Major League Soccer
There are many things you know about ESPN analyst and former U.S. men's national team defender Alexi Lalas. There are also many things you don't about the man.
Well in case you missed it, everything and more was covered in Lalas' interview today with Dave Tepper and Jerome Solomon on ESPN 97.5 FM. The men discussed the state of the USMNT, Sunday's Dynamo match, Lalas' music ability and his time working for AEG. And if the Houston Texans don't sign Ed Reed, it won't be for lack of trying on the part of Lalas.
Props to the folks at FC Dallas as well as professional soccer ball kicker Stephen Keel. If Keel's career as a professional soccer ball kicker does not work out, I fully expect to see him hosting infomercials as I'm flipping through the channels at 1 a.m.
But unlike most infomercials that are selling "fully functional" products, we regret to inform Dallas that their 4-4-2 Orange Obliteration System just isn't getting the job done. Check out what happened when Dynamo Diesel attempted to make himself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
With MLS Rivalry Week on the horizon, Dynamo fans can once again get excited about another #TexasDerby with FC Dallas. Although the rivalry has diminished in recent years with Houston's move to the Eastern Conference in 2011, Sunday's match is one that fans and players have marked on their calendars since the schedule was released in January.
So with that said, we take a look at the seven players who have seen both sides of the rivalry, having doned both the Dynamo orange and the hoops of Dallas during their playing careers.
OK, so he played for the Dallas Burn before the Earthquakes picked up and moved to Houston, but the Dynamo's all-time leader in games played, games started and assists has been a pivotal member of the rivalry over the past seven years. Davis played 55 MLS games for Dallas and tallied eight goals and seven assists before heading to San Jose and eventually Houston.
With the Dynamo, Davis has won two MLS Cup titles and has played in 241 games in all competitions with 88 career assists. Davis has also been a menace against his former club, tallying five regular season assists as well as the final goal of Houston's 4-1 playoff victory over Dallas on Nov. 2, 2007.
Few players can match Mulrooney when it comes to consistency in MLS. The veteran mifielder, with 285 regular season games to his name, spent two seasons with Dallas and four with the Dynamo during his 12-year career. During his stints with the Earthquakes and Dynamo, Mulrooney was a force against Dallas, tallying one goal and nine assists
The Canadian defender turned broadcaster makes history as the only player to have played for Houston, gone to Dallas and then come back to Houston. After helping the Dynamo to the MLS Cup in 2006, Serioux was selected by Toronto FC in the MLS expansion draft and quickly traded to FC Dallas. The 6-foot defender spent two years on the Dallas back line before heading back to Toronto and making his way back to Houston for his final season in MLS.
Along with Davis, Cerritos is one of the most accomplished players to don both uniforms after he finished his MLS career with 71 goals and 57 assists. The Salvadoran striker spent 2002 and 2003 with the Dallas Burn, tallying seven goals and seven assists before finishing his MLS career with the Dynamo in 2006. Cerritos lasted only half a season in orange before he was released in August 2006.
Without a doubt the fastest man on this list, the Ghanaian speedster broke into MLS up I-45, playing 70 MLS games over three seasons with FC Dallas. After a brief stint with the New York Red Bulls, Oduro found his way to Houston and spent two season (plus one game) in orange. With seven goals and 12 assists in 44 regular season games in Houston, Oduro was a critical member of the Dynamo squad that advanced to the 2009 Western Conference Championship.
Watson gets the honor of being the only player in history to be involved in a trade between the Dynamo and FC Dallas. The Jamaican international played more than 40 games in Houston before the Dynamo traded the midfielder to Dallas prior to the 2013 season. Watson's role in the battle for El Capitan is TBD.
Can you really include a player who only appeared once for Houston? Sure you can. Thompson spent four seasons in Dallas before a mid-season trade in 2008 brought him to Kansas City. After 16 games in Kansas City, Thompson was sent to the Dynamo in exchange for striker Kei Kamara. Thompson makes history as the only player on this list to score for Dallas against the Dynamo, tallying one goal and one assist in seven career games.
After two weeks of Major League Soccer, the Houston Dynamo placed towards the top spots in week two’s power rankings. With their 2-0 win at home against D.C. United in the season opener and their bye week due to CONCACAF Champions League, MLS’s Matthew Doyle and Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey have the Dynamo ranked No. 2, behind the L.A. Galaxy.
This is what MLS writer, Doyle, had to say about Houston.
Like the Galaxy, the Dynamo were off during the weekend but had a good midweek result to build off of in CCL play. They're very, very balanced and they're very, very tough to break down at this point. It's still going to be a monumental task to come away from Santos with an historic midweek result.
Meanwhile Houston’s next rival, FC Dallas, ranks No. 15 in the MLS Power Rankings after their 3-1 loss to Chivas USA.
Sport Illustrated’s power rankings by Avi Creditor have Houston ranked No.1 in the league. Here is what Creditor had to say about the Dynamo.
Given a bye from league play because of their involvement in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Dynamo carry a 1-0 edge with them into Torreon, where they eye rare MLS success on Mexican soil and hope to eliminate Herculez Gomez's Santos Laguna to seal a place in the tournament semifinals. Win or lose, awaiting the Dynamo next weekend is the start of a tough league stretch and a Texas rivalry bout with FC Dallas.
