Category Archives: Team Updates

Keeping you updated on soccer news

New York Red Bulls Keep my Fascination

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, May 22: 2-2 draw

Who doesn’t love a midweek non-conference match-up that runs right up against evening rush hour?

Okay, maybe not a lot of people. But I made the effort to see the New York Red Bulls take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. I just love me some “O Canada!”

And he was there, smiling and waving to fans who have never stopped loving him. Even though he tried to do to the Red Bulls what he had done for them not too long ago.

It seems a little time is needed: I am leery of any sport that adults can play with a quick turnaround, even multiple games in one day (I’m looking at you, baseball…). So it’s important to point out that a midweek game sandwiched between a Sunday match and a Saturday match is pretty rough. Not to worry! says the coaching staff. The “next man up” mentality is vital to the Red Bulls and their pressing play, so they tried something different. While there is no such thing as an unimportant game, this was a chance for Chris Armas to show what could be accomplished in an unusual situation.

Decisions to be made: No Parker- no problem. Sean Nealis went in after Tim Parker was sent off Sunday, so bringing him in for Parker’s suspension made total sense. Aaron Long still smarting from a hamstring pull? Amro Tarek will do just fine. Kemar Lawrence and Michael Murillo need a rest? Bring in Connor Lade and Kyle Duncan. When you want to give some time off to Sean Davis, look no further than Alex Muyl, utility player extraordinaire. Brian White and Derrick Etienne, Jr. got in a much-needed shift up top, especially as Etienne heads to the Gold Cup for the Haitian national team. But no one in the starting lineup was any sort of stranger to the pitch. This could have been a joyride.

The best of plans mislaid: Literally ANY time a team thinks that this should be easy is when it’s not. A massive counterattack just before the half-hour mark put the Whitecaps ahead, with Scott Sutter scoring the opening goal.

In an old familiar way: And get it back, they did. Tarek and White got their heads on a ball to level the match before halftime. White also crossed the ball early in the second half that Vancouver defender Andy Rose got a foot on before going into the net. I’m a generally positive person, so I would prefer to call it a brace for Brian White rather than an own goal. I’m also not a statistician, so I don’t have to be all that accurate.

And so the conversation turned: Reminiscent of the matchup against Sporting Kansas City, the Red Bulls ended up tying when they really could have won. The ball grazed Nealis’s arm in the box– and here’s my first time actually saying this for this season– and ENTER VAR. Vancouver was awarded a kick from the spot, which Fredy Montero converted to bring the game level again. Although Armas brought out some trustworthy attackers like Davis and Daniel Royer, as well as Tom Barlow, nothing found the back of the net for the remainder of the match.

So yeah– it’s a draw that feels a little like a loss. But maybe it was worth the stumble. We’ll see who and what the team has to offer Saturday, when they head out to Ohio to face FC Cincinnati (which I know how to spell now). RBNY scraped out a win their last meeting this season, so hopefully they can keep their fans feeling fascination.

Featured image:  @BillTNJ

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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Match Preview: LAFC vs. Montreal Impact

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club continues to cross teams off their revenge list. And FC Dallas was the latest victim.

The two clubs squared off in back-to-back matches with LAFC claiming revenge first as they handed Dallas their first loss in the series in a 2-0 win at the Banc of California Stadium. However, a few days later, the black-and-gold wrapped up another series by splitting points at Toyota Stadium.

Now the club will turn its focus onto another opponent coming in from the North, the Montreal Impact.

LAFC will host the Impact for the first time for their second meeting. The first time these clubs met was in Montreal on April 21, 2018, in which the black-and-gold claimed all three points in a 5-3 win.

Graphics courtesy of the MLS app

The Impact currently holds a 4-4-2 record on the road, while LAFC remains undefeated at home (6-0-1).

Players to look for:

Carlos Vela is not human. There, I said it.

The Mexican captain scored a single goal in both matches of the Dallas series – adding to his already rising MLS career goal account. And he is one goal away from surpassing his previous 2018 total of 14 goals.

Andre Horta and Lee Nguyen made their long-awaited return to the pitch as late substitutions on May 16. A few days later, the duo appeared in the starting lineup for Sunday’s match along with Mohamed El-Munir.

