Week 18 in MLS brings some exciting matchups not only around the league, but at the national team level as well, where Dom Dwyer’s call-up is making waves.
The United States Men’s National Team will play host to Ghana on Saturday, July 1, at 4:45 PM EST from East Hartford Connecticut (ESPN, UniMas). Bruce Arena has had a decent start since taking over the team, winning two and drawing two to help ease some nerves about World Cup qualification. Arena’s sights are now set on the Gold Cup, a tournament which he will use to evaluate lots of new faces he has called up to the National Team.
Personally, I am most excited to see Dom Dwyer finally get a look from the National Team. After watching him play live in his first full year with Sporting KC, he immediately became my favorite player in MLS. He is an emotional player with an impeccable strike on him who outworks literally everyone else on the pitch. Dwyer is English born, but has recently become eligible to play for the U.S. after marrying USWNT superstar Sydney Leroux Dwyer.
His credentials are impressive to say the least, as he is the first Sporting KC player in history to score 12 or more goals in three straight seasons. Dwyer started his 2013 MLS career by being loaned to Sporting KC’s USL Pro affiliate Orlando City SC and scoring 18 goals in all competitions as he led them to a USL championship. In junior college, Dwyer helped Tyler (Texas) win back to back NJCAA National Championships and recorded 52 goals and 10 assists in just 42 games.
I’m excited to see a player that so many people have overlooked finally get a chance to show what he is truly capable of. Look for Dwyer as a difference maker against Ghana, and don’t be surprised if he is on the plane to Russia next year.
Week 18 in MLS brings another long-awaited battle to center stage; the California Clasico between Los Angeles and San Jose (10:30 PM EST, Univision, Facebook Live). San Jose comes off a big US Open Cup win against Seattle, and is unbeaten in their last five games. With that said, the last team they lost to was LA on May 27 (4-2). They will be in need of a solid performance from everyone, and will rely on veteran Chris Wondolowski and newly signed midfielder Jahmir Hyka to help lead the team to a victory and continue their momentum in the table.
LA was able to get back on track on Wednesday as they were able to beat Sacramento Republic FC in the Open Cup (2-0). They have not won an MLS game since beating San Jose a little over a month ago, and are looking to reset their momentum in the table. The Galaxy is experiencing many injuries and players on international duty, and will have to power through to get a much needed three points. The standings have the two rivals only one point away from each other, with LA in sixth with 22 points and a game in hand, and San Jose in fifth with 23 points. The emotion of the rivalry mixed with the importance of the three points will surely make this an unforgettable California Clasico.