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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

MLS 2019 Week 5 Previews

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

For Immediate Release
USA Today Sports Images -
Real Salt Lake’s Corey Baird (L), FC Dallas’ Paxton Pomykal (R)
  • Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas match could break Homegrown Player record
  • Pozuelo could make MLS debut Friday when TFC hosts NYCFC on TSN
  • Martinez, Zardes among MLS stars to help respective national teams to victory
  • Canada clinches Gold Cup spot with five MLS starters at the helm
  • Week 5 Notes
Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas match could break Homegrown Player record
Records for the number of academy products to play in an MLS match could fall on Saturday when Real Salt Lake hosts FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium (9 p.m. ET / ESPN+). The last time the clubs faced each other, each tied an MLS record with five academy products in the starting lineup, combined setting a new MLS record with 10 academy products starting the match, with an 11th later coming off the bench.

Real Salt Lake currently leads all MLS clubs with 1,306 academy product minutes in the 2019 regular season, and on Saturday broke a league record with six academy products in the starting XI. FC Dallas, meanwhile, ranks second in the league with 1092 academy product minutes, and is coming off a victory in which five Homegrown players started the match.

Among the standouts, 19-year-old midfielder Paxton Pomykal has emerged as a key offensive force for FC Dallas, playing a full 90 minutes in the club’s previous three matches. Equally as important is 20-year-old defender Reggie Cannon who has previously featured with the U.S. Men’s National Team and 23-year-old goalkeeper Jesse González who is currently in the USMNT camp.

RSL meanwhile will see the return of 23-year-old forward/midfielder and reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Corey Baird, who is currently with the USMNT. Defensively, a pair of 21-year-olds inBrooks Lennon and Aaron Herrera have played every minute of the season for RSL.


Pozuelo could make MLS debut Friday when TFC hosts NYCFC on TSN
Toronto FC’s newest signing Alejandro Pozuelo could potentially make his MLS debut when the Reds host New York City FC on MLS Friday Night on TSN (8 p.m. ET / TSN 4/5). The 27-year-old Spanish midfielder, who starred at KRC Genk in Belgium, was greeted by TFC supporters at Pearson International Airport on Friday, took in a Toronto Raptors NBA game courtside on Sunday, then trained with the club for the first time Monday.

Pozuelo brings some added buzz toward a Toronto side that is looking to return to the club’s 2017 MLS Cup-winning form and is off to a good start in 2019 with a 2-0-0 record – one of two perfect teams remaining in league play (the other being 3-0-0 Seattle Sounders FC). His possible debut will highlight MLS Friday Night on TSN – the first of 10 consecutive MLS Fridays on the network.


Martínez, Zardes among MLS stars to help respective national teams to victory

MLS players starred for their respective national teams this past week during the March FIFA international break as players across the globe shined in both friendlies and qualifiers. Josef Martínez helped Venezuela defeat Argentina 3-1 with a penalty kick goal, besting Atlanta United teammate Pity Martínez , who started alongside Lionel Messi for La Albiceleste. Elsewhere in South America, Nicolás Loderio (Seattle Sounders FC) started and recorded an assist in both Uruguay’s 4-0 victory against Thailand to win the China Cup, preceded by Uruguay’s 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan.

The United States saw 10 MLS players and six MLS academy products take the field in a 1-0 victory over Ecuador, which itself played three current MLS standouts. Gyasi Zardes(Columbus Crew SC) scored the game’s only goal to help the Americans, who next face Chile on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston (7:55 p.m. ET, ESPN2 / UniMas / UDN).

USA Today Sports Images – Columbus forward Gyasi Zardes
In Europe, Albert Rusnák (Real Salt Lake) recorded a goal and an assist in Slovakia’s 2-0 win over Hungry in the opening match of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play. Also in Euro qualifying play, Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders FC) appeared in Sweden’s 2-1 victory, besting Alexandru Mitriță (New York City FC) who started for Romania.