And of course, I like to take a quick moment to recognize two players who’ve reached new career milestones this week:

  • Walker Zimmerman has now played 10,000 minutes in MLS.
  • Steven Beitashour became the first defender in MLS history with 35+ assists and 20,000+ minutes played.

One player out on injury:

Bradley again will nearly have a full roster to choose from with only Steven Beitashour out due to a left hamstring strain, an injury he picked up in the last match against FC Dallas. Alejandro Guido is listed as questionable.

Projected LAFC Starting XI

(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Walker Zimmerman, Josh Perez; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez, Carlos Vela.

Piatti returns:

The Impact welcomed back Ignacio Piatti, after a two-month injury in a scoreless draw against the New England Revolution last weekend.

However, similar to the return of Horta and Nguyen, Piatti appeared as a second-half sub when he entered for Mathieu Choinière in the 66th minute. So I wouldn’t rule out a starting position but given Friday’s contest will be his second game back – he could start on the bench.

Montreal Impact’s Roster:

Montreal has three players out that could impact them:

Defender Clement Bayiha and midfielder Omar Browne are out due to injury.

Samuel Piette will also miss the match because of yellow card accumulation. Piette received his fifth caution in the last match against the New England Revolution snapping his club record of 51 consecutive starts. His disappearance in the midfield could give the home side an advantage.

Projected Montreal Impact Starting XI

(4-3-3): Evan Bush; Zachary Brault-Guillard, Zakaria Diallo, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; Shamit Shome, Michael Azira, Saphir Taider; Orji Okwonkwo, Maxi Urruti, Mathieu Choinière.

What is your match prediction?

Photo credit: Daisy Jimenez/mlsfemale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Sounders Earn Tough Point Away at Philly


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

After only two days rest and a cross-country flight, the Seattle Sounders gritted through a tough 0-0 tie in Chester, Pennsylvania against the Philadelphia Union, earning them 7 points in 7 days.

Heavily rotated, the Sounders came in to the game vs the Union with a 5-3-1 formation, an unusual look for the Rave Green. The lineup included 3 center backs, Kim Kee-Hee, Roman Torres and Jonathan Campbell, and two wingbacks in Nouhou and Saad Abdul-Salaam. The Broldans (Alex and Cristian Roldan) made up the 3-man midfield with Jordy Delem and Nicolas Lodeiro sat behind Will Bruin offensively.

The modified lineup resulted in very little offensive threats, producing only 6 shots on the night. However, the parking of the defensive bus did help Seattle maintain a clean sheet, their fifth of the season.

Alex Roldan and Jonathan Campbell both made their first start of the regular season, each putting in decent performances, especially Campbell who helped take some of the pressure off Kim and Torres who have both played extended minutes lately.

While Raul Ruidiaz, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith all made the bench of the 18 man lineup, Jordan Morris, Victor Rodriguez and Chad Marshall did not travel to Philadelphia and their timetables for return have not been specified by the club. While the signings of Joevin Jones and Xavier Arreaga will help fill the void of Rodiguez and Marshall, neither will be available to the Sounders until mid-July due to international call-ups.

The Sounders travel next to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, May 26th. While Sporting has been battling their own depth issues lately, the KC Cauldron has statistically not been a location of success for the Sounders.

After that match, the Sounders head in to another double game week with two road games at FC Dallas Saturday, June 1st and the Montreal Impact Wednesday, June 5th. Morris, Torres and Cristian Roldan will all be absent from both road games while Ruidiaz, Lodeiro and Delem will miss the Montreal match.

This will leave the Sounders missing 6 of their regular starters vs Montreal before taking a welcome break until June 29th at home against the Whitecaps.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

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D.C. United’s Rough Week On the Road

Sarah Kallassy - DC United/mlsfemale
Official D.C. United Reporter

By Sarah Kallassy // @SarahKallassy

D.C. v Toronto: 0-0 and D.C. v Houston: 1-2

D.C. United had a rough week. Three matches in 7 days rough. The Black-and-Red pulled a win, a draw, and a loss, and logged some serious frequent flyer miles as the team flew from the District to Toronto, and then on to Houston.

