on July 23rd. This match was about as exciting as you could ask for in a 0-0 draw. Toronto drew a penalty in the 76th minute but it was a clear and obvious mistake. In pure shock to the commentary team, the call was upheld after a lengthy VAR check as the ref pointed to the spot. Insigne stepped up to take the PK, with the minutes winding off the clock and the score still knotted at 0. He took off and fired at the lower left corner of the net, but Djordje Petrovic made one of the saves of the week (another coming off an Insigne shot earlier in the match that was destined for the upper right corner of the net). Toronto sit in 13th and New England are in 9th in the Eastern Conference.
There were 2 other matches worth mentioning and both ended in 4-4 draws on Saturday.
Minnesota United vs Portland was a back-and-forth offensive explosion with goals from Franco Fragapane (9th minute), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (21st minute) and a brace (and assist) from Luis Amarilla (41st minute and 69th minute) for Minnesota United, and they really look good with their young players flying high. Portland refused to go quietly into that good night and rallied off 4 goals of their own. Sebastian Blanco scored a brace (1st minute and 50th minute) including a goal 15 seconds into the match as the 4th fastest goal in MLS history. Jaroslaw Niezgoda added a goal in the 53rd minute for Portland and a Kemar Lawrence own goal in the 65th led this incredibly exciting match to come to its conclusion all tied up at 4, each team taking a well-earned point. Portland sticks to that 7th spot in the Western Conference with 31 points, one point ahead of the LA Galaxy. Minnesota United has really turned it on with a 5-0-2 record as of late and now sit in 3rd place in the West with 35 points, tied with FC Dallas and 1 point ahead of Real Salt Lake.
Another offensive explosion between Inter Miami CF and FC Cincinnati ended 4-4. The match saw a brace for Brenner (28th minute and 40th minute) and Brandon Vazquez (81st minute and 86th minute) for FC Cincinnati. Gonzalo Higuain. That’s the tweet. He buried a free kick in the 23rd minute to give Inter Miami the early lead on his way to a hat-trick. The free kick at the top of the box was struck so pure and with such power that it was in the back right corner of the net before the keeper could even leave his feet. The dive was merely for show because he was well beaten, and no amount of anticipation would stop that goalazo from finding the net. Christopher McVey found the equalizer in the 7th minute of stoppage time to salvage a point for Miami CF in one of the better matches of the season. Cincinnati has had 3 straight last place finishes and are now looking to make a run at the playoffs. FCC are currently sitting in that all-important 7th place in the East with 29 points. Miami are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points, tied with Charlotte FC in 10th.
Around The World
The leagues across the world are starting to ramp up and all the preseason matches are out of the way. The English Premier League starts up this Friday, August 5th with Crystal Palace taking on Arsenal to kick off another fantastic season of football.
The German Bundesliga is a great league to watch as well with quality all over the place and storylines of teams clawing their way up the lists, but all battered by Bayern Munich historically. Borussia Dortmund is one of the main contenders to take the title if it were to be a team other than Bayern. Although they will be without phenom Erling Haaland, who is now with Manchester City.
Italy’s Serie A starts up on August 13th with Milan vs Udinese and Samdoria vs Atalanta to kick off the season. Milan will be looking to make a repeat of last season and make another run for that top spot.
Spain’s La Liga will kick things off on Friday, August 12th with Osasuna vs Sevilla. Real Madrid and Barcelona both appear to be in mid-season form already before the season even starts and are certain to bring the same energy again this season.
Plenty of exciting soccer is getting ready to start back up, I hope everyone is ready. Will Man City crush the Premier League this season with Haaland aboard? Will Real Madrid remain dominant and keep Barcelona at bay or will Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, and Raphinha bring Barcelona back to the top of the food chain?
As always, we appreciate you following along, we strive to bring you the best coverage around. It is with your support that we are able to be one of the leaders in covering this organization and we do that for the community with pride and integrity. Until next time, Houston. Hold it down and stay forever orange.