Justin Meram (Columbus Crew SC), meanwhile, scored an emotional 76th minute tally to help Iraq defeat Syria 1-0 in front of the home crowd. Rounding out the opening week action of international play, Hwang In-Beom (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) played 70 minutes in South Korea’s 1-0 friendly victory over Bolivia.


Canada clinches Gold Cup spot with five MLS starters at the helm
A dominant 4-1 victory against French Guiana on Sunday helped Canada qualify for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup this summer, thanks to a large contingent of MLS players at the helm. Five Canada starters from Sunday’s win at BC Place in Vancouver ply their trade in MLS: midfieldersMark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles Football Club), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC) and Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact), and defenders Zachary Brault-Guillard (Montreal Impact) and Derek Cornelius (Vancouver Whitecaps FC).

Canada is the only nation outside of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico to capture the Concacaf Gold Cup (winning in 2000), and now the Great White North joins the 2019 edition’s field of 16 teams.

The Gold Cup draw takes place on April 10, group play starts on June 15, and the final will be held on July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Host countries include the defending Gold Cup-winning United States (2017 champions), Costa Rica and a yet-to-be-named Caribbean nation.


MLS Regular Season Schedule: Week 5
(Times ET)
Friday, March 29
∙​ Toronto FC vs. New York City FC, 8 p.m., TSN 4/5

Saturday, March 30
∙​ Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 1 p.m., TSN5
∙​ New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC, 2 p.m.
∙​ Sporting Kansas City vs. Montreal Impact, 3 p.m., TVA Sports, TSN5, CTV
∙​ San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 3:30 p.m., Univision, Twitter
∙​ FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
∙​ Columbus Crew SC vs. Atlanta United, 7:30 p.m.
∙​ Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo, 9 p.m.
∙​ Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m.
∙​ Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m., TSN1

Sunday, March 31
∙​ Orlando City SC vs. D.C. United, 6:30 p.m., FS1, FOX Deportes
∙​ LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

International
(Times ET)
Tuesday, March 26
∙​ U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Chile, 7:55 p.m., ESPN2, UniMas, UDN

FOR MORE:
MLS Media Resources
MLS Press Releases
2019 MLS Fact and Record Book

MLS Regular Season: Week 5 Notes

Friday, March 29
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC, 8 p.m. ET (TSN 4/5)

  • Toronto made it two wins from two starts in league play in its last match, a 3-2 victory against the New England Revolution at BMO Field on March 17. Ayo Akinola became the fifth-youngest player in TFC history to net a goal (also adding an assist), while Jozy Altidore netted his first goal of the season.
  • NYCFC reached a draw for the third time in three league matches to open the season in their last contest, a 2-2 result with the Los Angeles Football Club at Yankee Stadium on March 17. Alexander Ring scored his second goal of the season, while Alexandru Mitrita scored his first MLS goal.
  • The teams met twice a season ago, and NYCFC won both, the first time either team has won the season series. NYCFC won 2-1 on June 24 at Yankee Stadium; they have won two of the five regular-season meetings in the Bronx, with three draws. NYCFC then won 3-2 on Aug. 12 at BMO Field, their second win in Toronto (also in 2015).
  • TFC has won just once in nine regular-season meetings with NYCFC, that a 4-0 win at BMO Field in 2017. NYCFC had won two of the first six meetings all-time, with four draws.
  • The teams did also meet in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2016 – and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.

Saturday, March 30
Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 1 p.m. ET (TSN 5)

  • The Fire suffered their second loss in three matches in their last league game, falling 4-2 to Seattle Sounders FC at SeatGeek Stadium on March 16. CJ Sapong collected his first assist of the season; he has a goal or an assist in each of the Fire’s three games, with two goals and one assist.
  • The Red Bulls suffered their first league loss of the season, falling 1-0 to Orlando City SC at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening.
  • The teams met twice a year ago, each winning on the other’s home ground. The Fire took a 2-1 win on April 21 at Red Bull Arena, then the Red Bulls claimed a 1-0 win on Aug. 11 in Bridgeview.
  • The Fire win in the first meeting ended a six-game undefeated streak for the Red Bulls in the series. It also ended a three-game winning streak in the series for the Red Bulls in Harrison.
  • The Red Bulls have come away with a result on their past four trips to Bridgeview (two wins, two draws). When the Red Bulls started the streak with a win on Oct. 25, 2015, at Toyota Park, it was their first win ever in Bridgeview. The Red Bulls’ last away win against Chicago had come on May 14, 2005, a 3-0 win at Soldier Field; in between, the Fire were unbeaten in 14 home games in the league series (9-0-5).