Ben Olsen Shakes Up the XI

D.C. United Starting XI against Toronto FC. Credit: D.C. United

D.C.’s starting XI aren’t usually a surprise, especially to those familiar with the team. Head Coach Ben Olsen is a man of habit, which sometimes brings him criticism (unless of course D.C. United is winning, in which case the ranks of Olsen’s Army swell). For the May 15th midweek matchup against Toronto FC and former D.C. United player Nick DeLeon, Olsen had some serious considerations to make in terms of his lineup. 

In a move of genius, or not (depending who you are), Olsen made massive changes to the XI. Leaving Captain Wayne Rooney, Acosta, Arriola, Jara, Pedroso, and Rodriguez to rest on the bench, we saw Jalen Robinson, Akeem Ward, Chris Durkin, and Quincy Amarikwa (finally) get some significant minutes on the pitch. 

Unfortunately, D.C. was unable to score against Toronto FC, but the Black-and-Red were able to withstand the immense pressure they were placed under, keeping the match at a 0-0 draw. Which leads to the fact that…

Bill Hamid is a Brick Wall

Undoubtedly, Bill Hamid was D.C.’s biggest asset during their trip north. Toronto FC took an MLS record 35 shots during the match, however Bill Hamid set a record of his own. Logging a career best 12 saves, Hamid’s shot stopping ability clearly kept the match at a draw, rather than allowing it to turn into a humiliating loss.  Can the man get his USMNT call up, please?

Temperatures and Tempers Flare in Houston

With D.C.’s starters somewhat rested, the team headed to steamy Houston for the final match of the week to face the Dynamo. The Houston Dynamo were, and are, unbeaten at home. 

A collision between D.C.’s Steven Birnbaum and Alberth Elis of the Dynamo in the early minutes of the match left the latter so injured he couldn’t continue. The first half continued scoreless with D.C. and the Dynamo heading to halftime at 0-0. 

D.C. United Captain Wayne Rooney issued a wakeup call to the Dynamo with the first match goal scored in the 46’. With the Black-and-Red up 1-0, Houston rallied. Taking advantage of a lapse in D.C.’s defense, Houston scored an equalizer in the 67’ and another goal just a minute later. 

With tensions rising and the time left on the clock dwindling for D.C. to seek another opportunity on goal, the match became even more physical. D.C. United’s Paul Arriola was booked with a red card in the 85’ for violent conduct after a foul and subsequent tangle up with the Dynamo’s Lundqvist.

With D.C. down to 10 men, they continued to chase an equalizer in the final minutes, even bringing in striker Quincy Amarikwa in stoppage time. Unfortunately for D.C. United, there would be no equalizer and the match ended in a Dynamo victory, 2-1.

Looking Forward

The week’s results were surely not what D.C. United had hoped, especially given that the top spot of the Eastern Conference is at stake. Captain Wayne Rooney has been openly critical of his team, saying, “We were not good enough . . . we need to learn, and if we can’t learn when we’re top of the league, then we never will.”

D.C. United will host an international friendly at Audi Field on May 22 against Spanish side Real Betis but won’t see any MLS action until next week’s match against the NE Revolution on May 25. 

Here’s hoping the Black-and-Red bounce back after a challenging week. Vamos United!

Featured image: @dcunited

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @SarahKallassy

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New York Red Bulls Are the Storm

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Sunday, May 19th: 1-0 win

This may come as a shock to you: Soccer reporting is only a small part of my life. Outside of this, I’m your quasi-typical soccer mom. And quite frankly, the weather has really been cramping my style lately. So when I saw the weather forecast for Sunday, I didn’t hold back:

But it all worked out. My sons had their regularly scheduled games. I was able to go to Red Bull Arena to watch the New York Red Bulls face Atlanta United. The promised thunderstorm politely waited until I was home safe that night.

And boy, am I glad I made it!

You would always win, always win: Against the expansion team, RBNY has usually done well. Their tendency to falter in away legs– something they haven’t completely overcome– did them in during the 2018 playoffs. But Atlanta has never scored on them in Red Bull Arena. Something something fortress. I’ll let it slide.

