Saturday, May 13, 2017

Slow start dooms Houston Dash to 3-1 loss to Sky Blue FC

Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai (7) goes a
gainst Sky Blue midfielder Sarah Killion (16).
Photto by Richard Fletcher, Bigshots Snapshots,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 13, 2017) The Houston Dash seemed stymied by the Sky Blue FC offense and dropped a 3-1 decision to their NWSL opponent at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, May 13, 2017. With the loss, the Dash drop to 2-3-0 in 2017 and extend their winless streak against Sky Blue which goes back to August 9, 2014 The only win Houston has against Sky Blue is a 3-0 decision on June 8, 2014, in their first-ever match against each other. Dash head coach Randy Waldrum’ record at home dropped to12-18-5, while the Dash drop to 1-5-3 against Sky Blue.


Sky Blue got one the scoreboard in the 33rd minute when Sarah Killion converted a penalty kick. They added an insurance goal in the 52nd minute by Leah Galton and in the 87th minute by Samantha Kerr. Houston single goal came in the 76th minute by Poliana. With her goal, Poliana moves into the top spot in goals for the Dash, tied with Kealia Ohai with two. Ohau talked about the Dash loss after the game.

“It wasn’t good enough. The first half was one of the worst halves I’ve ever seen us play, and it’s just not good enough. If we play like that, we’re not going to be able to come back from it, and the thing is if you get scored on three times, it’s very difficult to score four goals in a game. And that’s not just on the defense; that’s across the entire board. We have to stop getting scored on like this. It’s just so unacceptable and so frustrating that, I mean, there’s just nothing else to say, really. If you don’t defend one-v-one all over the field – it starts with the forwards – you’re going to lose. And I think that was the difference today.”

 Nichelle Prince (14) going against Sky Blue
goalie Kallen Sheridan )

Photto by Richard Fletcher, Bigshots Snapshots,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
Head coach Randy Waldrum also talked about the outcome of the game.

"Obviously, really disappointing. Second straight week with a really slow start. Just disappointed in how we came out. I think we get better in the second half. Disappointed in the performance. I felt like we would come in a get a win at home. Just disappointed from that standpoint.”

A noticeable absence on the pitch was Houston midfielder Denise O’Sullivan. She was listed as a probable starter prior to the game, but was not listed in the pregame lineup. The Cork, Ireland native has started in four game this season, totaling 297 minutes, and tallying one assist, two shots on target , and committing eight fouls.

UConn's Thompson wins men's hammer at The American championships

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 12, 2017) Connecticut freshmen Cameron Thompson connected for a throw of 60.23 meters (197 feet, 7 inches) to win his first-ever conference title in the hammer throw at the American Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships at the Tom Tellez Track on the campus of the University of Houston. In the first day of competition (May 12, 2017), his winning throw can on his third attempt, but unfortunately, was shorter than his conference-leading mark of 60.67 meters (199 feet, 0 inches). Thompson was followed in the standings by fellow freshmen Aleks Rapp in second place with a throw of 59.0 meters (193 feet, 10 inches) and the third-place performance of Houston senior Damon Thompson (58.71 meters; 192 feet, 7 inches).


The East Carolina Pirates picked up fourth and fifth place with the efforts of Adam Manns (57.81 meters; 189 feet, 8 inches) and Ryan Davis (55.87 meters; 83 feet 4 inches). South Florida placed sixth and seventh, with East Carolina scoring the eight place points. In running action, UConn’s Emily Durgon took top honors in the women’s 10,000-meter run. The senior broke her own meet record with the time of 34:28.06. The previous record of 34:30.49 was set at the conference meet in 2015. UCF’s Anne-Marie Blaney took the silver medal (34:31.42) while SMU’s Hannah Miller snagged the bronze (34:47.28). In the men’s 10,000 meter run, Tulsa went 1-2 with Henry Pearce taking the gold and Adam Roderique the silver. East Carolina’s Jorge Montes grabbed the bronze.