New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United FC, 2 p.m. ET

  • The Revolution fell to their third consecutive defeat, a 2-0 loss to FC Cincinnati at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
  • MNUFC went down to defeat for the first time in 2019 following two wins to open the campaign last time out, dropping a 3-2 decision to the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 16.
  • MNUFC won the lone meeting between the teams last year, a 2-1 victory on July 18 at TCF Bank Stadium, the first matchup in Minnesota.
  • The Revolution won the lone meeting in Minnesota United’s expansion campaign, a 5-2 win on March 25, 2017, at Gillette Stadium.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Montreal Impact, 3 p.m. ET (TVA Sports, TSN 5, CTV)

  • Sporting gained a result for a second successive match last time out, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on March 17. Johnny Russell scored the lone SKC goal directly from a free kick – the first by a Sporting player since 2015 (when Benny Feilhaber scored vs. FC Dallas).
  • The Impact won for a second time in three matches, defeating Orlando City SC 3-2 at Orlando City Stadium on March 16. Ignacio Piatti netted a pair of goals, now with three for the season, giving him 100 combined goals and assists for his MLS league career (66 goals, 34 assists).
  • The Impact won the lone meeting between the teams last season, a 2-0 win on June 30 at Stade Saputo. The victory ended a six-game undefeated streak for Sporting in the series, the Impact winning vs. KC for the first time since 2013.
  • The last SKC win in the series came on July 18, 2015, a 2-1 triumph at Children’s Mercy Park, which came at the end of a four-game winning streak vs. Montréal. The teams played to back-to-back draws in 2016 and 2017.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univision, Twitter)

  • The Quakes lost for the third time in three outings in their last league match, falling 4-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on March 16. Cristian Espinoza scored his first MLS goal in the contest.
  • LAFC remained undefeated on the season, winning for a third time in four matches, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-1 at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday evening. Diego Rossi scored his second goal of the season, while Walker Zimmerman scored the match-winner in the 94th minute – LAFC’s second game-winner in stoppage time this season.
  • LAFC won both meetings between the teams in their expansion campaign, taking a 4-3 win on June 9 at Avaya Stadium, then a 3-0 victory on Sept. 22 at Banc of California Stadium.

FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • FC Cincinnati won for a second consecutive match, extending their undefeated streak to three games, defeating the New England Revolution 2-0 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Kekuta Manneh scored his first FCC goal and also added an assist, on Kenny Saief’s first MLS goal.
  • The Union won for the first time this season, defeating Columbus Crew SC 3-0 at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. David Accam scored a pair of goals, his first multiple-goal game since moving to Philadelphia.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time in FC Cincinnati’s inaugural MLS season.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Atlanta United, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Crew SC went down to defeat for the first time this season, falling 3-0 to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • ATLUTD reached a draw for a second consecutive match in their last outing, a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 17. Ezequiel Barco netted his first goal of the season.
  • Atlanta United have won all four league meetings between the clubs, over their two years in the league. ATLUTD won both meetings a year ago, a 2-0 win on June 13 at Mapfre Stadium, and a 3-1 triumph Aug. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • The teams met twice in league play in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, the games coming two weeks apart, and the expansion side won both, taking a 3-1 win on June 17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, and a 2-0 victory July 1 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • The teams met in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017, Crew SC advancing via a dramatic penalty kick shootout after the teams played to a scoreless draw over 120 minutes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m. ET