And I threw us into the flames: The first half was mostly a whole bunch of nothing. Both teams were clearly determined to get out in front, which moved the game much like a tennis match. But in the 35th minute, Tim Parker received a straight red for a foul on Josef Martinez. Having already lost Aaron Long to injury, this match was shaping up to be a daunting task. But the team gave a collective, “hold my electrolyte squeeze bottle.”

And as it fell, you rose to claim it:  Tom Barlow, bright-eyed and full of promise. A midwestern collegian and SuperDraft pick. A powerhouse for the USL squad who had made the big time. His second outing, his third touch of the night. Substitute Sean Nealis supplied the ball to Danny Royer, who sent the ball across the face of the goal. A header that bobbled past Brad Guzan. Yes, *that* Brad Guzan. The only goal of the night, which led to Barlow being named Man of the Match.

But there’s a side to you:  Of course this match was touted as an opportunity for revenge. Particularly for Kemar Lawrence, who was injured in a match at Mercedes-Benz Arena and had to be taken to the hospital. Then a knee injury kept him out of the playoff series that Atlanta won on their way to the MLS Cup. The flu kept him sidelined for a few matches this year, and the team felt the absence more often than not. So nothing was going to hold him down in this matchup. I’ve spoken to Lawrence in the past, and he is, as they say across the pond, “cool as you like.” But he was all fired up as the game ended!

Is it the most sporting thing to do? Maybe not. But no one was hurt, and fans can have an appreciation for the passion. No one was penalized, so it clearly wasn’t that big of a deal. Now the team prepares for a midweek bout against former teammate Felipe Martins and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

You and me together nothing gets better: Also….the morning of the match, I had to drive my oldest son to his game. He just turned 15. While his team lost 5-1, he at least scored the one goal for his side. And the next night his team advanced to the semi-finals of the MCYSA League Cup.

(P.S. If you ask nicely– and buy me a drink– I’ll sing this for you at Karaoke night)

Featured image: Sylvana Budesheim

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

In Piatti’s Absence, Montréal Impact Emerge Successful but Unsatisfying

Eve Powell - Montreal Impact/mlsfemale
Official Montreal Impact Reporter

By Eve // @ejp_nb

Most recent results: 5/18: Montréal Impact v NE Revolution 0-0, 5/11: Montréal Impact v FC Cincinnati 2-1, 4/13: Montréal Impact v Columbus Crew 1-0

It is no secret to anyone who follows MLS. Sure, the coach prepares his tactics and sends out the strongest team at his disposal. Sure, it is an eleven-man team, not a one-man team. But in Montréal, there is one particular player who consistently makes the difference between a loss and a draw, or a draw and a win. That overwhelming influence falls on the shoulders of Ignacio Piatti.

The Impact have been incredibly lucky. In Piatti’s time with the club he has missed remarkably few matches due to injury. However, the 2019 campaign has not been so kind to the player.

Following the third match of the season, when Piatti scored his second and third goals for the team, he was sidelined for a total of ten matches due to injury, and then a setback in his rehabilitation.

For those of us who had followed the team since his 2015 arrival, we began to sing the familiar chorus of “No Piatti, No Party” — losing your leading goalscorer and team MVP for nearly a third of the MLS campaign is bound to hurt anyone, but when a team is so dependent on one player to provide their goals, it hurts even more.

The Impact’s 4-4-2 record in Piatti’s absence came as a surprise to just about everyone on the outside looking in, particularly taking into account that seven of those matches took place on the road. Although coach Rémi Garde and the players have preached a collective effort and mentality, history was not on their side.

During Piatti’s absence, the Impact have both recorded their first-ever MLS regular season win at Red Bull Arena, and have also been humiliated with a 7-1 drubbing in Kansas City. They’ve recorded six shutouts, but have also only scored 9 goals in the aforementioned time period.

In the absence of their primary goalscorer, all eyes have been on the Impact’s more offensive-minded players to see who would pick up Piatti’s torch. Indeed, Omar Browne provided flashes of technique and scored a goal before falling to injury. Anthony Jackson-Hamel got off the mark before de facto starting striker Maxi Urruti. Urruti, remains stuck at one goal on the season, despite notching five assists.

