Good morning Houston! We hope your haven’t quit on your New Year’s resolutions just yet! Here are some links to keep you motivated on this Monday Morning.
The Houston Dynamo have become very active with roster moves. The team finally announced the arrivals of Ivan Franco and Brad Smith. The rumor of Franco Escobar might be close to be a reality this week. Former captain Matias Vera is set to depart the club and head back to Argentina, Argentinos Juniors have announced the move this morning. Expect more news this week. And if you are interested to find out what day 1 of practice looked like for Ben Olsen’s team, check out Dustyn’s article. Let’s go Dynamo!
The Houston Dash are continuing their off season as the 2023 season inches closer. The NWSL Draft will take place in Philadelphia on Thursday. Houston currently holds the 8th, 20th, and 22nd overall picks of the draft. If we learned anything from the Dynamo’s draft, things can always change. DTFO!
Make sure you check out the latest episodes of the Dynamo Theory Podcast, available everywhere you get you podcasts.
Major League Soccer
LAFC forward Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from professional soccer after an esteemed 18-year career, the Welsh superstar announced Monday. Bale, 33, joined LAFC last June after leaving Spanish powerhouse side Real Madrid. He scored one of the most memorable goals in MLS history, a towering extra-time header that sent the Black & Gold into penalty kicks and their eventual MLS Cup 2022 victory.
Chicago Fire FC have acquired a new right back, announcing Monday they’ve signed Arnaud Souquet from Ligue 1 side Montpellier HSC on a free transfer. The Frenchman, who turns 31 in February, joins through the 2025 MLS season and offers a crucial backline addition after Chicago didn’t retain Boris Sekulić following the 2022 campaign. Jhon Espinoza also left for FC Lugano in Switzerland this winter.
Orlando City SC have added a third Designated Player ahead of the 2023 MLS season, announcing Saturday they’ve acquired winger Martín Ojeda from Argentine Primera División side Godoy Cruz. The 24-year-old Argentine’s deal runs through 2025 with club options in 2026 and 2027. Ojeda’s DP spot opened when midfield playmaker Mauricio Pereyra re-signed this offseason on a non-DP deal.
Around the world
Christian Pulisic will be out for “weeks” with a knee injury, according to Chelsea manager Graham Potter. The United States winger was forced off in the first half of Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Thursday in the Premier League after a challenge with John Stones.
Cristiano Ronaldo could make his first appearance for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain after he serves the remainder of his suspension, coach Rudi Garcia has said. Ronaldo missed the first of two domestic games for Al Nassr on Friday after being suspended by England’s Football Association for knocking a phone out of a fan’s hand following Manchester United’s defeat at Everton in April.
France forward Kylian Mbappe has come out in support of Zinedine Zidane after the country’s football federation (FFF) president, Noel Le Graet, said he would not pick up the phone if the former midfielder called him to discuss coaching the national team. The FFF had announced coach Didier Deschamps’s contract extension on Saturday after he led France to a second consecutive World Cup final, where they lost to Argentina on penalties in Qatar last month. Zidane had previously been a favourite to succeed Deschamps.
Cruz Azul are considering captain Julio Cesar ‘Cata’ Dominguez’s future at the club after the former Mexico international threw a Narcos-themed birthday party for his son, sources have told ESPN. The defender was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 1-1 league draw at Club Tijuana after images he shared from his son’s 12th birthday party on social media went viral on Jan. 6.