Welcome in, welcome back! We are 1 skip away from another regular season in the books. Let’s get into the Monday Breakfast Links.
The new Dynamo FO have admittedly taken on a larger rebuilding project than they originally anticipated, and the process will trickle into the offseason as Ted Segal and Pat Onstad try to get the Dynamo back on track. The Houston Dash continue their push for historic heights and Dynamo 2 look to follow suit. As always, we appreciate you following along and helping us be one of the leaders in providing coverage of this organization. We strive to provide quality content for the people, by the people. Sit back and relax, we’ve got you covered, Houston!
The Houston Dynamo got dealt with on the road by LAFC 3-1 on Sunday night. Griffin Dorsey was called for a penalty in the 8th minute in a controversial call early on the match and Carlos Vela would make sure they cashed in. Carlos Vela calmy tucked away the spot kick to give LAFC the early lead. In the 24th minute, Coco Carrasquilla sent in a beautiful long ball that landed directly on the foot of Corey Baird. Baird had gotten in behind the line and one-time tapped it over the approaching Maxime Crepeau and into the back of the net before anyone could really blink. The Dynamo played well at times and had a decent 1st half but ultimately LAFC were just too much to handle on the road. Help yourself to an excellent full match recap of a sour result, right here.
The Houston Dash …... that’s the tweet. Your Houston Dash picked up an extremely pivotal three points on the road Saturday night as they dispatched the Chicago Red Stars 1-0. The Dash are setting a new standard with their 9th win of the season, and that ties the team record set in 2018. They have also picked up a team record-breaking 6th road win to add to the mounting accolades as the Dash chase history. Ebony Salmon scored her 9th goal of the season in a beautiful string of play in the 25th minute. Jane Campbell’s goal kick would find Maria Sanchez near midfield. Maria flicked it on for Nichelle Prince down the right side where Prince was able to beat her defender and send a beautiful pass into a waiting Ebony Salmon. Salmon took two touches and then absolutely crushed a shot that took a deflection before inevitably finding the back of the net. With that goal, Salmon is now two goals away from tying the Dash all-time single season record of 11 (Kealia Watt 2016) and tied for 5th on the NWSL leaderboard. She has been exactly what the Dash were looking for when the trade was announced earlier this season, and she continues to show her offensive prowess in another quality performance. Jane Campbell wasn’t called on much but managed her sixth clean sheet of the season. The Dash defense protected the box extremely well against a dangerous Chicago squad. A 20-yarder from Mallory Pugh in the 77th minute was the only save Jane had to make and that was easily dealt with. The Houston Dash will be back in action on September 24th for their last home game of the regular season against OL Regin. Help yourself to our full match recap right here.
Houston Dynamo 2 were at home against North Texas SC in front of the largest crowd of the season as the fans came out in droves to cheer on their Dynamo 2 in the last home game of the regular season. The vibe was electrifying as excitement ran through the crowd. The music and the fans, like the heartbeat of this city, thumping in unison to cheer on the Dynamo 2 to victory and head into the playoffs on a positive note. The masses would not be disappointed in the slightest as Dynamo 2 would take this one 2-0. Dynamo 2 have one of the most dangerous lineups in the league and continue to show their determination to fight for each other and lift this team to higher levels. With the midfield combination of Marcelo Palomino, Juan Castilla and Brooklyn Raines, it makes Dynamo 2 extremely difficult to deal with, and they look good and ready to make a strong playoff run. Palomino scored his team leading 7th goal of the season as Mr. Automatic got back on the board. Juan Castilla (The Hand that Guides) got his 1st goal of the year in the 67th minute. He’s had an extremely solid regular season including 4 assists on the year (tied for the most on team). Our full match recap will come out with our regularly scheduled Dynamo 2sday on Tuesday.
Major League Soccer
Orlando City eviscerated Toronto FC on Saturday 4-0 as Facundo Torres and the rest of Orlando had a field day. Torres got Orlando on the board early in the 9th minute and it really wasn’t close after that. The 26-year-old Austrian #9 Ercan Kara got his 10th goal of the season in the 22nd minute, an own goal in the 47th and sub Tesho Akindele capped off the trouncing with a goal mere moments after taking the pitch in the 84th minute. Orlando City held 44% of the possession, showing their teeth in transition but only registered a 0.95 xG to go along with their 4 goals (1 via OG). Toronto slides further down the standings to 13th place with 34 points and Orlando gets some much-needed breathing room sitting in fifth with 45 points and five points above the cutoff.
Atlanta United faced off with top of the table conference mate Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon. Atlanta, having won their last two matches heading into this one, looked to claw their way into playoff discussion with time running out. However, they were unable to take advantage of their 1.3 - 0.16 xG, and 60 – 40 possession advantage over Philadelphia and this one would end in a 0-0 stalemate. Philadelphia is still comfortably resting in firstplace with 64 points (five-point lead over 2nd place Montreal) and Atlanta sit in eighth place, just outside the bubble and one point behind Columbus for that seventh spot. Columbus do have two games in hand at the time of this writing.
Around The World
Southampton struggled as the youngsters fell 1-0 to Aston Villa on Friday afternoon. 21-year-old midfielder Jacob Ramsey found himself in the right place at the right time in the 41st minute to give Aston Villa all they would need to put this one away. Southampton came out flat with the youngsters struggling to bring their normal worthwhile performances. Everton are next up for the Saints and they will be looking for that get right match to get the season moving in the right direction. There are tons of promising youngsters at Southampton, the next few seasons will be interesting to see with the new owner seemingly willing to back the club with decent financial support compared to the last regime.
Tottenham toyed with Leicester City in a dominant dismantling of the Foxes on Saturday morning 6-2. Youri Tielemans (6th minute penalty) and James Madison (41st minute) were able to grab a few for Leicester but the day belonged to Tottenham, and they would not be denied. Spurs held less of the possession with 44% but they would make do with their time on the ball, putting 11 of 16 shots on target and registering a 2.19 xG compared to the Foxes only putting 7 of their 19 shots on target. Tielemans and Leicester City had a chance to take an early lead with a penalty in the 5th minute, but Hugo Lloris came out of his shoes as he shot out to his right and dug the attempt out in fine fashion. Unfortunately for Spurs fans, Hugo Lloris left his line quite early and the decision was an easy one to give Leicester another attempt. Tielemans stepped back up and this time there would be no mistakes as he crushed it home to give Leicester the early lead. Just ten short years ago, Harry Kane was on loan with Leicester and today he’d have the pleasure of opening the scoring up against them in the 8th minute with one of those beautiful headers that we all know too well. Dejan Kulusevski sent a smart cross into the box and Kane found himself all alone at the back post to nod it in, as he has done so many times in his career and Spurs were off the mark and looking to run. Antonio Conte made the decision to start Dejan Kulusevski out on the left wing and give him a shot to show what kind of impact he could make. Eric Dier made it 2 for Spurs in the 21st minute and it would go into the break all tied up. Rodrigo Betancur started the 2nd half onslaught with a goal in the 47th minute to give Spurs the lead and they wouldn’t let it slip. The prodigal Heung-Min Son returned to his league menacing ways on Saturday when he came off the bench after a slow start to the season and destroyed the Leicester defense. He scored a hat trick in just 31 minutes of play (73rd, 84th, 86th minutes) after failing to get off the mark in the previous 6 matches.