Are you glad it’s Friday? I am. Here are the Breakfast Links before we get a fun filled Saturday of soccer!
The Houston Dynamo snapped their losing streak last weekend in Colorado. Now all eyes are on the team as they will face off against Bébelo Reynoso and Minnesota United. The match is set for Saturday at 2:30 PM from Allianz Field. Can Houston continue to gain points in their quest to make the playoffs this season? Vamos Dynamo!
The Houston Dash would like to get back to their winning ways after taking a tumble against San Diego Wave FC last weekend. The ladies are currently tied for first place with 28 points, along with Portland and San Diego. The Dash will need to fight for points if they want to make their first ever playoff appearance in team history. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM at PNC Stadium on Saturday. DTFO!
Houston Dynamo 2 are back in action after a having a week off. The boys are also in the hunt to make the first ever post season of MLS NEXT Pro. Currently, the squad is holding on to the last playoff spot in their conference with 4 games remaining. Gaining points are crucial for playoff aspirations. Dale Dyna Dos!
Make sure you check out the latest episodes of the Dynamo Theory Podcast, available everywhere you get you podcasts.
Major League Soccer
LAFC have loaned defender Mamadou Fall to LaLiga side Villarreal through June of 2023, the club announced Thursday. The loan will begin immediately and LAFC will retain the right to recall the 19-year-old. Fall has 35 regular season appearances for the Black & Gold (29 starts) since signing with the southern California club in 2021 from the Soccer Institute of Montverde Academy in Orlando, Florida. However, since the arrival of Giorgio Chiellini in the Secondary Transfer Window to their already deep center back depth chart, the Senegalese native has struggled to find minutes.
The New England Revolution have signed midfielder Matt Polster to a contract extension through the 2024 season, with an option for 2025, the club announced Thursday. Polster, 29, is in his third season with the Revs, scoring four goals and four assists in 66 appearances (52 starts). He was a key piece during their record-setting Supporters’ Shield campaign in 2021.
There was no blocking Domenico Criscito’s first MLS goal last Wednesday at BMO Field, nor in Week 26’s Goal of the Week race. The Toronto FC left back has earned top honors for a thunderous left-footed volley in their 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution, a one-timed equalizer that evaded goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. The Italian midseason signing earned 35.7% of the vote.
Around the World
Finally, it’s time for the UEFA Champions League group stage! The road to the final began back in June with the first qualifying round, and now, the field of 78 teams has been whittled down to 32 and the groups have been drawn. Now we know where the narratives are, and there are plenty — Robert Lewandowski will celebrate his Barcelona move with a group date against Bayern Munich, while Borussia Dortmund will also get to check in on former striker Erling Haaland and his new club, Manchester City.
The NWSL Players Association has filed a grievance over the league’s denial of free agency to 22 players, the union said on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the NWSL announced that at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 26, the free agency window will open for the first time. The mechanism for free agency was included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first in league history, that was ratified on Feb. 1.
U.S. men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter will announce his 26-player roster for the 2022 World Cup on Nov. 9 at an event in New York City, the U.S. Soccer Federation revealed on Thursday. Speaking to the USSF’s Board of Directors, USSF VP of marketing Kay Bradley said that Berhalter will be joined by “some of the players, as well as industry leaders, fans, and influencers to bring that news out into the world.”
Karim Benzema has been named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year — solidifying his status as favourite to win the Ballon d’Or — after scoring a personal best 15 goals as Real Madrid won the 2021-22 Champions League. Benzema, 34, helped fire Madrid to a LaLiga and Champions League Double last season and was the key man in their string of dramatic European comebacks, including scoring hat tricks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.