Garde’s former protegé, Harry Novillo, has been a resounding disappointment, while Bologna loanee Orji Okwonkwo has used speed and power to overcome a series of fullbacks on the right wing. Still, all of that potential has by and large fallen short in that crucial moment in front of the goal.

Undoubtedly, the saving grace for the Bleu-Blanc-Noir is the fact that the team has been more defensively sound this season. Although the team has been on the receiving end of several results that are anything but flattering, Evan Bush is already more than halfway toward catching up with his personal best 10 shutouts that were recorded last season.

Again, it feels wrong to complain about a totally respectable record, taking into account how many other players on the team are carrying injuries and not playing at full fitness. Yet somehow, it still doesn’t feel like enough. The Impact’s third place in the Eastern Conference feels far from set in stone, especially with many teams climbing up the rankings with matches in hand.

With Piatti’s return, here’s hoping his presence is the impetus for the Impact to get their scoring mojo back before the mass exodus of players for the impending Gold Cup.

Next match: Friday, May 24th at LAFC.

Featured image: @impactmontreal

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @ejp_nb

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Dynamo Dig Into Depth, Come Up With Three Points

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

Houston Dynamo best D.C. United, 2-1

The Honduran influence on the Houston Dynamo is undeniable. The team has leaned heavily on the camaraderie and cohesion of their Honduran recruits in the last couple of years, but Saturday night’s match against Wayne Rooney and D.C. United required Houston to mix up its lineup and call on their depth outside of the Catrachos sphere.

Maynor Figueroa, the club’s newest Honduran player, received the news at the end of Wednesday night’s match that his father had lost his battle with cancer. A veteran defender, fans expected him to be a backup in support of some of our younger center-backs, but Figueroa has been a powerful force starting in 13 matches so far this season.

The team paid tribute to Figueroa’s father with black armbands and a special team photo ahead of the match. His absence against D.C. was the first hurdle Houston’s lineup would face.

Fans were thrilled Saturday to see our two Honduran forwards – Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis – finally paired up again in the lineup. This excitement was short lived, however, as Elis took a hard knock less than a minute into the match that led to his removal. Homegrown player Memo Rodriguez replaced him in the eleventh minute.  

The Dynamo defense managed well in the first half, their offense lined up chance after chance but were not able to finish, and the first half ended with a no goal tie.

The second half started seemingly before the Dynamo defense was ready, as Wayne Rooney took advantage of too much space and scored in the 46th minute. The Houston defense woke up after that and held DC United to the single goal while the offense continued to work to find a payoff from several chances.

Searching for an answer to the finish, Coach Wilmer Cabrera pulled our remaining Honduran forward out of the match just past the hour mark. Tommy McNamara replaced Romell Quioto in the 66th minute, and the match pace changed completely.

The Dynamo found the goal they had been looking for in the 67th minute from early sub Memo Rodriguez. And just one minute later, the second substitution paid off with Tommy Mac scoring his first Dynamo goal with a show of pure will, battling United’s Hamid for a cross at the far post and joining the ball in the back of the net.

Photo Credit: Leslie Chairez

While the Dynamo are having an amazing start to 2019 and are still undefeated at home, this match is a landmark in the squad’s season. Lingering questions around their depth were answered and the men in orange proved that personnel changes in any of their lines can be mastered.

Even the unfortunate loss of our playmaker Alberth Elis was managed, which may be important as many expect to see him traded in the summer transfer window. The boost of securing three points against the top team in the Eastern Conference is just what Houston needed.

Hopefully, the Dynamo will take this confidence with them on the road as we visit Minnesota next Saturday night.   

Featured image: @Its_Leslieeeee

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

 

Sounders grab 3 points at home from heavily rotated Orlando


Official Seattle Sounders Reporter

By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart

Seattle Sounders defeat Orlando City 2-1 at CenturyLink Field

The Seattle Sounders took 3 points in their mid-week home game against an Orlando City side who made 11 changes from their previous game.

