New York got a needed win at a sold out Red Bull Arena, but after another performance where Dom Kinnear’s team failed to muster some much needed goals, the questions are mounting for last year’s MLS Cup finalists.
The Dynamo were again without Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia, a situation that has plagued them for much of the last two months. Be it through World Cup qualification or injuries, the team’s two best players have rarely featured for their club. As a result, Houston has been unable to consistently get on the scoresheet.
That was to New York’s benefit this afternoon, with second half goals from Fabian Espindola and Jonny Steele vaulting Mike Petke’s team to a 2-0 win and into second in the East. The evolving state of the conference has a something to do with that lofty standing, but for a Red Bulls team that hadn’t won since May 19, the result will be more important that their conference ranking.
Houston do remain in the top five, two points ahead of New England, but the Dynamo persist in their strange state, not knowing what they actually have. How good can they be? Don’t know until Davis and Boniek are back. Who poses the biggest threat to another playoff run? Don’t know until Davis and Boniek are back. What areas need to be addressed before the postseason? Don’t know until Davis and Boniek are back.
The only thing Houston know for sure is that they can’t compete until their stars are healthy. Winless in league since May 5, scoreless in 429 minutes, and with two goals in their last seven games, the Dynamo may be in trouble.
Though we don’t know until Davis and Boniek are back.
Pro Soccer Talk examines some of Thursday’s top transfer stories, including a Premier League giant looking to add to its midfield.
[ MORE: Uruguay reaches Round of 16 courtesy of Luis Suarez ]
Chelsea could be set to join Barcelona in the race for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, according to the Daily Mail.
The Blues and new manager Maurizio Sarri are said to be open to looking to Serie A to solve some of the team’s troubled areas, including in the center of the park to join France international N'Golo Kante.
Sarri is already said to be keen on signing Napoli star Dries Mertens, whom he has coached for several years at the Stadio San Paolo
Meanwhile, Juve has interest in a World Cup star, with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano attracting significant looks from around the world.
Lozano scored for El Tri in their 1-0 victory over Germany to open their 2018 World Cup campaign, and has become an instant star in the Dutch Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven.
PSV would reportedly be willing to complete a deal if the Serie A champions shell out over $40 million.
Sticking with Juve, Emre Can‘s move to the Turin side appears to be close to finalization.
Can is set to have a medical in Italy on Thursday, as the 24-year-old anticipates completing a five-year contract with the Serie A giants.
Finally, West Ham United is looking to add to its attacking options next season, and the club could be nearing a record move.
Lazio winger Felipe Anderson is reportedly set to come to the London Stadium in 2018/19 as the Hammers prepare a $46 million deal.
Anderson tallied four goals in 21 Serie A matches last season for the Biancocelesti.
The 30-year-old has spent two seasons managing Hoffenheim, guiding the club to back-to-back top-four finishes in the Bundesliga.
Leipzig is currently without a manager ahead of the next season, so it remains unclear who will take over until Nagelsmann assumes his role in 2019.
Peru’s loss was France’s gain on Thursday, as Les Bleus reached the Round of 16 with one match remaining in Group C play.
The French knocked off Peru, 1-0, as Didier Deschamps and his side eliminated their South American foe from the 2018 World Cup.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Both Denmark and Australia — who drew 1-1 earlier on Thursday — are still alive in their efforts of advancing to the knockout rounds.
He looked to be one of the best players on the pitch once again, and Kylian Mbappe rightfully scored a tap in to give France the lead beyond the half-hour mark following a deflected cross from Olivier Giroud.
Paul Pogba was at the center of the goal as well, after nicking the ball away from Peru’s Paolo Guerrero inside the South American side’s half of the field.
Gallese made his first crucial stop in the 16th minute, when a link-up between Giroud and Antoine Griezmann forced a kick save from the Peru goalkeeper.
The Peruvians began to use their pace as the first half wore on, and Guerrero nearly scored his first goal of the tournament in the 31st minute, but Hugo Lloris was positioned well to make a save.
Paul Pogba came right back the other way just two minutes later though, and played a brilliant lofted ball into Mbappe, who couldn’t flick it past Gallese.
The Peruvians didn’t waste any time in the second stanza, and nearly came out to a flying start as Pedro Aquino struck woodwork with a brilliant outside-the-foot technique from distance.
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France closes out Group C play with a meeting against Denmark, while Peru hopes to spoil Australia’s chances of qualifying for the knockout phase.
The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.
[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]
Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.
The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.
The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.