Houston will look to stay at the top spots of the power rankings, as they play on Sunday against FC Dallas in the “Battle for El Capitan,” part of MLS Rivalry Week on ESPN 2 at 12 p.m.
A few months ago, when we first decided to commit to our digital platforms and provide more Dynamo coverage than ever to our fans, we made the decision to also use that same philosophy with regard to our gameday magazine. It was determined that our magazine, in the current form, was not reaching the audience that we desired and we were looking for new ways to engage our fans with the new content we were creating.
Thus sprang the idea of the digital gameday magazine. It's something that professional clubs around the world have had much success with and something that clubs have found to be an intricate part of their fans' gameday experience.
Ideally, we would have launched our first digital gameday magazine prior to the first match. Unfortunately, we underestimated the process of getting a magazine approved through Apple's Newsstand.
So after four rejections from the App Store, we are proud to announce that our first digital gameday magazine is now available for download for iPhone users. Moving forward, we hope to have each gameday magazine available for download at least 36 hours prior to each match. It will also be available on multiple platforms so fans who do not have an iPhone will be able to download and enjoy the content.
The first edition includes the following features, plus more:
We thank everyone for their patience and welcome their feedback on the first edition. Also, if you have content ideas that you would like to see in future editions please let us know in the comments section below.
Good news coming out of Dynamo camp this morning as striker Omar Cummings, who was acquired by Houston from the Colorado Rapids in December, has returned to training with the first team.
Cummings has been sidelined since the end of January after undergoing surgery on January 25 to repair a right knee injury. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Jesus Ortiz, Cummings hopes to be available for selection within the next two weeks, meaning that the Jamaican national team forward could make his debut in the Dynamo's March 23 home match vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps.
This will come as good to news to the Dynamo, who have a busy schedule over the next few weeks. If Houston earns the necessary result to get past Santos Laguna in the Champions League quarterfinals, they could be looking at seven games (MLS + CCL) in a span of four weeks.
For years, MLS commissioner Don Garber has talked about Major League Soccer being one of the best leagues in the world by 2022. And when he talks about that goal, he almost always prefaces the statement by saying MLS needs to be the best league in the region before it can be one of the best in the world.
The differences between MLS and Liga MX are well-documented. With no salary cap south of the border, teams are able to spend freely on top talent, both domestic and abroad. There are more than a handful of players playing in the Mexican first division whose salaries would dwarf most MLS teams outside of New York and LA.
But that competitive advantage has not stopped the Dynamo from being a strong opponenet for Mexican clubs over the past seven years. Since the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006, the team is 9-7-4 all-time against Mexican foes. That includes matches in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, SuperLiga, BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup and international friendlies.
Along the way there have many memorable moments.
Who can forget the Dynamo's 4-4 tie at Pumas in the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League? With the draw, Houston became the first MLS team to earn a point on Mexican soil in any competition.
Or how about Houston's 2-0 win over Pachuca in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup home match? The match was originally scheduled for Wednesday night, but a power outage forced the game to be pushed to Thursday afternoon. Houston took the first leg, but was unable to take the series, falling at Pachuca 5-2.
You could probably poll 5 people and they might each give you a different favorite memory against Mexican opposition, including last Tuesday's 1-0 win over Santos Laguna.
So what do you say Dynamo fans? What is your favorite memory / game / story against a team from Mexico? Let us know in the comments section below!
|Dynamo vs. Mexican opposition (9-7-4 all-time; 9-4-3 home; 0-3-1 road)|
|03/15/07||vs. Pachuca||W 2-0||Robertson Stadium||CONCACAF Champions Cup|
|04/05/07||at Pachuca||L 5-2||Estadio Hidalgo||CONCACAF Champions Cup|
|07/25/07||vs. Club America||W 1-0||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|07/29/07||vs. Morelia||T 1-1||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|08/14/07||vs. Pachuca||T 2-2 (Lost 4-3 on PKs)||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|07/12/08||vs. Atlante||W 4-0||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|07/15/08||vs. Chivas de Guadalajara||L 0-1||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|07/29/08||vs. Pachuca||W 2-0||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|09/30/08||at Pumas||T 4-4||Estadio Olimpico Universitario||CONCACAF Champions League|
|10/22/08||vs. Pumas||L 3-1||Robertson Stadium||CONCACAF Champions League|
|02/24/09||vs. Atlante||T 1-1||Robertson Stadium||CONCACAF Champions League|
|03/03/09||at Atlante||L 3-0||Estadio Quintana Roo Atlante||CONCACAF Champions League|
|09/16/09||at Pachuca||L 2-0||Estadio Hidalgo||CONCACAF Champions League|
|09/30/09||vs. Pachuca||L 1-0||Robertson Stadium||CONCACAF Champions League|
|10/11/09||vs. Monterrey||W 2-1||Robertson Stadium||BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup|
|07/15/10||vs. Pachuca||W 2-1||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|07/21/10||vs. Puebla||W 1-0||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|08/05/10||vs. Morelia||L 1-0||Robertson Stadium||SuperLiga|
|09/04/11||vs. Monterrey||W 3-0||Robertson Stadium||Friendly|
|03/05/13||vs. Santos Laguna||W 1-0||BBVA Compass Stadium||CONCACAF Champions League|