It's no secret that I'm a fan of the U.S. Open Cup. I love any tournament where am amateur team (Cal FC) has the opportunity to knock off a professional club (Portland).
It's the reason that everyone loves the NCAA tournament. We live for the upsets, the cinderellas and the great story lines. And the U.S. Open Cup is soccer's opportunity to captivate that same audience.
Unfortunately, despite the Open Cup entering its 100th year of existence, it still does not have the cache of college basketball's March Madness or England's FA Cup. But that's not through lack of trying from the guys at TheCup.US. Josh Hakala, the muscle behind the site, is one of the hardest working men in the business and has made it his mission to keep the public informed about the United States' longest running national soccer competition. But he can't do it alone.
TheCup.US is currently going under a massive redesign in honor of the tournament's 100th year and they are looking for support from the soccer community. The goal is to make the site more user friendly and allow fans to more easily access stats about their favorite players in the tournament. The site will also house box scores for every game that an MLS club participated in.
The fundraising campaign for the site ends Feb. 19. Click here for more information.
Although it's a far cry from Víctor Estupiñán's statement that he would score 30 goals in his rookie season, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks made headlines this week when he said he thought he could score 20 goals this year. Now I don't doubt that Mattocks has the talent to bag a ton of goals in MLS (this goal is definitely one of my favorites), but 20 goals for anyone, let alone a player entering his second full season of professional soccer, is a lot.
So it got the folks at MLSsoccer.com thinking about which player in Major League Soccer could be the next 20-goal scorer. Last year, San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski became just the third player in the past ten years to score at least 20 goals in a season. Wondolowski finished with 27, falling one goal short of breaking Roy Lassiter's record for regular season goals.
MLSsoccer.com's Nicholas Rosano listed three players who he thought could follow in Wondolowski's footsteps and be the league's next 20-goal scorer and No. 2 on his list was Dynamo forward Will Bruin.
In 2012, Bruin scored 12 regular season goals, seven more than his rookie campaign. He added another four goals in the postseason to set a Dynamo franchise record for goals in a year in all competitions.
Here is what Rosano had to say about Bruin's chances:
Not only will he be linking up with Brad Davis once more, he will also enjoy his first full season of play with Boniek García and Giles Barnes, midseason arrivals in 2012. The addition of Omar Cummings may deprive him of some opportunities, but it also gives the Dynamo the pace to stretch defenses, which Bruin can certainly benefit from.
After a strong national team camp, it is not a stretch to imagine a 20-goal season from Bruin and the increased USMNT chances that would follow. Plus, it would be a boon to my colleague the Armchair Analyst’s claim that the 23-year-old will net 200 career goals.
Bruin's first opportunity to leave a mark on the 2013 season will be March 2, when the Dynamo host D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. United is a team Bruin has had prior success against, tallying six goals in five career regular season games with one additional goal in last year's postseason.
So will Bruin bag 20 in 2013 and be well on his way to Matt Doyle's prediction of 200 career goals? Let us know in the comments below!
The Houston Dynamo announced today that Mega TV will be the official Spanish-language TV partner for the Dynamo in 2013. As part of the agreement, Mega TV (KTBU) will air seven games that will include 30-minut pre and postgame shows.
We caught up with local journalist Gustavo Rangel to talk about the positives of the deal and how the Dynamo are shaping up heading into the 2013 season.
Although we are only three-and-a-half weeks away from opening day, we are also just four weeks away from the Dynamo's first CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match against Mexican club Santos Laguna (March 5, 7 pm, BBVA Compass Stadium).
Houston will host Santos in the first leg of their home-and-home series, with the winner advancing to the semifinals to face the winner of Seattle Sounders / Tigres UANL. That match will be broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer and can be heard locally on 1560 AM (English) and 850 AM (Spanish).
To get you in the mood for Champions League soccer, each week, we'll provide you an update on how Santos is performing in Liga MX.
Despite transfering Argentinian midfielder Daniel Ludueña and Ecuadoran midfielder Christian Suárez to Pachuca in the offseason, Los Guerreros have had a strong start to the 2013 Clausura campaign. Santos is currently 2-1-2 (8 points) through their first five games and sit in sixth place in Liga MX.
