Last Sunday, Dominic Kinnear was forced into a handful of changes, with starters Calen Carr, Ricardo Clark, and Jermaine Taylor unable to go during the first leg of the Dynamo’s conference final against D.C. United. When Adam Moffat went out early with a concussion (and chest injury), Houston was approaching depletion. With D.C. suffering a series of injuries of their own (most notably, Chris Pontius leaving after 12 minutes), the Dynamo were able to take a 3-1 lead, though the team was still left with a series of question marks ahead of tomorrow’s Eastern Conference decider (4 p.m. Eastern, NBC Sports Network).
Yesterday, Dynamo fans got some good news, with MLSSoccer.com’s Darrell Lovell noting the team’s first choice midfield had resumed training:
It’s hard to overstate the importance of that Clark-Moffat combination. Against a D.C. side that’s adjusted to play three in the middle, the ability of Houston’s two destroyers to hold their own in an out-numbered battle gives Kinnear a chance to create advantages elsewhere. Looking forward to a probable MLS Cup Final rematch against Los Angeles, a Clark-Moffat duo should give David Beckham and Juninho fits.
That, however, is a long way off. Both players are likely to have fully recovered by then, should Houston advance.
If one or both of Houston’s starting midfielders can play on Sunday, the Dynamo stand a much better chance of holding off D.C.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.