The championships continue on Saturday with field events at 3 p.m. and running events at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dynamo remain undefeated at home with 2-1 win over Vancouver




Photo by Jeremy Fletcher, Bigshots Snapshots
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 12, 2017) The Houston Dynamo jumped to the top of the Western Conference standings on Friday night (May 12) with a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. The win kept Houston undefeated at home this year and improve their home record to 6-0-1. It also allowed them to surpass the team’s total wins at home from 2016. The Dynamo went 5-5-7 a year ago at BBVA Compass Stadium.


The duo of Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis (shown above right, No. 17) secured the first goal for Houston in the 15th minute. Quioto crossed to Elis for the header. The goal extended Elis’ home scoring streak to 15 games. Quioto recorded his second assist of the season, and second in as many games. Elis was quoted after the game:
“The truth is that I’m glad we won today. This is what we wanted, we worked all week for this and we hope to remain consistent throughout the year. I felt my leg tighten up, so to prevent any further injury I preferred to leave the game and now I have to wait for the test results.”
Photo by Jeremy Fletcher, Bigshots Snapshots
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
Erick Torres (shown left, No. 9) doubled the Dynamo’s score when he converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute. His eight goals on the season are the second-most in his career, behind a 15-goal season in 2013. The score was his league-leading eighth goal of the season along with his third game-winning goal of the season. The goal was Torres’ fourth from a penalty kick this season, which is the most in a single season in Dynamo history. Brad Davis had three penalty kick goals in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Torres talked with the press, after the match, about the Dynamo’s home-game success in 2017.
“We have validated our home stature, the fan base has supported us and that made the opponent feel uncomfortable. Now we have to get points on the road, play with the same intensity, have personality, have the same attitude, character that we demonstrate. That way we will be able to get points on the road because we have a streak of away matches and we have to get points."
Brek Shae came off the bench and scored for the second consecutive week for Vancouver in the 85th minute to close out the scoring for the evening.

Cincinnati's Annette Echikumwoke wins hammer throw at AAC Championships

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 12, 2017) Cincinnati’s Annette Echikumwoke completed only two legal throws, but her second throw of 60.97 meters (200 feet 0 inches) in the women’s hammer was good enough to win the first event of the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championships on Friday, May 12, 2017. The competition is being held on the Tom Tellez Track on the campus of the University of Houston will run through Sunday, May 14. Her winning thrown was short of her season best of 63.91 meters (208 feet, 8 inches) from April 15 of this year and broke her own meet record established at last year’s championships.

In second place was UCF’s Chelsea Gobourne with a throw of 59.45 meters (195 feet, 0 inches). Two Houston Cougar sophomores followed in the standings, with Mikaila Martin earning her place on the victory platform with a throw of 59.44 meters (195 feet, 0 inches). Teammate Taylor Scaife placed fourth at 59.10 meters (193 feet, 11 inches). Connecticut picked up fifth place points, followed by UCF in sixth, South Florida in seventh, and East Carolina in eighth. With their third and fourth place finish, Houston is tied with UCF for the lead in the team standing with 11 points. The finals in the men’s hammer, along with the women’s and men’s 10,000-meters will also be contested on Friday evening.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sugar Land Skeeters trounce New Britian 6-1

An error on the throw allowed Sugar Land left fielder
Joe Benson (5) to advance to second base.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (May 7, 2017) The Sugar Land Skeeters tallied three euns in the fourth inning to take a 6-1 victory over the New Britian Bees at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas on Sunday, May 7, 2017. 

The Skeeters jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning when third baseman Lance Zawadzki singled on a 0-1 pitch, scoring shortstop Josh Prince. They added a second run in the second inning when second baseman Anthony Giansanti hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score designated hitter Andy Wilkins from second base. Prince added to the scoring assault when he cleared the bases on a double, to send three runs home to take the score to 5-0 in the fourth inning. The Bees finally got on the board in the eighth inning. Sugar Land countered in the bottom of the inning with a Derrek Miller single, sending Wilkins home for the final score of the game. 

For a slideshow from the game by Darla Tamulitis 
of La Vita Loca Photography, click here.

