Rough weekend of soccer in Houston, Nashville opens a new stadium, Real Madrid wins La Liga, and more.
It is that time of the week again and I’m bringing your breakfast links on a shiny platter. You could be reading anywhere during your Monday morning (insert routine), but you are here with us, and we appreciate you for it. There is lots to dig into from this weekend so let us get right to it.
Mama said there would be days like this and overall, it was an exceedingly difficult weekend for the Houston teams and fans alike.
The Houston Dynamo lost another close one to an inner-state opponent and this time it was here at home to Austin FC falling 2-1 Saturday afternoon. This is the first loss the Dynamo have suffered at home this season. “Se-brace” Ferreira scored the possible goal of the season as he capitalized on an error by Austin’s keeper Brad Stuver and let fly from midfield. Both sides held their breath as Stuver tried to track back but having been so far out, he arrived just in time to look up and see the ball screaming down from the sky and into the net along with himself. The momentum was too much, it carried him all the way into the back of the net where he picked up a knee laceration in the process and had to be removed from the game via stretcher.
The Dynamo were unable to hold off the onslaught by Austin as Daniel Pereira and Sebastian Driussi were both able to score as they took all 3 points on the road. The Dynamo have stalled a little bit now as they have now dropped 2 in a row. It will not always be pretty, but we try to extend the benefit of the doubt knowing this process of making evaluations and getting the most out of this team is currently easier said than done. This is especially true with the Dynamo being limited because of their depth issues. They will go and review the tape to try and figure out a game plan for next week when they travel to take on DC United on May 7th.
Houston will need to figure it out quick though because the upcoming schedule does them no favors whatsoever. They are away in DC on May 7th, home Against San Antonio FC on May 11th in the Open Cup, home on the 14th against Nashville FC, home on the 18th against Seattle, away against the Galaxy on the 22nd and away against RSL on the 28th. So, as you can see this next month is going to really challenge coach Paulo Nagamura and it should be interesting to see who he incorporates from the ever-improving Dynamo 2 squad to help alleviate some of the mounting pressure from lack of depth.
The Houston Dash dropped their NWSL season opener at PNC stadium this weekend against the San Diego Wave, but they did manage to have their 4th largest crowd in franchise history (myself included). The Dash looked like the better team throughout the first half as they were looking to keep Alex Morgan and the rest of the Wave out of the net. The possession for this one was split right down the middle at 50-50 with the Dash having more of the opportunities and overall shots but it was the Wave that were able to grab the late goal in the 86th minute by substitute Jodi Taylor to take all 3 points for their side. The Dash had plenty of positives to build on in this one and they will regroup before an away match against the Kansas City Current at the Field of Legends next weekend on Sunday May 8th.
Houston Dynamo 2 have been on an incredibly impressive run recently but that ended Sunday night as they fell to the Tacoma Defiance 4-1. Papa N’Doye was able to score in the 80th minute but that was the lone highlight of the night for Dynamo 2. Coach Kenny Bundy will get the boys ready for next week’s match at AVEVA Stadium against Colorado Rapids 2 on Sunday, May 8th at 8 PM. The way this Dynamo 2 team have been playing recently we are confident they will be back to their league menacing form next time out.
Nashville SC opened GEODIS Park on Sunday afternoon in front of 30,019 fans. NSC got a late Randall Leal penalty to earn a point against the Philadelphia Union to open the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States. Nashville brought out all the bells and whistles for their new home and co-owner and actress Reese Witherspoon was even among the crowd.
After a 388-minute scoring drought, the Columbus Crew showed up in a massive way as they blanked D.C. United 3-0 Saturday afternoon. Ola Kamara had one of the better opportunities for D.C. on the afternoon after managing to get around the keeper only to have his shot strike the right post before being recovered. The Crew avoided a would-be disaster by not being shut out in this one, which would have been a club record 5th game in a row.
Even after going a man down in the 63rd minute, the Colorado Rapids were able to deal with the Portland Timbers this Saturday 2-0. Colorado saw goals from Diego Rubio in the 30th minute, 33 minutes prior to his red card, and Mark-Anthony Kaye putting it to bed late in the 90th plus 5.
FC Dallas conceded first this weekend in the 22nd minute as Sporting Kansas City were able to draw a penalty where Johnny Russell buried it from the spot. FC Dallas would climb back in with 2 goals in less than 10 minutes (Alan Velasco in the 36th, and Jesus Ferreira in the 42nd) before losing Brandon Servania to a red card in the 67th minute. That is all the opening SKC needed and 10 minutes later they would tie this one up in the 77th when Daniel Salloi slotted one home with his left. That is where this game would remain at a 2-2 draw.
At the conclusion of this week in MLS, Austin FC sits in second place in the Western Conference, behind LAFC, with 20 points. Their possession-based style of play has been remarkably successful in the early going and Sebastian Driussi is now tied with Jesus Jimenez for the most goals on the season with 7. The Houston Dynamo sit in 7th and FC Dallas are in 4th place in the Western Conference standings.
Around the World
As the leagues across the world continue trending toward their inevitable endings, some have clinched silverware while others still battle it down to the wire.
Real Madrid clinched their 35th La Liga title in Club history with their 4-0 victory over Espanyol this weekend. They truly have had a magical season with the emergence of young players like 21-year-old Vinicius Junior and a truly memorable season from Karim Benzema who scored 26 goals, 11 more than the next closest player in the entire league. I feellike if you are going to mention Real Madrid you must speak about Carlo Ancelotti and the job he has done. With this title he becomes the first coach ever to win the top 5 European leagues.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City won their matches this weekend leaving City with 83 points and Liverpool with 82 points with only 4 games remaining. The EPL is going to come down to the last weeks to see who comes out on top as the two European Giants deal damage to all who stand in their way.
Chelsea have begun to flatline as the season winds down and they may have to fight harder than they envisioned to hold on to their UCL hopes for next season as the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham catch stride and are all within 5 points of Chelsea’s 66 points. Arsenal have 63 and Tottenham have 61, so Chelsea will look to hold the line in their remaining 4 games.
We here at Dynamo Theory, join the masses of the sports world as we mourn the passing of an icon. A man who needed no introduction, Mino Raiola, passed away Saturday at 54 years old. The impact he had will forever echo throughout the game. Some hated him and some loved him, but he was respected by all, and the game will never be the same without this monumental soccer agent.