Texas Pro Soccer Festival Journal: Days Five and Six

The Texas Pro Soccer Festival is wrapping up today, so there’s only one more day of action to report on after today.

On Friday, I didn’t go to the practices, which allowed me some extra time to get some work done ahead of the evening’s doubleheader, and also to finally get my hair cut.

With three pounds of hair gone, I went to Cibolo, this time around accompanied by Iris, who was feeling a lot better than on Wednesday.

We were in store for a chilly night at the stadium, so I was pretty happy about having a jacket to wear.

In the first match of the night, Toronto FC played D.C. United. Defensively, both teams played well, especially Toronto, after having given up four goals in the first 47 minutes against Houston on Wednesday. But, D.C. snatched a 1-0 victory with an 84th minute goal by Josh Gardner.

I interviewed Toronto’s John Carver after the match, and even though his team lost, he was pretty friendly, and struck up a conversation before we jumped into the interview. That may seem irrelevant, but keep reading, and you’ll see why it’s noteworthy.

The second match is the one that everyone was eagerly anticipating, as Houston Dynamo faced Chivas USA. Both sides had a great deal of support, with horns and drums making for an excellent atmosphere.

That one also ended 1-0, with a brilliant goal by Dwayne De Rosario giving Houston the win. It came with a little more than 10 minutes gone, and even though Houston was putting on the pressure, the goal itself came out of nowhere. D-Ro set it up by making a little run down the left flank, and after giving it away, got it back and uncorked an absolute rocket from at least 30 yards out that flew in the back of the net. If you see a chance, take it, right?

It very well should have been 3-0 or 4-0 Houston at halftime, but Chivas actually ended up having a great chance to equalize in the second half. Unfortunately, the post wasn’t being friendly.

I don’t think Preki was too happy about the defeat, because as soon as they could get out of there, the Chivas guys made a run for it without waiting to sign autographs for fans or to be interviewed. Better yet, quite a few made a jump for it, actually, jumping over the fences to get to the van. I can understand being frustrated or disappointed at the way the night went, but given the event, it might have been better for them to at least stay and sign a few autographs, since they had so many fans at the match.

Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear remembered me from Wednesday night, and before he took care of his interviews, he came over and talked for a bit. He commented on the haircut, and that I should’ve kept my hair, since there are guys like him that don’t have much of it left, to which I said that I should’ve saved it for him.

After I finished my interview with Dominic, Iris and I spent a good amount of time talking to Philip Kutsu, a Ghanian footballer who played for Hearts of Oak, one of the top clubs in Africa. Philip’s now in the U.S., and is the founder of Footballers for Peace, which you’ll be hearing more about soon.

Saturday’s celebrity charity match was very entertaining, to say the least. Any match that ends 12-11 is bound to have a few memorable moments, and there wasn’t a shortage of those during the match, from a goal in the first few seconds of the match, to multiple bicycle kick attempts, to Survivor’s Johnny Fairplay leaving it all on the field – beef, chicken, rice, and more than likely beans, all of which came from our group lunch at a Mexican restaurant in New Braunfels, and then from his stomach.

I can’t believe how quickly the week has flown by. It’s been extremely busy, but it’s been great.

The Houston fans are apparently bringing five or six busloads of people for their match against D.C. United, and along with the amount of people that didn’t get to make it for the first two doubleheaders that will be able to for today’s, the turnout should be excellent.

Serie A Week-End Wrap-Up: Inter Milan and Juventus Return to Victory As the Nerazzurri Prepare for Liverpool
Interview with Liam Brady - Arsenal Academy Director