Last season, the Skeeters had their share of troubles against the Bees. In New Britian's first season in the Atlantic League, Sugar Land was 7-13 overall, 3-7 at home, and 4-6 at New Britian. In Friday's game, Sugar Land downed the Bees 7-5 and followed up with a 3-2 win on Saturday. The current series will continue on Monday, May 8 with a 7:05 p.m. CT start.

Houston Dynamo shut down Orlando City 4-0

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 6, 2017) Mauro Manatos scored goals in both the first and second half to secure a 4-0 win for the Houston Dynamo over Orlando City FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 8,000-plus fans in attendance saw the Sabanalarga, Columbia native triple his season goal to give Houston three-needed points and push their record to 5-3-1 and 16 points.

The first goal of the game came in the 23rd minute when Houston forward Alberth Elis nailed a shot past Orlando goalkeeper Joseph Bendick for his fourth goal for the season. The Manatos added the insurance goals in the 51st and 65th minute. The goals were the second and third scores of the season for the 21-year-old. Romell Quito added to the Dynamo scoring assault in the 75th minute. It was the fourth goal of the season for the 25-year-old forward. The four goals in the game are the most this season for Houston, and their largest score differential since their 5-0 win over FC Dallas on March 12, 2016. 

To view the slideshow from the game by Darla Tamulitis of La Vita Loca Photography, [please click here.

Friday, May 05, 2017

UConn's Thompson takes men's hammer at The American Championships

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (May 12, 2017) Connecticut freshmen Cameron Thompson connected for a throw of 60.23 meters (197 feet, 7 inches) to win his first-ever conference title in the hammer throw at the American Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships at the Tom Tellez Track on the campus of the University of Houston. In the first day of competition (May 12, 2017), his winning throw can on his third attempt, but unfortunately, was shorter than his conference-leading mark of 60.67 meters (199 feet, 0 inches). Thompson was followed in the standings by fellow freshmen Aleks Rapp in second place with a throw of 59.0 meters (193 feet, 10 inches) and the third-place performance of Houston senior Damon Thompson (58.71 meters; 192 feet, 7 inches).


The East Carolina Pirates picked up fourth and fifth place with the efforts of Adam Manns (57.81 meters; 189 feet, 8 inches) and Ryan Davis (55.87 meters; 83 feet 4 inches). South Florida placed sixth and seventh, with East Carolina scoring the eight place points. In running action, UConn’s Emily Durgon took top honors in the women’s 10,000-meter run. The senior broke her own meet record with the time of 34:28.06. The previous record of 34:30.49 was set at the conference meet in 2015. UCF’s Anne-Marie Blaney took the silver medal (34:31.42) while SMU’s Hannah Miller snagged the bronze (34:47.28). In the men’s 10,000 meter run, Tulsa went 1-2 with Henry Pearce taking the gold and Adam Roderique the silver. East Carolina’s Jorge Montes grabbed the bronze.

The championships continue on Saturday with field events at 3 p.m. and running events at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Houston OLB Tyus Bowser selected by Baltimore in NFL Draft

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 28, 2017) In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Houston Cougars had their first player selected when the Baltimore Ravens chose outside linebacker Tyus Bowers as the 47th overall pick; 15th pick of the second round.


Bowers, who is 6’3” tall and tips the scales at 247 pounds, missed a month of his senior season, due to a broken orbital bone as a result of a fight witha teammate. After his return to the field, he led the Cougars with 8.5 sacks along with 12 tackles (for a loss) in eight games. During his freshman and sophomore years, he played both football and basketball. He played in all games during his freshman season, amassing 26 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.

The Ravens finished 2016 with an 8-8 record and second place in the AFC North. Their defense game up 20.1 points per game (9th), 322.1 yards (7th), 232.8 yards passing (9th) and 89.4 yards (5th).