  • Real Salt Lake suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-1 to the Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday evening. RSL started six Homegrown Players in the match, the most to start in an MLS match in league history.
  • FC Dallas won for a second time in three matches, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Michael Barrios scored his second goal of the season as FCD started five Homegrown Players, tying the MLS record (until it was passed by Real Salt Lake later in the evening).
  • Real Salt Lake won the last meeting between the teams, a 2-0 victory last July 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium, snapping a four-game winless streak in the series.
  • The teams also met last March 3 at Toyota Stadium, playing to a 1-1 draw. RSL is 1-13-3 at FC Dallas all-time in league games between the clubs. FCD is undefeated in the last five meetings there. FC Dallas has also won a home game in the MLS Cup Playoffs (in 2010) and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal (in 2011). The lone RSL win in Frisco came on July 13, 2013, a 3-0 victory.

Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo, 9 p.m. ET

  • The Rapids remained winless on the season, suffering a second loss in four outings, falling 2-1 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Dynamo remained undefeated for the season with a second consecutive win in their last match, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 16. Memo Rodríguez scored a pair of goals, while Alberth Elis played a part in all three goals (one goal, two assists).
  • The teams met twice a season ago, the Dynamo claiming a 2-0 win on June 9 at BBVA Compass Stadium, and also reaching a goalless draw July 14 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Dynamo win was their first in the series since 2015, ending a four-game Rapids undefeated streak in the series, and just their second vs. Colorado since 2009, the Rapids going 8-1-6 in the series since a 1-0 Dynamo win at Robertson Stadium on April 19 of that year.
  • The Dynamo haven’t won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since 2008, the Rapids now undefeated in their last eight home meetings with Houston (5-0-3). The Dynamo win in the first meeting last year ended a two-game Rapids winning streak at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m. ET (TSN 1)

  • Whitecaps FC suffered their third loss in three outings in their last match, falling 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Fredy Montero scored his first goal in his return to the club.
  • Sounders FC won their third game on the trot, rolling to a 4-2 win against the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on March 16. Jordan Morris and Raúl Ruídiaz each scored their league-leading third goals of the season while Nicolas Lodeiro scored his first to go with a league-leading three assists; Sounders FC have started a season 3-0-0 for the first time since their inaugural MLS season of 2009.
  • Sounders FC won both meetings between the clubs a season ago, taking a 2-0 win on July 21 at CenturyLink Field, then a 2-1 triumph on Sept. 15 at BC Place. Sounders FC have won the past three meetings in Seattle, over the last three seasons. Sounders FC have come away with points on five of their last six visits to BC Place, over the last four seasons.
  • The teams have met the most times of any rivalry in soccer history in the USA and Canada. Since the clubs first met at Empire Stadium on June 9, 1974, in the old North American Soccer League, they have played 135 times over all competitions. The Sounders have won 65, the Whitecaps 49, and there have been 21 draws.

Sunday, March 31
Orlando City SC vs. D.C. United, 6:30 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)

  • Orlando City SC won their first game of the season, getting the game’s only goal from Sacha Kljestan for a victory against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. The victory ended a 15-game road winless streak for OCSC, their first on the road since last April 29 at Colorado.
  • D.C. United remained undefeated and unscored upon this season in their last match, a 5-0 win against Real Salt Lake at Audi Field on March 16. United have not lost a league game since last August, now 13 games without a defeat, one short of the club record (set in 2006).
  • Wayne Rooney scored his first hat trick in MLS for D.C.; he had seven while playing in the English Premier League, seventh-most all-time in that league. Bill Hamid extended his personal shutout streak to 372 minutes in recording his third shutout of the season, the streak 39 minutes shy of his personal record shutout streak in MLS.
  • D.C. United won the second meeting between the teams last year, a 3-2 victory on Aug. 12 in the first matchup at Audi Field, ending a four-game undefeated streak for Orlando City SC in the series.
  • OCSC have a four-game home undefeated streak alive in the series, D.C. United winning for the only time in Orlando in the first meeting ever between the clubs in 2015. Orlando City have won once in D.C., ended their RFK Stadium history with a 2-1 win on Sept. 9, 2017.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

