Written by Will Parchman


They just call it the valley.

The Rio Grande Valley isn’t a true valley, in the strictest sense of the world. It’s technically a floodplain, nearly 1,900 square miles of oxbow lakes and mangroves and Jerusalem thorns situated at the southernmost tip of Texas all spilling out of the coffee-and-cream Rio Grande. It is hot here, seemingly always, and the children play in the resacas and the meanders and ride across the bridges to the interconnected islands.

Two of the five most Hispanic cities in the United States by percentage are in the Rio Grande Valley, and a third is miles up the waterway toward El Paso. It is an uncommon place in these days of Trump, as life plays out in the hypothetical shadow of a wall. Some immigrants who passed over the nearby border into the valley wait and pray. Others stake Trump signs into their lawns.

Tags:  , , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


By the time J.R.R. Tolkien passed in 1973, most of his literary oeuvre had already been created, enumerated and disseminated for public consumption. By then, The Hobbit and the ensuing Lord of the Rings trilogy had already tipped the fantasy genre into the global zeitgeist, and most assumed Tolkien’s legend would simply ride forward on those wings alone.

Tolkien’s son, Christopher, had been one of his chief literary consultants since he was a boy. So when his father died, Christopher set to work compiling the unpublished parts of his father’s work and creating a singular piece of literary merit from its disparate pieces. What he ultimately produced was a heavy edited and robustly compiled compendium of Lord of the Rings mythology called The Silmarillion from his father’s notes, most of which were hand-written.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


Sit with this for a moment — exactly who are the Houston Dynamo?

There is no way to cushion the barbed fact that the Owen Coyle era in Houston was a twisted wreck of misshapen identity. It wasn’t that Coyle didn’t know the American game or the American player or even the system in which they inhabit. At the end, it didn’t look as though he cared to learn.

More than any other team in the league, Houston desperately needed its last shift in coaching paradigm to work. Forget for a moment that Coyle came from outside the league (where the success ratios drop precipitously compared to those with domestic experience) and focus instead on everything around him, on the shroud around the club itself. There is no more puzzling market in the country, and no club has failed to tap into its own city like Houston has failed. Coyle was the opening. Or so they thought.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


MLS is full of cautionary tales so quiet and barely whispered that they dissipate before rising to an auditory decibel level. Who weeps for Omar Salgado? Or Danny Mwanga? In a league that struggles for abiding storylines, there is barely enough room for Michael Jordans, let alone Sam Bowies.

And yet even as the league’s narrative generator struggles to kick online, what has happened to Cubo Torres in MLS remains one of the saddest unfurling what-ifs in MLS history. And it is getting worse.

In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, we’re introduced to a young, handsome socialite caught between two worlds: the hedonism of Lord Henry and the quiet, humble asceticism of Basil Hallward. If the latter represents a cautious, structured pathway through life’s burning hallways, Lord Henry advises Gray to throw his caution to the hurricane and simply be, whatever that would be.

Gray chooses Lord Henry’s beguiling unstructured world view and is undone by its relentless, overwrought bidding. With no guiderails he is undone and crumbles under his own weight. It is a tragedy, in the end, that Gray was unprepared to face. And it ended him.

There are acres of Dorian Gray in Cubo Torres.

Tags:  , , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


Argentina is currently training in Houston ahead of its friendly against Bolivia at BBVA Compass Stadium this week. After one of Argentina’s training sessions, a few Dynamo academy kids managed to flag down The Messi and got some dap-hugs (is that a thing, kids?) from the man himself. Never bathe again, gentlemen. Never bathe again.

The Dynamo academy also got to hop into training with Argentina, which, Holy Moses I’d tell my grandchildren about that.

The best part of this video is the goalkeeper twirling around the post like he was a 1940′s-era damsel who’d just gotten off the dance floor with Fred Astaire.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman

Brian Ching and his merry band of (mostly old) gentlemen loaded his career onto a pyre, pushed it off into the Galveston Bay and lit it on fire. But they did it with a GoPro camera strapped around Brad Davis’ head. I want to insert an ear joke here, but I’m not feeling up to it so I’ll just conclude by saying that Brad Davis has big ears and that’s a funny thing to have on your body.


Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


Globally, soccer is a buyer’s game. The escalating big money return-on-investment culture is increasingly rampant in places where moneyed owners buy clubs as status symbols in lieu of generating any substantive revenue stream. For Roman Abramovich, Chelsea is essentially a Rolex, adding some sparkle to his wrist but doing little to nothing to bolster his bank account. That’s what the under-the-table, ethically dubious Russian oil market is for.

If you’re OK with this culture of winner-buy-all, then perhaps this won’t matter much to you. And to be sure, there are pockets globally where it’s less pronounced. But if seeing the little guy repeatedly having his jaw rearranged by Gordon Gekko’s henchmen wears on you, the MLS playoffs are currently providing a fresh gust of wind in a relatively a stale upper atmosphere.

Tags:  , , , , | Leave a comment
Written by Travis Clark

It’s rivalry week in MLS, meaning that nearly every game this weekend pairs off some of the biggest rivals against each other. In Texas, this means a meeting of the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.

In advance of settling things on the field, the two sides have traded video barbs, with the Dynamo supplying the latest effort, a response to FCD’s video we posted earlier in the week.


Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Dill Pickle

This is how you trash talk. You don’t get emotional, or out of character; you get creative. You get subtle. You … make a fake infomercial about ‘Crushing the Orange’ a few days in advance of your match against the Houston Dynamo.

That’s precisely what FC Dallas did, and I absolutely love it. Stephen Keel and George John were dead on here as infomercial actors. They managed to be funny while getting their point across: they plan on crushing the orange.

Your move, Dynamo.


Tags:  , , , | Leave a comment
Written by The 91st

Just so you know, I’m all in on Football Manager these days. Not only can the program help you land your dream job, but it can also predict the future – kind of.

Football Manager’s most recent project was to simulate the upcoming MLS Cup between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. By quantifying all the player and tactical variables (nerd jargon, stay cool and keep reading) the program ran results of 10 matchups. And if this thing knows what it’s talking about, and it usually does, it looks as though we’re in for a close contest. Here are the results:

  • Galaxy 5 wins, Dynamo 5 wins
  • Galaxy 16 goals, Dynamo 12 goals

Digging a little deeper we found that the matches went into overtime 50 percent of the time and went to PKs 40 percent of the time.

The only thing Football Manager could not simulate was David Beckham showing up to his final MLS match LIKE THIS then delivering a rousing speech and handing each of his teammates their own pair of H&M underwear. We’re afraid technology just isn’t yet equipped to measure Beckhamness.


Tags:  , , , , , , | Leave a comment