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Lino Signs with the Hurricanes

Photo Credit: Houston Hurricanes FC

Houston Hurricanes FC Head Coach Brendan Keyes announced today that the club has signed former Brooklyn Italians striker Henry Lino.

“He came out on trial last week and you could see right away he was top quality,” Keyes stated. ”We threw him in at the deep end against the Houston Dynamo last weekend and he didn’t miss a beat. He didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he created a lot of chances for himself and for others. His work rate was fantastic.”

Photo Credit: Houston Hurricanes FC

“It feels great to be a part of the team,” Lino added. “Playing under a coach like Brendan Keyes is a honor. I am really excited for the second part of the season. I look forward to making my debut on February 1st vs Galveston Pirates and earning a spot in the starting lineup. I can see there are some quality players on the team and Coach Keyes has brought in five or six new players over the past week. We don’t have much time to gel, but I’m sure the coach will haves us ready for action.”

Coach Keyes will be looking to Lino to  lead the team to the victory on his debut. The Houston Hurricanes are back in TPSL action next weekend against Galveston at Dow Park with a 7 pm kickoff.

Indian Football Star Re-Signs with Hurricanes FC

Photo Credit: Houston Hurricanes FC

Houston Hurricanes FC, a charter member of the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL), has signed Indian football prodigy Pratik Shinde to a three-year contract extension.

“I talked with our General Manager Roderick Lemond and we decided that we wanted to tie him down for the next three years,” Hurricanes President/Head Coach Brendan Keyes stated. “He deserves full credit for his recent performances, coming over to a foreign country with with his family back in India must be hard on anyone, never mind an 18-year-old.”

The Mumbai native has been impressive in his time in America, starring for the Galveston Pirate of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in 2012 before signing with the Houston Hurricanes in 2013. He played in sixteen games for Galveston, registering four goals and five assists. He was highly regarded and was certainly rated as one of the top players in the NPSL’s South Central Conference.

“I am so proud to play for Houston Hurricanes with the history the club has, going back to the days of NASL and USL,” Shinde added. “It is an honor to play for Coach Keyes and the Hurricanes. I have great teammates who give everything on the field, a coach that has created a family within the team, and the spirit in the camp is something I have never experienced before.”

Photo Credit: Houston Hurricanes FC

The young midfielder has appeared in 16 games for the Hurricanes, scoring four goals and five assists in all competitions. Shinde was vital in the team advancing in the Admiral Texas Cup, even playing in the final with a difficult injury picked up in training.

“I do miss my family and friends back home, but I want them all to know I will do my best to represent our great country and carry our flag proudly,” Shinde added.

The Hurricanes are currently on winter break, but will return to action beginning February 1st with a series of warm-up matches to help prepare them for a run at the TPSL playoffs.

HDLFC Wins the Admiral Texas Cup

On a perfect field and on a night with perfect weather conditions in front of over 275 fans from both teams the inaugural Texas Premier Soccer League Texas Cup Final kicked off at 7:45 pm on Saturday, November 30th.  The match would see the Houston Dutch Lions FC taking on the Houston Hurricanes FC battling to see who would have the right to lift the cup.  The clubs had met already once in the regular season, a 5-1 Lions victory, and also in tough physical match in the group phase where the Houston Dutch Lions FC won  3-2 in the dying seconds of the game.  With a big prize and Houston bragging rights on the line the Lions staff and coaches knew that the finals match would bring out the best in the Hurricanes, and neither side would disappoint.

Photo Credit: Houston Dutch Lions

Unfortunately for the Lions, it would be the Hurricanes that would come out and take early control of the match.  The Lions had the first chance in the match just 10 seconds in when Javier Vazquez’s shot hit the crossbar.  Just 3 minutes later it was the Houston Hurricanes FC who took the 1-0 lead in the game.  The Hurricanes sent a cross into the box from the right side that looked to be was controlled by Lions defender Juan Lozoya with his chest, but the referee interpreted this action as the ball being controlled with his hand and gave the Hurricanes FC a penalty kick.  Hurricanes FC striker Hector Diaz stepped to the spot and chose the right corner and buried the shot to give the Canes the early 1-0 lead.  Following the early goal by the visitors, the Houston Dutch Lions FC seemed rattled and this effected their play throughout the first half.  The ball movement was not as smooth as it normally is and the Lions seemed to struggle to find any kind of rhythm.  HDLFC striker Cesar Arellano worked hard to keep the ball with him at the right moments and had some scoring chances but was very unlucky in his finishing.  With the halftime score of 1-0 and some very dominating play the Hurricanes FC appeared to be on their way to winning the Texas Cup.