  • The Galaxy won for the second time in three games in their last match, a 3-2 victory against Minnesota United FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 16. Sebastian Lletget scored the eventual game-winner in the 81st minute, while Jonathan dos Santos and Chris Pontius also scored.
  • The Timbers suffered their third consecutive defeat in their last match, falling 3-0 to FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on March 16. The Timbers became the first team in MLS history to concede three goals or more in their opening three games of a season.
  • The teams met twice a year ago. The Galaxy took a 2-1 win on March 4 in Carson, Calif.; the clubs then reached a 1-1 draw on June 2 at Providence Park.
  • The Timbers have won just twice all-time at Dignity Health Sports Park, last in a 1-0 victory on March 12, 2017. The Timbers have won once in the past five home games in the series, a 3-1 win on Aug. 6, 2017, their first vs. the Galaxy in Portland since 2013.

 

MLS names Philadelphia Union forward David Accam as Player of the Week

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF ML COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

NEW YORK (Monday, March 25, 2019) – Philadelphia Union forward David Accam was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for the fourth week of the 2019 MLS season.

Accam helped the Union to a dominant 3-0 victory over Columbus Crew SC at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday with two goals and one assist in his first start of the season. The victory extends Philadelphia’s unbeaten streak to two matches as the club sits tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference with four points (1-2-1 overall record).

The Ghana National Team member opened the scoring in the 31st minute, finding himself free behind the Crew SC defense just outside the box off a perfectly placed pass from Fafa Picault. Accam calmly finished with a left-footed shot far post to give the Union a 1-0 advantage (watch goal).

Accam completed his brace in the 41st minute to extend Philadelphia’s lead to 2-0 when he split two defenders in the box to create enough space for a near-post finish (watch goal). The Union then took a 3-0 lead in the 48th minute when Accam deflected a loose ball in the box toward Ilsinho who finished with a rocket into the back of the net (watch assist).

Philadelphia returns to action on Saturday, March 30 when facing FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

Haslam, Edwards families joining forces to buy Crew SC; Austin FC becoming a reality: MLS issues statement

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

MLS Statement on Columbus:

“Major League Soccer and the Columbus Partnership have been working together for several months on a plan to keep Crew SC in Columbus and we have made significant progress.

Recently, the Haslam Family – along with the Columbus-based Edwards Family, have joined the effort to keep Crew SC in Columbus.

MLS, the Columbus Partnership and the investor group all agree that for the club to be successful in Columbus, it requires strong local partners, long-term corporate support, a strong season ticket base and long-term plans for a stadium, practice facilities and associated sites.

MLS is committed to keeping Crew SC in Columbus should we continue to make progress on these critical components and agree to key terms with the investor group.

MLS recognizes the cooperation Precourt Sports Ventures has demonstrated throughout the process to date.

MLS also remains very committed to PSV’s plan to launch an MLS club in Austin and is excited for Austin to become a great addition to MLS.  We will continue to work with PSV and the City of Austin on the timing around the launch of Austin FC.”

MLS Statement on Austin:

“Major League Soccer is excited to move forward in Austin with Precourt Sports Ventures and their vision for Austin FC. Regardless of any scenario in Columbus, there is a clear path forward for PSV to operate Austin FC as a Major League Soccer club.

The strong support from Austin’s corporate community, government officials and passionate soccer fans is impressive.  Austin is a flourishing, dynamic city that presents a great opportunity for MLS, and we look forward to finalizing plans to become the first major league team in the capital of Texas.

While timing for Austin FC is still to be finalized, we are confident that the team will begin play no later than 2021 at the new, privately financed stadium and soccer park at McKalla Place. We applaud the Austin community, city leaders and Precourt Sports Ventures for their commitment to making this happen.”

