Man of the Match: The first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium? Yeah, Brad Davis. Who else? He was good in possession all afternoon and, when he found a little space in the 67th minute, he sent everyone home happy from the Dynamo’s big day. And what did Davis think about the moment? “Pure joy obviously. Those moment are tough to put into words. … Obviously, a day I wont’ forget.”
Packaged for take-away:
- This was always a 1-0 (or even a 0-0) match waiting to happen. With all the extracurriculars around the event, players on both sides looked something on the nervous side early, with crosses overcooked and balls zipped into feet with just a little too much umph. Even after the players settled some, caution generally ruled the approach.
- Houston right back Andrew Hainault had an eventful day with some good and some bad. He struggled a little against Andy Najar’s speed, and he could easily have been whistled for a penalty kick when he reached out and tugged down Chris Pontius as they both raced for a diagonal ball inside the penalty area.
- On the other hand, the Dynamo right back was generally sure and confident in his tackles. Very physical, too. In a lot of ways, Hainault’s game is all about how the referee is calling things. If it’s called tight, a lot of his little grabs and holds off the ball could turn into cards. If it’s called loose, he’s a champ out there.
- With the 70-yard wide field, things remained pretty congested out there. Very “Robertson Stadium” that way.
- Let’s hope Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear gives the go-ahead to widen that field. On the other hand, his team doesn’t have a lot of speed, especially at forward. And team speed falls even further when Corey Ashe is out of the lineup, as he was Saturday. So … maybe not.
- Steady United holding midfielder Perry Kitchen left just before the half-hour mark, injured, which hurt the visitors.
- Houston’s Ja-Vaughn Watson had a glistening chance right at the whistle of the first half. It was really the game’s only great chance before the break
- Watson did very little on offense in his 70 minutes but did contribute some valuable tracking and helped keep tabs on Dwayne De Rosario.
- Either Bill Hamid is carrying an injury, or those goal kicks from D.C. United’s No. 1 need a bunch of work.
- Calen Carr left after 71 effective minutes. In a game without much offensive flourish or much wide play, Carr gave some of both to the Dynamo. Plus, he dropped in reliably to assist Hainault with Najar.
- Brian Ching missed chances to close out the match three times within the space of about three minutes. That was somewhere north of the 75-minute mark. You have to think he puts at least one away if it’s earlier in the afternoon. At this point of his career, on those kinds of close-in chances, he just can’t get his feet in the right places quickly enough.
- How did D.C. United manager Ben Olsen think his team handled the moment, with all the hoopla? “Better than we handled the heat,” he said. “It was the first time we hit a little bit of heat, and we didn’t do a very good job with it.”
John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.
That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.
Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.
The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.
Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.
Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.
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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.
The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.
Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.
According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.
The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”
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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”
Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.
The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.
This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.
The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.
But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.
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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.
Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.
Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:
“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.
“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”