During the break, Lions head coach Marco Pruis instructed his players to remain patient and continue to look for their chances.  The Lions came out of the break looking fresh and ready to score some goals, but against all odds it was the Hurricanes FC who scored again to double their lead.  In a moment of transition there were too many HDLFC players in front of the ball and because of this the Lions paid the highest price.  Once again it was Hurricanes striker Hector Diaz who scored, this time in the 55th minute, putting the Hurricanes FC in a perfect spot for the knock out going up 2-0.  Just moments after gaining a two goal advantage, the ‘Canes attack continued as one of their players unleashed perfectly aimed shot that to give his team a three goal lead.  It was Lions goalkeeper Israel Becerra who rode to the occasion, possibly swinging the game’s momentum, and made the perfect save to keep his boys within two goals.

After the Hurricanes second goal and the excellent Becerra save that followed, the Oranje Legion showed their support and helped get their Lions back in the game.  After an excellent example of combination soccer it was second half substitution Giovanni Najar who would begin the Lions comeback.  In the 65th minute Najar was able to receive and finish the perfect cross from Jesus ‘Chuy’ Vidal and quickly all the tension was back in the game with the Lions only down 2-1.  Just 2 minutes after their opening goal the score was equal again once again after more good combination soccer brought the ball to right defender Juan Lozoya who’s kick was unstoppable for the Hurricanes goalkeeper to knot the match at 2-2.  With the score equal the game was now either team’s match to win with over 20 minutes of playing time left and neither side backing down.  The Lions used the Lozoya equalizer as motivation to step it up and keep trying to create chances through combination soccer. This improved ball movement from the boys in orange resulted in another cross from the side where  once again Najar was there to finish and give the Lions a 3-2 lead in the 80th minute of the game.

After a unnecessary foul on the sideline, Lions right defender Juan Lozoya received his second yellow card of the match and the Lions would be forced to finish the game with 10 players.  The final ten minutes of the match were extremely hectic and the HDLFC had some opportunities to seal the match, but again had problems finishing.  This lack of finishing would come back to bite the Lions when against all odds in the 95th minute the score became tied at 3-3.  In the final seconds of the game it was Hurricanes striker Emmanuel Ebi who finished a cross and brought a huge reaction from the Hurricanes FC sideline.  This would remain the score at the end of regulation an the teams were headed to overtime.

Photo Credit: Houston Dutch Lions

After such an exciting 90 minutes it only seemed fitting that the fans would be treated with overtime, and now two 15 minute halves were added to the game.  The Lions were in a tough spot from the beginning still being down a man.  In overtime both squads saw small chances, big chances and everything in between.  It all happened in the 30 minutes of overtime but no goals.  This would mean that the TPSL Texas Cup Winner would be determined with penalty kicks.  First up for the Lions was left forward David Otoya, who has had playing an amazing season so far.  Unfortunately his penalty kick ended up on the post and not past the Hurricanes keeper.  The remainder of the HDLFC penalty kicks all ended behind the goalkeeper with Jose Hernandez, Jonathan Segovia, Giovanni Najar and Luke Keogh all beating the keeper and scoring.  The PK count was 4-4 and the Hurricanes FC had the chance to shoot the final penalty kick to seal the win, but Becerra stayed calm and stopped the penalty kick.  With this save the Houston Dutch Lions FC were still in the race for the Texas Cup.  Next up for the Lions was Olivier Fillion, who stayed amazingly cool and scored for the HDLFC putting all the pressure on the Hurricanes FC.  On the penalty shot that followed goalkeeper Becerra stopped his second scoring chance in a row bringing the Houston Dutch Lions FC the tournament championship and the Texas Cup.  Your 2013 Texas Premier Soccer League Admiral Texas Cup winners are the Houston Dutch Lions FC.

Match Photos

The Texas Cup Final is Here!

After a 4-1 victory over Houston Regals SCA in the semi-finals, the Houston Dutch Lions FC will host and play against the Hurricanes FC in the Texas Cup Final.

The Houston Dutch Lions FC proudly host the Texas Cup Final. They have many plans for the event, including bands and music, providing fans with entertainment on and off the field.   A postgame ceremony, led by TPSL President Brendan Keyes, will honor the cup winner and runner-up.

The Hurricanes FC are a well-known soccer team from South Houston and will prove to be a formidable opponent for the Orange Machine known as HDL.

“In the league game against the Houston Hurricanes FC we won 5-1,” Houston Dutch Lions head coach Marco Pruis stated. “We had a decent game and created lots of chances.  We need to be on top of them and stay very organized. If we can keep that up, we definitely have a chance to win the game. Our biggest advantage will be our home field.  We need to be 100% to bring the Houston Dutch Lions FC their first, of hopefully many, trophies!”

Match Details:

Houston Hurricanes @ Houston Dutch Lions FC

Saturday November 30th, at 7.45 pm

Tailgating starts at 6 pm.

Match Address:

Houston Dutch Lions FC Soccer Complex

14562 Interstate 45 South

Conroe, Texas 77384

After the game, players, staff and fans will go to Tailgators Pub & Grill at 242  for the post-game festivities.

Texas Cup Recap

On Thursday and Friday of last week Houston Dutch Lions FC’s Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL) squad participated in the group stage of the inaugural Texas Cup.  The team played two games in two nights as they looked to advance to the Cup semi-finals in a group that included Houston Hurricanes FC and Houston Leones FC.  All matches were played at Maya Park.