Joint Statement from the Columbus Partnership, Pete Edwards, Jr. and Dee and Jimmy Haslam on forming alliance to keep Crew in Columbus:

“We are excited to jointly announce that the Columbus Partnership along with a local investor group led by Pete Edwards, Jr. and Dee and Jimmy Haslam have formed an alliance to continue the collaboration with Major League Soccer to keep the Crew in Columbus.

We are optimistic about our recent conversations with MLS regarding the potential sale of the operating rights of the Columbus Crew.

While there are many details to be worked out, our alliance is working diligently and collaboratively with the League to keep the Crew in its community. We are very excited about the quiet but deliberate progress that has been made to date and will keep the community updated as this process moves forward.”

Statement from Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership:

“I am energized by the willingness of MLS to collaborate with us over the past several months. I appreciate Commissioner Garber’s personal involvement with the Columbus Partnership, the Haslams and the Edwards. Having community-oriented owners ready to purchase the team is a significant step forward in achieving our goal to keep Crew SC in Columbus.”

Philadelphia Union getting ready to reach regular season milestone

The Philadelphia Union, soccer team, a member of MLS’ Eastern Conference, has been around for 10 years. The franchise was established on February 28, 2008 but began play in 2010.

Their contest in Columbus last Saturday night, was the 299th regular-season match of all-time.

That means, the next match for the team, on October 6 vs. Minnesota, will be the 300th in the history of the organization.

Houston Dynamo, tonight’s Crew SC opponent, has two MLS Cups in 12-year history

INFORMATION WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

 

One of the Dynamo's owners is former pro boxing great Oscar De La Hoya shown here at DEWALT POWER TOOLS FIGHT NIGHT CLUB 2010 photo by Akira Kouchiyama via wikipedia commons

Houston Dynamo are an American professional soccer club based in Houston, Texas. The franchise competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), as a member of the Western Conference. The Dynamo had first played their home games at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus until 2011. Since 2012, the Dynamo has played home matches at BBVA Compass Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in Houston. The team’s head coach is Wilmer Cabrera.

The Dynamo was established on December 15, 2005 when the then owner of the San Jose EarthquakesAnschutz Entertainment Group, announced that the team was relocating to Houston after failed attempts in securing a soccer-specific stadium in San Jose, California. The club would then be an expansion team of the league, which began play in 2006. The Dynamo is owned by Gabriel Brener, Jake Silverstein, Ben Guill, and world Olympic boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.[1]

Houston Dynamo’s domestic success consists of winning the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups in their first two seasons. In 2008, Houston became the first American club to secure a point on Mexican soil in the CONCACAF Champions League era during the 2008-2017 format of the tournament.

History

Bringing an MLS club to the Bayou City

MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed on November 16, 2005 that the league had granted permission to San Jose Earthquakes‘ owners Anschutz Entertainment Group to relocate the team for the 2006 season, giving the entertainment giant 30 days to make a decision. Garber was in Houston and spoke with the media before an international friendly between Mexico and Bulgaria at Reliant Stadium, citing Houston as a next destination for an MLS club whether the Earthquakes moved or not.

“This is the market they’ve got their sights set on. This is a market that we’ve got investor interest, we’ve got sponsor interest, we’ve got media interest. This is a market that’s going to be terrific for us. We will have a team in Houston in due time. The question is whether we have one as early as 2006 as part of a move, or as an expansion team. We’ll get a team here, there’s no doubt in our mind.”

— MLS Commissioner Don Garber, in an interview with the Associated Press, printed November 16, 2005

On December 15, 2005, Major League Soccer announced the relocation of the San Jose franchise, along with all players and coaches under contract, to Houston. The Earthquakes name, colors and competition records were retained by the league for a possible expansion team. According to MLS, AEG had invested more than $20 million in the Earthquakes since purchasing the team in 2003 and suffered significant losses during that period because of its stadium deal. AEG had previously considered Houston as a site to relocate to and entered “positive discussions” about finding a soccer stadium in Houston.