Houston Texans select ILB Zach Cunningham in the 2nd round of NFL Draft

Cunningham tallied six tackles, three of them solo,
in the 2016 Independence Bowl against
NC State on December 26, 2016.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis,
La Vita Loca Photpgraphy,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 28, 2017) The Houston Texans added to the defense with the selection of Vanderbilt ILB Zach Cunningham as the 25th pick in the second round (57th overall). The first-team All-America selection in 2016, led the SEC in with 125 tackles and topped 10-plus in seven of the Commordores' 13 games. In his three-year college career, the tallied 256 tackles, with 36 for a loss. In addition, he had six forced tackles and seven fumble recoveries. He was selected a first-team All-SEC selection the past two seasons. In the first round, the Texans selected Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 12th pick overall. They moved up in the draft order on a deal with Cleveland and Philadelphia.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

No. 12 Houston drops 7-1 decision to Tulane Green Wave


By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 21, 2017) The No. 12 Houston Cougars could not contain the bats of Tulane and dropped the first game of their game of to take the first game of their three-game weekend series by the score of 7-1 to the Green Wave on Friday. April 21, 2017 at Schroeder Park in Houston.

Tulane starting second baseman Jake Willsey connected for two solo home runs while The Green Wave used 12 hits to generate their seven runs. Willsey’s round trippers were the sixth and seventh of the season for the senior from Newton, Massachusetts. He pervious hit two home runs in the same game against LSU on March 28.  The Green Wave connected for solo home runs in the first and seventh innings, along with a single RBI in the fifth.  Corey Julks solo home run in the ninth was the only run for the Cougars.

The Cougars, who are in second place in the American Athletic Conference behind Tulane. With the loss, the Cougars fell to 25-12 overall and 6-4 in league play, while Tulane improved to 20-19 overall and 8-2 in American action.

The series will continue Saturday and Sunday with starts at 5:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.

Wilmer Cabrera, Houston Dynamo Head Coach, April 22, 2017



Video by Robert H Kelly, TexSport Publications, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Houston stays unbeaten at home with 2-0 win over San Jose

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 22, 2017) The Houston Dynamo shut out the San Jose Earthquakes by the score of 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The win was their first shut out of the season for the Dynamo and allowed them to remain unbeaten at home in 2017.


Forward Erick Torres (No. 9, shown above right) added to his goal total for the season when he converted a penalty kick in the 9th minute to give the Dynamo an early 1-0 lead. The score was his seventh of the season and gives him the top spot in scoring in Major League Soccer. Forward Alberth Elis  scored the second goal for Houston in the 72nd minute. It was the second consecutive game he has scored.

Torres and Elis each had opportunities to add to their totals on the day. Torres attempted an audacious bicycle kick in the 16th minute, but the flying effort whistled over the crossbar. Elis nearly found the net in the 57th minute, when he and Alex played a give-and-go. Alex got the ball dribbled it inside the box and sent a cross to Elis. The Honduran native connected with a header but the ball bounced just past the right post.

Dynamo head coach Wilber Cabera stated about Drnamo's performance:

"We were organized. We had very good shape. When the team had to defend, it defended very well. When we had the possibility to move the ball, we moved the ball well. Much better than in different games. When we had to attack, we continued attacking. We continued trying to look forward to the attack. So it was important to be solid, and today was one of the most balanced games that we have had throughout the season, so that is something that I am really happy about. And I just congratulated the players because they did a wonderful job."

The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season on Friday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. CDT against Toronto FC at BMO Field.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sugar Land Skeeters kick off 2017 season with 5-2 win over Bridgeport

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS  (April 20, 2017) The defending Atlantic League Champion Sugar Land Skeeters kicked off their 2017 season with a 5-2 thumping of the Bridgeport Bluefish in front of 5,935 fans at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas on Thursday, April 20, 2017. The win was their eleventh straight dating back to September 12, 2016, where they won their last four regular season games and swept the playoffs by winning six straight to capture their Atlantic League championship.


The Skeeters jumped out to an early 3-0 when designated hitter Max Ramirez connected on a 1-1 pitch for a three-run homer. His round-tripper send Lance Zawadski home from third base and Jeremy Barfield home from first base. Zawadski got on base with a single and advanced to second and third base by wild pitches by Bluefish starter Cory Riordan. Barfield got on base with a walk. Bridgeport cut the Skeeters lead to two when right field Ozney Guillen scored on his own home run in the third inning.