Thursday – Houston Dutch Lions FC vs. Houston Leones FC 
On Thursday evening the Lions had a late start with a 9 pm kickoff against Houston Leones FC.  It was an extremely chilly night and it would turnout to be a very tough game for the Lions.  In their only meeting of the season the Lions defeated a depleted Leones team 2-0 in the season opener.  The Leones had played the HDLFC extremely close in that matchup and Coach Marco Pruis knew the Leones would be a tough first round match.  The game got off to an bad start when only 1 minute into the game Lions goalie Dylan Meeker was called for a penalty and the Leones were able to step to the spot for a penalty shot.  The Leones converted and put HDLFC into catchup mode almost as soon as the game started.  After the early goal, the game calmed down as both team tried to look for scoring opportunities.  Unfortunately it would be the Leones that would get the opportunity to add to their lead as they struck again in the 20th minute to take a two goal lead on the Lions at 2-0.  For the first time all season the Lions found themselves trailing in a match and would have to work hard to try and get back into the match.  In the 37th minute the Lions finally got onto the board when Javier Vazquez worked hard to pressure the Leones keeper and was rewarded with a turnover that he turned into a goal that brought the Lions within one at 2-1.  Just one minute later midfielder Jose Hernandez looked to tie the game, but his headed effort on goal just skipped over the crossbar.  The Lions would go into the locker room down 2-1 at the half.

In the second half the Lions came out aggressive and looking to score.  The Lions were looking to use their speed and play more balls over the top to get in behind the Leones defense.  After several chances went unrewarded, the boys in orange finally were able to tie the match.  In the 61st minute Vazquez took a ball from David Otoya and buried it home to tie the match at 2-2.  Three minutes later, the Lions were back at it again.  Defender Jonathan Segovia played a nice ball up the right side to Roberto Velazquez who was able to net his 7th goal of the season to give his team the 3-2 lead.  It wasn’t long before the Leones answered the Lions goals and tied the match.  Leones were awarded a free kick just outside the 18 yard box in the 70th minute and made the most of it as they put it into the top of the net just beyond Meeker.  The Lions had several chances to retake the lead, but just couldn’t finish as Vazquez put a 2 on 1 opportunity just wide in the 72nd minute.  In the 81st minute the Leones took advantage of some miscommunication in the the Lions defense off of a corner and sneaked the ball past the Lions keeper to take a 4-3 lead.  This would remain the final as the Lions lost for the first time this season.

Friday – Houston Dutch Lions FC vs. Houston Hurricanes FC
The Lions didn’t have much time to dwell on Thursday’s loss as they were right back on the pitch Friday night, this time against Houston Hurricanes FC.  In their previous meeting this season the Lions had a dominating 5-1 win, but this match would prove to be a bit more challenging.  Friday’s match would be an extremely physical match and at times the referee struggled to keep control of the match, as a number of yellow cards and one red card for each side would be issued by the end of the match.  The Lions opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Javier Vazquez scored his third goal in two nights, off of a beautiful free kick from distance that beat the Hurricane keeper.  The teams would trade punches (literally and figuratively) for most of the remainder of the first half, but over the last 15 minutes there would be a flurry of action.  In the 34th minute Lions defender Luke Keogh went to head away a Hurricanes ball into the box but caught the ball slightly off center and it deflected past Lions keeper Israel Becerra for an unlucky own goal and a 1-1 tie.  Just five minutes later in the 39th minute David Otoya received a pass from Giovanni Najar near the top of the box and scored in the top right corned off of a rocket of a shot from distance.  It appeared that the teams would head to the locker room with the Lions leading 2-1, but Hurricanes FC had one more goal in them.  Hurricanes Head Coach Brendan Keyes took advantage of a disorganized Lions backline to score in the 45th minute and knot the score at 2-2 going into the half.

The second half continued just as the first half had as both teams played extremely physical while looking to get the go ahead goal.  The Lions would go through a stretch of playing down a man as Erick Suarez was issued a red card, but it wasn’t long before a Hurricane played suffered the same fate and both teams were playing with 10 men.  Both squads had several opportunities to win the match, but both keepers made a number of saves to keep the teams tied.  The teams looked to be headed for a draw, but it would be a familiar name that would deliver the win for the Lions.  Javier Vazquez fought through a crowd in front of the goal off of a Lions corner and was able to net the winning goal in the 92nd minute to send the Lions bench and fans into celebration mode.  It was Vazquez’s fourth goal in two nights.

With the win the Lions qualified for the semi-finals of the Texas Cup.  They would advance to the finals thanks to a 4-1 win over Regals SCA.

In the other semi-final, Galveston Pirate SC fell to the Houston Hurricanes FC by a 3-0 margin.

The championship game, between the Dutch Lions and Hurricanes, will take place this Saturday night at the Houston Dutch Lions Soccer Complex with a 7:45 pm start.