The Houston Dynamo announced last Wednesday that Glasgow-born head coach Dominic Kinnear is stepping down at the end of the 2014 Major League Soccer regular season.
Kinnear is returning to the San Jose Earthquakes, the team he coached before MLS relocated the original franchise to Texas in December 2005. The 47-year-old led the Dynamo to back-to-back championships in Houston’s first two years with former Rangers and Motherwell striker John Spencer serving as his assistant. Houston reached two further MLS Cup Finals under Kinnear before falling to David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy on both occasions.
The Dynamo’s initial success made it difficult for Kinnear to keep his team competitive. Salary cap restrictions speeded the exit of stars like Dwayne De Rosario and Stuart Holden. Important squad players were lost with the No. 1 pick in expansion drafts when the Seattle Sounders and newly formed San Jose franchises joined the league. Others like Geoff Cameron and Ricardo Clark moved to Europe to test their abilities at a higher level. Still, Houston has reached the playoffs in seven of its nine seasons in MLS.
Kinnear’s parents migrated to Northern California when he was three years old. Most of his immediate family remains in the San Jose area. He will pick up the challenge of rebuilding a team that has missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
Houston was defeated 2-1 by the New England Revolution in Kinnear’s last home game on Thursday. He will lead the team for the final time on Friday at the Chicago Fire.
Other news from Stateside Scots this week:
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Major League Soccer
Toronto F.C. captain Steven Caldwell told the franchise’s fans to “stick with it” after a 1-1 tie with Canadian rival Montreal Impact guaranteed that TFC miss the playoffs for the eight time in its eight MLS seasons. West Lothian’s Calum Mallace played the full game for Montreal.
Andrew Driver’s lean spell in front of goal continued during Houston Dynamo’s 2-1 loss to New England. The former Hearts winger has not found the net since May 2013.
Former Elgin City midfielder Adam Moffat played the full 90 minutes as F.C. Dallas climbed to third place in the Western Conference with a 1-0 win at Colorado Rapids.
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North American Soccer League
The Carolina RailHawks, with former Rangers and Dunfermline defender Greg Shields assisting head coach Colin Clarke, stayed in contention for one of the league’s four playoff spots as Nacho Novo grabbed a late equalizer in a 1-1 tie with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Two former Hamilton Accies players collided north of the border as F.C. Edmonton remained firmly in the playoff race. Colin Miller’s Eddies won 2-0 at Nicki Paterson’s Ottawa Fury.
Former Coventry, Southampton and Celtic full-back Paul Telfer saw his Indy Eleven side notch its second consecutive home win with a 1-0 triumph over the San Antonio Scorpions.
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United Soccer Leagues Pro Division
Former Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Ross County full-back Scott Morrison featured in Arizona United’s exhibition win over the Los Angeles Galaxy reserves in a game played at Sand Creek Stadium, the new 3,500-seat home of incoming USL franchise Colorado Springs Switchbacks F.C.
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College Soccer – Men’s Division I
Jamie Clark’s No. 1 ranked University of Washington side fell to a 2-1 midweek defeat at UCLA in Los Angeles before recovering with a 3-2 win over San Diego State to remain top of the Pac-12 Conference standings.
Bobby Clark’s Notre Dame moved to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings with a 4-1 win at Duke.
Lewis Hawke grabbed his fifth goal of the season in Furman’s 3-1 win over the Virginia Military Institute in Southern Conference play.
Former Rangers youth defender Jordan Wilson helped his Kentucky team to consecutive wins over Evansville and No. 9 ranked New Mexico as the Wildcats improved to 8-3-3 on the season and 3-0-2 in Conference USA.
John Scott steered Hartwick College to its first ever win in the Sun Belt Conference – a 1-0 triumph over the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Falkirk native Jamie O’Grady saw his second-half shot cleared from the goal line as he tried to double Hartwick’s lead. Glaswegian defender Ross MacKinnon also featured in Scott’s starting line-up.
Pittsburgh’s Michael Tuohy and Hamish Law endured a frustrating week as the Panthers slipped to a 1-0 home reverse in non-conference play against Howard before earning a scoreless tie at Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ex-Stirling Albion youth player Chris Paton and his Northern Illinois side fell to a 3-0 defeat at Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference. Prestwick native Sam Bell made a late substitute appearance for the hosts. Bell also came off the bench in midweek when the Broncos lost 4-0 at rival Michigan State.
Simon Doherty’s Cal State Bakersfield suffered back-to-back home losses this weekend. The former Cowdenbeath forward had a hand in creating his side’s goal against the University of the Incarnate Word before the Roadrunners lost out in overtime. CSUB then stumbled to a 3-1 loss against Houston Baptist, its third straight defeat to fall to a 2-3 record in the Western Athletic Conference.
Former Livingston U-19 forward Michael Scott started for UMBC in the Baltimore-based school’s 1-1 tie at Albany in the America East Conference.
Paisley native Kieran Toland played the full 90 minutes for St. Bonaventure as the Bonnies slipped to a fourth straight loss at Davidson.
Linlithgow’s Ross Morison came off the bench for Stetson in the Hatters’ 3-2 overtime win over USC Upstate in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Second-year midfielder Spencer Brown was a substitute in IPFW’s 2-0 loss at Denver in the Summit League.
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College Soccer – Women’s Division I
Scottish youth international Claire Emslie grabbed an assist via a corner kick in Florida Atlantic’s 2-0 win against Conference USA leaders North Texas on Friday. The Penicuik native followed up by converting a penalty kick against Rice on Sunday, her 21st collegiate goal, but the visitors from Houston left Boca Raton with a 3-2 win.
Castle Douglas native Lois Heuchan and her No. 9 ranked Kansas team was featured in ESPN3’s live broadcast Sunday afternoon against reigning Big 12 Conference champion West Virginia. The former Celtic youth forward came off the bench as her Bluejays fell to a 2-0 defeat.
Hannah Scott’s Mississippi Valley State notched its first wins of the year with convincing 5-1 defeats of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Grambling State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Banchory’s Catherine Thomson made a couple of substitute appearances as Delta State slumped to heavy defeats at Lee University and Shorter University in the Gulf South Conference.
Sept. 28, 2014 — Stateside Scots Round-Up: Kinnear Leaving Houston For Home?
Sept. 22, 2014 — Stateside Scots Round-Up: Caldwell Leads Toronto To Victory
Sept. 18, 2014 — Stateside Scots: Hamish Law, University Of Pittsburgh Forward