Houston had the league’s deepest midfield to begin Saturday, but will not end the day as such.
Injuries are beginning to mount in the middle third for the Dynamo and, though it’s too early for any prognosis, the departures of Brad Davis and Adam Moffat from Saturday’s match in Toronto are certainly concerning for manager Dominic Kinnear and Co.
Moffat, the team’s stabilizing arm from his holding midfield position, left in the first half with an undisclosed injury.
Davis, with more assists over the last four seasons than any MLS man, left at halftime with a groin injury.
(MORE: Houston scores in stoppage time for 1-1 draw)
The Dynamo do have enviable midfield cover. In fact, Kinnear probably has the deepest midfield in MLS. Scottish winger Andrew Driver, who has proven to be a force in some matches so far, is a naturally left-footed player and can fill in more than capably along Davis’ usual flank.
Ricardo Clark has generally played higher up the field as Moffat’s central midfield partner, but he can surely perform in the more recessed role. That was always his spot during Clark’s first go-round with the Dynamo, helping the team toward those MLS Cup triumphs of the last decade.
This may add a little pressure on Boniek Garcia, who remains on the mend from an Achilles problem. Garcia was available on the bench Saturday.
(More on the match itself later at ProSoccerTalk)
Wayne Rooney‘s first half goal against old rivals Manchester City made the Everton man just the second player in Premier League history to score 200 goals.
The 31-year-old Rooney now sits 60 goals behind Newcastle legend Alan Shearer on the all-time list.
[ STREAM: Man City-Everton / Full match replays ]
Rooney scored 183 of his PL goals for Manchester United, netting 15 before moving to Old Trafford and now two since his return to Goodison Park.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been lively all game and squared for Rooney, who blasted into the box and into a yard of space given by John Stones to side-foot a class finish between Ederson’s legs.
Man City’s Kyle Walker took a pair of quick yellow cards late in the half to further Man City’s plight.
Reports in Italy say Newcastle’s nightmarish start to the season may get a prime reinforcement in former Anderlecht midfielder Dennis Praet, now of Sampdoria.
Praet, 23, has a single cap for Belgium and played 34 times for Sampdoria during his first season with the Serie A club. He played 84 minutes of the Genoese club’s 2-1 season-opening win over Benevento this weekend.
[ MORE: Wood to Burnley; Clucas to Swans ]
He arrived from Anderlecht last season for just under $12 million, and Newcastle’s reported cost for his services will be right around $15 million.
More than capable in his own end and productive in moving play along, he’d play a bit deeper in Newcastle’s midfielder.
With Jonjo Shelvey suspended, Isaac Hayden had a feast or famine partner in on-loan Borussia Dortmund mid Mikel Merino in the Magpies’ disappointing 1-0 Sunday loss at Huddersfield Town.
Manchester City welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with two Barcelona legends colliding on the sidelines.
[ LIVE: Stream Man City-Everton ]
Both teams will be looking to make it two wins from two to kick off the season as their new-look, expensively assembled squads have plenty of expectation on their shoulders.
Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman will put their friendship to one side for this game.
In team news Man City bring in Leroy Sane for Danilo, while Everton move Davy Klaassen to the bench and have new club-record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson alongside him.
Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron has become just the sixth American in history to make 150 appearances in the Premier League.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Cameron, 32, started at center back as Stoke beat Arsenal 1-0 at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday with the Potters defense holding firm to seal a big early-season win.
The U.S. national team star has been a mainstay at Stoke since arriving from the Houston Dynamo in 2012 and he is now only behind Clint Dempsey in terms of appearances made by an outfield player in the Premier League.
Selected 46th overall in the 2009 MLS draft by Houston, Cameron’s career has gone from strength-to-strength since joining Stoke and the USMNT center back signed a new two-year contract extension at the end of last season which will keep him with the Potters until at least the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
Therefore it is not inconceivable that given his great recent form and his versatility to play at center back, in central midfield or a right back, that he will rack up close to another 90 appearances over the next two seasons to overtake Dempsey’s total of 218 appearances.
Cameron has quietly moved ahead of the likes of Carlos Bocanegra, Brian McBride, Claudio Reyna and other U.S. legends in terms of appearances and his longevity in the PL, at perhaps its most competitive era in history, should be applauded.
With only Danny Williams and DeAndre Yedlin likely to play consistently elsewhere in the PL this season, Cameron is one of the few players still flying the American flag.
Here’s a look at who is ahead of him and when he can move further up the list of Americans to appear in the PL.
- Brad Friedel – 451 appearances
- Tim Howard – 399 appearances
- Clint Dempsey – 218 appearances
- Kasey Keller – 201 appearances
- Brad Guzan – 153 appearances
- Geoff Cameron – 150 appearances