Injuries continued to plague the Sounders this week as Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson and Victor Rodriguez were left out of the 18, all of whom play an important role in Seattle’s ideal starting XI. The return of Raul Ruidiaz was a welcome sight for fans, as was seeing him get back in to scoring form.

Brad Smith continued to shine offensively and found great chemistry with Harry Shipp down the left wing. While Smith was credited with an assist here, his positive contributions to the Sounders offense has been more than the game score sheets show.

Whether with Victor Rodriguez or Harry Shipp in front of him, Smith has made an incredible impact down the left wing. It can’t be said enough how vital the retention of his loan from Bournemouth will be for the Sounders in the second half of the season.

The Sounders went in to halftime leading 1-0, but coach Brian Schmetzer stated to the sideline reporter he believed they should be leading “at least 2-0.” Both Nico Lodeiro and Harry Shipp missed sitters, but the lead was still maintained heading to the locker room.

In the 53rd minute, Jordan Morris went down with a non-contact injury and his physical and facial reactions indicated all was not well with the homegrown player. Handwalla Bawana substituted in for Morris, who was filmed in tears on the sideline bench. In post-match comments, Schmetzer stated the injury was a hamstring and would be followed up with an MRI.

While there is no indication this injury was due to the aging turf, it cannot be said enough that continuing to play on turf will negatively impact the team and the city. Any hope at a city selection for the probable North America World Cup bid would hinge on playing surface quality. Also, the United States National Teams both issued recent statements saying they would not play on any turf surfaces or with grass laid over turf. This eliminates Seattle from any future National Team games.

Turf rant over. Back to game notes. In the 67th minute after replacing Jordan Morris, Bwana finished off a BEAUTIFUL (and powerful) cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and extended the Sounder’s lead to 2-0.

While Orlando would grab a goal of their own in in the 75th minute thanks to Chris Mueller, the Sounders held off further efforts by Orlando and finished the game with a 2-1 victory.

The Rave Green travel to Philadelphia on a quick turn around for their next match on Saturday with a kickoff of 4:30 PM PST. This road game begins a month of away games for the Sounders who will travel to Sporting Kansas City, FC Dallas and Montreal Impact before returning home on June 29th for a Cascadia match against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Featured image: @SoundersFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @savage_hart

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

Dynamo and Timbers Draw, 1-1, In Houston

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

The Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers are two of the most intense clubs currently playing in MLS. Houston is an underrated squad on a hot-streak with a lot to prove, while Portland is an MLS late model flagship that had a rough start to the 2019 season, frantic to regain status.

When two groups like this meet, especially in the steamy humidity of a late spring Houston evening, tempers rise with the temperature and teams often play powderkeg matches just waiting for a spark.

The match was predictably physical, and the Dynamo once again showed off their offensive dominance in the first half. Portland’s defenders were pushing hard, but the Dynamo were relentless. The incessant Dynamo offense paid off in the 40th minute when Mauro Manotas scored his sixth goal of the season.

The Timbers’s number 4 defender, Jorge Villafaña, stuck to Houston’s Alberth Elis in the early part of the match with aggressive tactics I haven’t seen since the dance floor at my last college party. His handsy defense moved on to cover Boniek Garcia later in the half which would be the spark that this match was waiting for.

Of all of the players on the Dynamo roster, Oscar Boniek Garcia is known for his likability and consistently happy demeanor. The Honduran native is known to play with a smile on his face, so the early signs of hostility toward the Timbers were apparent to most fans around the stadium.

His usual sportsmanlike play was replaced with rough challenges and post-drop stare-downs. As the captain’s patience faded, the rest of the team seemed to match his mood and the play on the field began to show lots of strain.

Even the halftime break was not enough to cool tempers for the Portland or Houston players as the rough play continued with the start of the second half whistle.

At 50 minutes, after a tough challenge in the midfield left Dynamo player Tomas Martinez on the pitch, Portland denied to play the ball out while he recovered. This led to lots of words and more than a few shoves exchanged between several of the players, but no cards were issued as a result of the dust up.

Contentious matches like this one should be controlled by the officials, who can maintain fairness and hold players to a reasonable standard. In this match, the players and the match were in the hands of well-known referee Ted Unkel.