“This is not an expansion franchise. This is one of the best teams in the MLS. You’re getting an extraordinary franchise.”
— AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke, at Houston City Hall, December 16, 2005

A ceremony was held outside Houston City Hall on December 16, 2005, to officially announce the franchise’s arrival. Mayor Bill White joined city council members, Harris County officials, local soccer organizers and fans in welcoming team coach Dominic Kinnear and players Pat Onstad and Wade Barrett with cowboy boots and hats. It was disclosed that the team would train and play at the University of Houston‘s Robertson Stadium on a three-year lease with the university earning a percentage of the revenues from concessions, parking and other sources.

In an immediate effort to plant roots in the community, AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke announced former Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck as the team’s president and general manager. A previous NFL Europe executive, Luck had served as the head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority since 2001 and was instrumental in pursuing an MLS team for the city while also overseeing the construction of Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros), Reliant Stadium (home to the Texans) and the Toyota Center (home to the Rockets) during his tenure.

Inaugural season (2006)

MLS CHAMPIONS

The Dynamo finished their first season with an 11–8–13 record, earning them second place in the Western Conference. In the Conference semi-final playoffs, they beat Chivas USA. They beat Colorado Rapids 3–1 in the Western Conference Final to advance to the MLS Cup.

Houston beat the New England Revolution 4–3 on penalty kicks after a 1–1 tie to win the 2006 MLS Cup on November 12, 2006, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game was scoreless until the second half of extra time when New England’s Taylor Twellman scored. One minute later, Brian Ching headed in the tying goal for Houston, and for the first time in MLS history, the championship was decided by a penalty shootoutKelly Gray and Stuart Holden scored Houston’s first two penalty kicks. Dwayne De Rosario and Brian Ching scored the last two. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad saved New England’s Jay Heaps penalty kick to secure the MLS Cup for Houston. By winning the 2006 MLS Cup, Houston qualified for the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

2007 season: Repeat

Houston finished in second place in the regular season in the Western Conference, advancing to the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs, where they met FC Dallas in the first round. Dallas won the first leg 1–0, but Houston won the second leg at Robertson Stadium, 4–1 in extra time, to win 4–2 on aggregate. Houston faced the Kansas City Wizards in the Western Conference final, winning 2–0 to advance to the MLS Cupchampionship game for the second year in a row. Just like in 2006, Houston faced the New England Revolution for the championship. Houston won 2–1 on a game-winning goal by Dwayne De Rosario in the second half, thus winning their second MLS Cup in a row.

Colors and badge

The colors of the Dynamo crest are orange, black and white, with Space City blue added as an accent and border color. The star on the crest is an ad hoc adoption, likely a nod to the Houston, Texas Flag or the “Houston 1836″ crest concept. It also retains the soccer ball with the star in the middle from the “1836″ logo, though the shadow is changed to Space City blue.

With the 2006 MLS Cup win, a sanctioned star was added above the shield in 2008, after wearing the scudetto in 2007. Since they won the MLS Cup again in 2007. they wore the scudetto for the second consecutive year in 2008. Consequently, a sanctioned star was added to the logo in 2009 for their win at MLS Cup 2007.

Name[edit]

Houston announced the name “Dynamo”, on March 7, 2006, which refers to Houston’s energy-based industrial economy, as well as a previous Houston soccer team, Houston Dynamos who played in the Lone Star Soccer Alliance and United Soccer League. The official reason for the name is that “Dynamo is a word to describe someone who never fatigues, never gives up. The name is symbolic of Houston as an energetic, hard-working, risk-taking kind of town.” The name “Dynamo” is also an homage to teams based out in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: Dinamo TbilisiDinamo BatumiDynamo KyivDinamo BucureștiDynamo Moscow and Dinamo Zagreb. The team colors are orange, white, and “Space City” blue or “Luv Ya Blue” (light blue), meant as a symbol of the city of Houston flag which is light blue and of yet another team in Houston’s sports history – the Houston Oilers of the NFL.