Mexican national team striker Oribe Peralta leads the club with four goals and former Mexican national team goakeeper Oswaldo Sanchez has three shutouts in the first five matches.
Last week, Santos played Pumas to a scoreless draw at Estadio Olimpico Universitaro in Mexico City. The match included a header off the post by U.S. men's national team forward Herculez Gomez and s penalty kick save by Sanchez.
This is the best 0-0 game I've seen in a while. Penalty saved, two goal line clearances, and several other good shots and saves. #LigaMX
— Ordinary Orange Fan (@OrangeFanBlog) February 3, 2013
Santos returns to action this weekend when they host Pumas on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT
HIGHLIGHTS: SANTOS VS. PUMAS
The Houston Dynamo and Mega TV (KTBU) announced a partnership today to make the station the Dynamo's official Spanish-language TV partner for the 2013 season. The deal gives the Dynamo one of the most comprehensive broadcasting platforms across MLS.
With Gow Media (1560 AM and 97.5 FM) on board for English radio, Liberman (850 AM) on board for Spanish radio and CSN Houston and KPRC Local 2 on board for English TV, there are now numerous avenues for Dynamo fans to follow their favorite team throughout the season.
So who is Mega TV? We're glad you asked!
- KTBU began broadcasting on July 15, 1998 and was originally owned by Humanity Interested Media
- After a series of ownership changes, it was purchased by Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc., the largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media company in the United States, in May 2011
- Mega TV currently reaches more than 5 million households with over-the-air, cable and satellite distribution on an HD signal
- Mega TV has full distrubution in the Houston DMA.
- Mega TV has a daily news show called Portada that airs every night from 10-11. The show will include news/highlights about the Dynamo, with new episodes airing every Tuesday and Thursday.
It's no surprise that one of the most successful franchises in Major League Soccer, has also had success putting players on their respective national teams. Brian Ching, Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden were all staples of the U.S. men's national team as it advanced through the previous World Cup qualifying tournament and into the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
This year is no different. On Wednesday, the final round of CONCACAF's World Cup qualifying tournament kicks off and four Dynamo players will represent three teams. Brad Davis was named to the U.S. roster, Boniek Garcia will suit up for Honduras and Jermaine Taylor and Je-Vaughn Watson will head to Estadio Azteca for Jamaica's match against Mexico.
If Davis and Garcia both see time in Wednesday's match, it will not be the first time that Dynamo players (or former Dynamo players) have lined up against each other on the national scene. Here are some of the previous matchups and how each player fared:
- In 2006, the United States, featuring Brian Ching, and Canada, featuring former Dynamo players Dwayne De Rosario and Adrian Serioux, squared off in a friendly in San Diego, Calif. All three players started, but none were able to find the scoresheet as the game ended scoreless.
- There was lots of orange at the 2007 Gold Cup, as Brian Ching and Ricard Clark (USA) took on Dwayne De Rosario and Pat Onstad (Canada) in the semifinal round of the biennial tournament. Ching did not feature in the match and Clark came on in the second as a sub. Both Onstad and De Rosario started and picked up yellow cards as the United States won 2-1, before defeated Mexico 2-1 to win the tournament.
- In the 2011 Gold Cup, a Honduran team featuring former Dynamo forward Carlo Costly and current Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia lost 1-0 to a Jamaican squad featuring Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson. The Jamaicans won their group but lost to the United States in the quarterfinals. Honduras advanced to the semifinals before losing 2-0 to eventual champion Mexico.
- 0-0 appears to be a familiar scoreline for U.S. / Canada matches as the two squads played to a scoreless tie on June 3, 2012 in Toronto. Former Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron was on the bench for the United States but did not feature. Former Dynamo defender Andre Hainault started and played 90 minutes in the match.
- In front of a raucous crowd, a Jamaican squad with Jermaine Taylor and Je-Vaughn Watson defeated a U.S. squad with former Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron in a World cup qualifying match in Kingston on Sept. 7, 2012.
- The United States returned the favor four days later when Cameron's U.S. squad defeated Taylor and Watson's Jamaican squad 1-0 at Columbus Crew Stadium. Cameron and Taylor played full time in both matches. Watson played 90 minutes in the first match and 75 in the second.