Sugar Land added to their lead in the fifth when first baseman Andy Wilkin singled, sending home Zawadzki and Barfield from third and second respectively while the Bluefish added a run in the eighth inning. Starter Jake Hale received the win, by Felipe Paulino recorded the save. Cory Riordan receiced the loss for the Blurefish.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

American Steve Johnson wins 2017 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship

Steve Johnson kisses the trophy after winning
the 2017 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
Photo by Richard Fletcher, Bigshot Snapshots
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 16, 2017) It took No. 4 Steve Johnson (USA) two hours, 24 minutes to down No. 8 Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) in Sunday's Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship singles final at River Oaks Country Club in Houston. The tournament, which ended on Sunday, April 16, 2017 saw Johnson win his second career title He is now 2-0 versus Bellucci, having won their previous meeting in straight sets in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open. 

Both Bellucci and Johnson arrived late into Houston following Davis Cup ties last weekend. Bellucci was 2-0 in singles as Brazil won 5-0 at Ecuador. Johnson was part of the winning US doubles team in a 3-2 World Group quarterfinal defeat at Australia in Brisbane. For the ninth time in the 10 years since the tournament moved to River Oaks, an American was competing the final, with an American won the title four times since the tournament came to River Oaks. The three previous American wins include Ryan Sweeting in 2011, John Isner in 2013 and Jack Sock in 2015.

Johnson had never reached the semifinals at an ATP clay court event before this week. His lone title came on grass in Nottingham in last summer. Bellucci is the first player to make the final in his Houston debut since Nicolas Almagro in 2013 and was the 
first Brazilian in the U.S. Clay final since Fernando Meligeni won the 1996 title.
 

Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai starts 2017 with a bang

Photo by Lou Roesch
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Lou Roesch
Special Correspondant for TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 16, 2017) Kealia Ohai and the Houston Dash opened the 2017 season with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars on their own pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium. The win marked the second consecutive season that the Dash have begun with a win over Chicago.

Ohai, the fourth year forward and captain of the Dash picked up in 2017 where she left off in 2016. The goal although the first of the new season marked the twelfth goal in her last eleven games dating back to last season.
Ohai broke in behind the defense in the 15th minute of play on Saturday to get into the scoring column.

“As a staff we were talking about the importance of K (Ohai) getting off to a good, quick start this season,” said Dash head coach Randy Waldrum of his forward. “One of the biggest differences I see in her is that she is just so much more confident. Her confidence is sky high right now. You can see by the game, she was just tearing it up and down the line. They (Chicago) just couldn’t contain her. We just need her to keep putting it together.”

The talented forward continued her brilliant play in the 80th minute as it was her pass that found its way through the box to Rachel Daly who unleashed a curling shot that rippled the nets for a 2-0 lead.

Ohai and the Dash look to continue their start and overcome the road woes that has plagued them in their three seasons in the NWSL as they travel to Seattle to face the Reign FC in an 8:00pm CDT match on April 22, 2017. The match will stream on go90.com.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United battle to 2-2 draw

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications


HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 15, 2017) In a game that saw the all the action for the Houston Dynamo in the first half with the Minnesota United FC controling the second half, the best both teams could manage was a 2-2 draw in front of 16,125 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Dynamo move to 3-2-1 (10 points) on the season while Minnesota moves to 1-4-2 (5 points).

The first goal of the game came in the 15th minute when forward Maura Manotas received the ball at the middle of the box and drove the it past Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Manotas received the ball from forward Erick Torres with an additional assist from midfielder Ricardo Clark. It was the first goal of the season for Manotas, who hails from Sabanalarga, Columbia, in additon to being the seventh goal of his MLS career. The assist from Torres was also his first of the season and the fifth of his career. In 2016, Manotas tied the team lead with six goals in MLS play despite not starting a game until August 14. He was acquired by the Dynamo on May 13, 2015 in transfer from Uniautonoma F.C. Houston doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 43rd minute off a free kick from defender Boniak Garcia to forward Alberth Elis. It was the second goal of the season in six games for the 21-year-old from San Pedeo Sula, Honduras.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

Minnesota finally got on the scoreboard in the 47th minute, cutting the Houston lead to 2-1 when forward Christian Ramirez scored his fifth goal of the season, with an assist by midfielder Kevin Molino, his third of the season. They evened the score in the 62nd minute with a quick kick from forward Johan Venegas at the top of the goal box.