Originally, on January 25, 2006, the team had announced that Houston 1836 would be the team name. This followed an online survey for the fans to provide suggestions for the name. According to MLS & AEG, who chose the name, the 1836 name referred to the year that the city of Houston was founded by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen. The name had perceived ambiguity, however, as it is also the year of Texan independence from Mexico. Houston 1836′s logo featured a silhouette of General Sam Houston, one of Houston’s and Texas’ most famous historical figures. The choice of Houston 1836 soon became a political issue. It raised a furor among some locals of Hispanic descent, a major target audience, who related 1836 with the war for Texas independence. Due to protests from Hispanic fans, the name was changed to the Dynamo. MLS has since not allowed any online surveys to name expansion teams.

The Houston Dynamo have always worn an orange top as their primary jersey adorned with three white stripes over the shoulder. On several occasions, the first kit has featured a touch of “Space City Blue” to incorporate the City of Houston. The orange jersey has mostly been accompanied by white shorts except on occasions when the team has worn all-orange. Adidas has been the only kit brand worn in the club’s history because of the manufacturer’s deal with Major League Soccer.

During their first 10 seasons, the Dynamo wore a white jersey as part of their secondary kit. The white top has been accompanied by orange or white shorts. In 2016, the club introduced an all-black kit as their secondary uniform. The club also featured an all-orange kit – a different shade of orange – as a third kit during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The Dynamo’s first jersey sponsor was Amigo Energy, announced as a four-year, $7.5 million sponsorship. The team debuted their newly sponsored kits in a 1-0 home win over rival FC Dallas on August 19, 2007, and donned the energy company as a sponsor until the end of the 2010 season. Before the start of the 2011 season, Greenstar Recycling was announced as the second jersey sponsor in club history. The agreement with Greenstar was a three-year deal – with two option years – worth $12.7 million and made them the club’s recycling partner ahead of the move to BBVA Compass Stadium the following year. After being bought out by Waste Management in February 2013, Greenstar asked to terminate their sponsorship and the Dynamo played with a blank jersey during the 2013 season. Oil giant BHP Billiton signed on as the club’s third jersey sponsor in 2014, in a deal that also included sponsoring the Houston Dash.

Honors

International

Domestic[edit]

 

Seasons

Year Regular season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF
Champions’ League
Top scorer # Top assists #
2006 2nd, West (11–8–13) MLS Cup Champions Semi-finals Could not qualify De RosarioChing 11 Davis 11
2007 2nd, West (15–8–7) MLS Cup Champions Round of 16 Semi-finals NgwenyaChing 7 HoldenMulrooney 5
2008 1st, West (13–5–12) Lost Conference Semi-finals Round of 16 Semi-finals
Quarter-finals
Ching 13 Davis 8
2009 2nd, West (13–8–9) Lost Conference Finals Semi-finals Group stage Ching 8 Davis 12
2010 7th, West (9–15–6) Did not qualify Quarter-finals Did not qualify Ching 7 Davis 12
2011 2nd, East (12–9–13) Runners-up Did not qualify Did not qualify Four players tied 5 Davis 16
2012 5th, East (14–9–11) Runners-up Round of 32 Quarter-finals Bruin 12 Davis 12
2013 4th, East (14–11–9) Lost Conference Finals Fourth round Group stage Barnes 9 Davis 9
2014 8th, East (11–17–6) Did not qualify Fifth Round Did not qualify Barnes 11 Davis 11
2015 8th, West (11–14–9) Did not qualify Quarter-finals Did not qualify Bruin 11 Davis 10
2016 10th, West (7–14–13) Did not qualify Quarter-finals Did not qualify WengerManotas 6 Garcia 9
2017 4th, West (13–10–11) Lost Conference Finals Fifth round Did not qualify Torres 14 Alex 10

Note †: Eliminated in the Qualification Semi-finals.

 

Player records

Career

MLS regular season only, through January 21, 2016

Season[edit]

MLS regular season only

Player Awards

Goal of the Year

Save of the Year

Fair Play Player award

 

BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the Dynamo 2012 photo By Paul Duron, Houtexusa at English Wikipedia, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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