The eccentric officiating favored both and neither teams at different points in the match, and Unkel ultimately concluded the match with no radio after tossing it to the sideline late in the second half.

Portland leveled the match shortly after a 65th minute substitution brought on their recent Argentinian acquisition Brian Fernández, and the match concluded with the 1-1 draw. While both teams played desperately for all three points, I consider the match to be a lucky draw – the real win being both teams walking away with no serious injuries and no disciplinary suspensions.

The Dynamo’s depth will be tested again at their third match in eight days against D.C. United on Saturday at home.

Featured image: @HoustonDynamo

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

FC Dallas’ game-changing result after playing New York Red Bulls

Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Abigail Kistner// @abruhcadabruhh

With FC Dallas back at home, I was ready to get back to Toyota Stadium and witness another win for the team. Since I’ve only began following this team for the 2019 season, and FC Dallas had been undefeated at home, I hadn’t seen Dallas lose in person, and I didn’t expect that to change.

Clearly, I was incorrect…

With an upsetting 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls, Dallas takes their first loss at home. However, FC Dallas’ game is a work in progress, and we’re going to go in depth with play analysis, statistics, and what’s to come for the next game against Los Angeles FC.

To begin the game, FC Dallas had an interesting lineup for their team. With a 4-3-3, Dallas replaced Carlos Gruezo with Jacori Hayes in the midfield, and this replacement was actually pretty well prepared. However, Ryan Hollingshead replaced Michael Barrios as a right wing, and this showed many issues for FC Dallas.  

Within 12 minutes of the game, New York scores a goal by Cristian Casseres Jr. Some issues in the front in midfield led to this goal, as Jacori Hayes assisted defense with Reggie Cannon to cover Andreas Ivan from NYRB. Unfortunately, Ivan passes to Casseres and gets the first goal of the game, leading New York 1-0.

By the thirty minute mark, Dom Badji (up top) became injured, and (thankfully) Jesus Ferreira subbed in. Two minutes after the 45 minute mark, Hayes assists Jesus Ferreira in a goal that ties up the game by halftime.

Starting back up after halftime, New York scores by the 58th minute. With Reto Ziegler’s late attempt to close down New York’s Michael Murillo, the ball gets shot and goes in with the help of Sean Nealis, allowing the Red Bulls to lead 2-1. And, to end the game, New York scores again as Matt Hedges is unable to hold the ball before New York comes and takes it back. As Bryan Acosta and Thomas Roberts (subbed for Jacori Hayes) help out Reto Ziegler with a failed attempt to get the ball back. New York scores the final goal by Brian White, making the ending score 3-1.

Some noticeably crucial findings as I viewed this game was the lack of eagerness within FC Dallas. Perhaps, with New York changing 10 out of their original starting 11, Dallas assumed they would have an easy win. The most hungry I saw the team was when Zdenek Ondrasek subbed in for Ryan Hollingshead. ‘The Cobra’ came out with an intense attitude, and with 16 touches and 2 shots (one on goal) within 26 minutes, this is probably the best we’ve seen him play, and his outcomes solely reflect his eager attitude in the game.

Overall, seeing Ryan  Hollingshead up top as a wing was a very disappointing position for him. With the idea for Hollingshead to drop back, the temporary right wing was shut down almost every single time by his defender, Kyle Duncan. As well as missing a shot on goal, Hollingshead provided little to no support for Dallas in this game.

One more thing to point out was Thomas Robert’s play as he was brought in. As I personally viewed his performance from the Dallas Beer Guardians supporter section, I could see intentionally physical play from Roberts, and not in the professional way. With several remarks to players, as well as pushing and throwing elbows, it’s clear that the 18 year old Roberts has a lot of growing up to do as he continues his career.

As the next game comes up against LAFC, Dallas has a lot to work on before playing the current best team in MLS. With a 21+ goal difference and only losing one game so far, LAFC has a clear advantage to FC Dallas. However, Luchi Gonzalez definitely has some tricks up his sleeve, and seeing Dallas take LAFC head on will be an enjoyable game nonetheless.

Featured image: @FCDallas

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