Dynamo head coach Wilber Cabrera talked with the press after the game and discussed the overall game.


“Around 75 minutes of this game, we were good. Seventy-five. And, for 15 minutes, we lost control of everything. The first 10 minutes of the second half, I didn’t recognize the guys. They weren’t sharp. Conceding a goal from set pieces, which, that can happen. But then, we lost further control of the ball. We couldn’t make three passes in a row. We lost our intensity. And, I’m going to blame myself. I’m going to take full responsibility for that. I’m not going to blame all the guys. I just told the guys that I’m going to take the last 30 minutes, the way they reacted, is the way I’m looking for the Houston Dynamo team for the rest of the 2017 season. I’m looking for a team who will play that way. Maybe we couldn’t score, but at least we managed the ball better. We passed the ball better. We tried. We worked hard. And, if you score, that’s fine. If you can’t score, at least you can leave the field with your heads up. Understanding that sometimes the ball isn’t going to be going in the best way for us, but that’s something that we need to keep believing in. I’m trying to emphasize right now the positive things that the team did in the second half. I’m going to take those ten minutes away because it happens. We know already that it’s been happening. It’s a small sign that we have. But we’re aiming to destroy that sign, that in the second half the team is not working very well.”

Next up for the Dynamo is a Saturday, April 22 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Offense outlasts defense 51-33 in Houston Cougars Spring Game



By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 15, 2017) The Red Team downed the White Team by the score of 51-33 in the 2017 Houston Cougars 2017 Red-White Football Game on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at TDECU Stadium in Houston. The Red Team, which was made up of the offensive players, played four 12-minute quarters in the annual spring game, which marks the end of spring football, against the White Team, which was made up of the defensive squad. The first score of the game came as a result of a pass from junior quarterback Kyle Allen to sophomore receiver Keith Corbin in the back corner of the end zone. Kicker Dalton Witherspoon tacked on the extra point to give the Red Team an early lead.

Other scoring occurred on a six-yard run by sophomore running back Patrick Carr, who sat out last season after transferring from Colorado with sophomore running back Kevrin Justice adding a one-yard run in the third quarter. Sophomore running back Josh Burrell closed out the day with a one-yard score. Carr led the Red Team with 122 yards on 15 carries. Burrell was second in rushing on the day with 38 yards on seven carries.

On the receiving end, senior Derek McLemore led the way with nine receptions for 44 yards while sophomore Keith Corbin had three receptions for 21 yards. Passing wise, Allen had 62 yards on 12-of-18 passing while junior Mason McClendon had 27 yards on 6-of-14 passing.

The White got off to a strong start when Jeremy Winchester picked off an Allen pass on the first play of the game. It was one of three interceptions for the defense as Isaiah Johnson and Javian Smith picked up interceptions on the day as well. Senior linebacker Cameron Doubenmier paced the defense with seven tackles while senior linebacker Austin Robinson and redshirt-freshman cornerback Patrick Rosette had six stops each. Doubenmier and Robinson also had the day’s lone sacks.
  
Houston kicks off the fall season when it travels to San Antonio to open the 2017 against UTSA on Saturday, Sept. 2. Following a September 9 trip to Tucson, Ariz., to face Arizona, the Cougars open their home slate against Rice on Saturday, September 16 at TDECU Stadium.


Houston Dash upend Chicago Red Stars 2-0 to kickoff 2017 NWSL season

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications 


HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 15, 2017) Kealia Ohai picked up where she had left off and scored the first goal of the Houston Dash season, as they downed the Chicago Red Stars by the score of 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. On this blistering hot Saturday, April 15, 2017, Ohai drilled the ball cross net from the left side, past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the 15th minute.  They added an insurance goal in the 80th minute when Rachel Daly got her first goal of the season with a floating shot to the far post. Houston and Chicago have played eight times previously since 2014, with the Dash coming out on top just once. That win was a 3-1 victory on April 16, 2016. Houston is now 2-3-4 lifetime against the Red Stars.


