The Links are back! We took some time off during the World Cup and the holidays but we’re back to bring you your morning cup of soccer news. A lot went on in Houston footy news yesterday so let’s dive right in!
Midfielder Matias Vera is reportedly on his way back to Argentina with a loan to Argentino Juniors nearly finalized according to Cesar Luis Merlo and Tom Bogert. The loan looks to have an option to buy, meaning we could have seen the last of Vera in Houston. The move would open an international spot for the Dynamo, as well as clearing over half a million in cap space.
Acuerdo total de palabra para que Matías Vera juegue en Argentinos Juniors.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) January 5, 2023
*️⃣El futbolista ya se realizó la revisión médica y, de no mediar inconvenientes, arribará cedido por un año y con opción de compra desde Houston Dynamo. https://t.co/5HtLh6Bk8R
Another midfielder from last year’s Dynamo team is also on the move as homegrown Memo Rodriguez has signed with the LA Galaxy. Rodriguez made 148 appearances for the Dynamo and had 21 goals and 15 assists. We want to wish Memo all the best in LA, for most of his games.
The Dynamo announced their preseason schedule yesterday, with stops planned in Mexico and Fort Lauderdale, Florida in addition to time in Houston. Houston will play three scrimmages in Mexico against Mexican competition before traveling to Fort Lauderdale for two games against opponents yet to be announced. They will wrap up the preseason with a match against FC Dallas in Houston on February 18.
Before the Dynamo open the regular season at home on March 18 against Austin FC, PNC Stadium is undergoing some major renovations this offseason. The club announced yesterday that the lower bowl is nearly complete with the new mesh seating.
Ben Olsen has begun to build his coaching staff with the hires of assistant coaches Aurelien Collin, Tim Hanley, and Adin Osmanbasic. Collin retired from MLS in March of 2022 after a successful career in the league with Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City, and Philadelphia Union. Hanley returns to Houston for his third stint on the coaching staff, winning MLS Cup with the Dynamo in 2016 and also being a part of the staff from 2009-2014. Osmanbasic spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Dynamo Academy U17 team and was previously the Head of Development Analysis for the Atlanta United Academy.
In Dash news, the club announced the re-signing of defender Annika Creel (formerly Schmidt). Creel joined the Dash before the 2021 NWSL season and suffered a season-ending ACL injury during the 2022 regular season. “I’m so grateful that Alex and the staff believe that I can contribute to the team and make an impact next season,” Creel said. “I’m super excited and feel really blessed for this opportunity.”
Reports from England suggest that former Dash midfielder Bri Visalli could be returning to the UK. BBC Sport reporter Emma Sanders says Visalli is likely to join Brighton and Hove Albion in the WSL. Visalli previously played in England for West Ham United and Birmingham City. Visalli was waived by the Dash this offseason, ending her time in Houston.