The Dash were without the services of midfielder Carli Lloyd, who informed the team earlier in the year she would be joining England’s Manchester City FC for the early part of 2017. She is not scheduled to return to Houston until possibly June. Lloyd was one of five players who scored multiple goals in 2016, leaving the Dash shorthanded on offense for the foreseeable future. The offensive leadership of Houston may be left up to Ohai, who was tied for the NWSL lead in 2016 with 11 goals.  Her goals-plus-assists total of 14 (11 goals plus three assists) in 2016 placed her third in the NWSL behind Jessica McDonald and Lynn Williams, with 17 and 16, respectively. Both McDonald and Williams played for the Western New York Flash. They both now play for the North Carolina Courage, which is the rebranded Flash after they were purchased by the North Carolina FC. In 2016, Ohai led the Dash with 11 goals, playing in 20 game. She was followed by Lloyd with 5 points (seven games), Daly (four goals in 16 games, Janine Beckie (three goals in 14 games), and Denise O’Sullivan (two goals in 18 games).

Next up for the Dash will be a three-game road trip beginning on April 22 against the Seattle Reign. They follow that up with stops in Washington (April 29) and Chicago (May 6). They return home on Saturday, May 13 with a 3 p.m. CT matchup against Sky Blue FC.

Friday, April 14, 2017

No. 2 John Isner falls to Ernesto Escobedo at Clay Court Champs

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (July 14, 2017) In a match that lasted just over three hours, wild card entry Ernesto Escobedo upset No. 2 seed John Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (6), 7-5 (5) in the quarterfinal round of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay  Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club in Houston on Friday, April 14, 2017. The 20-year-old from West Covina, California trailed Isner in most statistical categories; except the final score. It was the first time the two right-handers had faced each other and the win was a major accomplishment for the Escobedo who turned pro three years ago. He is only one of seven Top 100 ranked players in the world under 21 years of age, and four of those are playing at River Oaks.


Isner , who last won the tournament in 2013, may have been feeling the effects of his professional tennis travels. With Davis Cup matches preceding the Clay Court Championships in Houston this year, 11 players travelled from various locations around the world to be in Houston. Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Isner all travelled from Brisbane, Australia to compete in Houston.

Next up for Escobedo will be a semifinal match against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who dispatched American Sam Querry in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) on Friday.    

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jack Sock downs Tommy Haas in second round action in Houston

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 13, 2017) In the headline match at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’sClay Court Championship on Thursday, April 13, 2017, it took No. 1 seed Jack Sock three sets to down 2004 champion Tommy Haas 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The match, which was held on center court, saw Sock, who is ranked number 15 in the world, take the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set to the German 6-3. In the third set, Sock took a 4-1 lead with Haas moving the score to 5-3 before the 2015 champion closed the books on the match with a 6-3 score. The match lasted in one hour, 55 minutes.


The stats were fairly equal, with both players serving five aces. Sock shot a bit better on first service, 65% to 62% and on second service won, 58% to 55%. Haas had the edge on first service won 76% to 74%. Sock is now 12-3 in matches at River Oaks, in his fifth appearance on the Houston clay. In 2013, he was eliminated in the second round, while in 2014, he advanced to the quarter finals. His championship title came in 2015 and dropped the final match in 2016 to Juan Monaco 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

In previous head-to-head competition, Haas downed Sock 7-6(3), 6-2, 7-5 in the Round of 64 at in 2013 on clay at Roland Garros (France). In 2014, Sock won the matchup on hard court, in the Round of 16 at Auckland, New Zealand, in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. At 24-years-old, Sock is the youngest No. 1 seed in the tournament since 23-year-old Andy Roddick was number one in 2006. Haas, at 39-years-old, is the oldest US Clay singles participant since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1978. Haas, who announced this will be his final season downed 19-year-old 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 in the first round. Next up for Sock will be the winner of the Feliciano Lopez (Spain) vs. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) match.

A slideshow from the match, by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography can be wiewed by clicking here.