MLS All-Star Game Build-Up Begins, And Dynamo Start Super Liga Action With A Win

The Houston Dynamo officially kicked-off their Super Liga schedule last night with a 2-1 over Mexican rival Pachuca. Joseph Ngwenya was the hero of night with both goals for the Orange.

Ngwenya first got on the board in the 19th minute, when he volleyed a deflected shot into the right corner of the goal. His second goal came in the 85th minute off a set piece. Corey Ashe took the free kick and found Ngwenya on the near post, where he headed the ball past Pachuca's long-time goalkeeper, Miguel Calero.

Pachuca's lone goal came in the 51st minute when Texas-born Jose Francisco Torres sent a pass into the box; he found Damián Manso who beat Dynamo keeper Tally Hall with his one-touch shot.

The interesting fact about this match is that Pachuca has two US internationals that played for the Yanks in the FIFA World Cup -- Torres and Herculez Gomez. The Dynamo -- the American team -- didn't have any, unless you count Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark, who wore Orange last season.

The Dynamo will continue their Super Liga action this Sunday when they host American rival Chivas USA. Then they'll take a short break for the MLS All-Star Game, which takes place next Wednesday when MLS's best take on Manchester United.

The buildup to the MLS All-Star Game
Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced yesterday the schedule of events leading up to the MLS All-Star Game. Events include a mini-marathon, parties, parties, a soccer match involving an 18-time English champion, and more parties.

On Saturday, the Dynamo will host a 5K run and a kids fun run at City Hall. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, keeping the festivities in downtown, the Dynamo and the Angelika Film Center will host a soccer film festival. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but the list of flicks has yet to be released.

The parties begin on Monday when season ticket holders and VIPs are invited to Venue, 719 Main St. MLS All-Star players, Dynamo players, and other local pro athletes are expected to attend, where they'll provide the night's entertainment with some original stand-up comedy.

Man U players crash the joint at Tuesday's shin-dig at Hotel ZaZa. None of us are invited though, just MLS All-Star players, league partners and execs.

Then, after the All-Star Game at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, July 28, Brian Ching will host a bash at House of Blues. Players from both teams will attend, with proceeds benefiting Ching's charity, the House That Ching Built. Tickets are available for the soiree.

More stars in H-Town
The New York Red Bulls just announced their second Designated Player signing, French forward Thierry Henry. Instead of debuting him in Harrison, N.J., the Red Bulls decided to flaunt their Frenchy at Robertson Stadium.

Henry has played for some of Europe's biggest clubs, including AS Monaco, Juventus FC, Arsenal, and most recently, Barcelona FC. He's played in four World Cups for France, including the 1998 championship side.

Recently, Henry used his hands to make the goal that sent France to the World Cup over Ireland. Replays clearly show the hand ball, and despite many appeals by the Irish, FIFA allowed France to go to South Africa. Didn't really matter, France forgot to show up at the World Cup anyway. After tying their first game against Uruguay and losing to Mexico, French coach Raymond Domenech sent home Nicolas Anelka after some choice words were exchanged. Then Henry led a player strike against the coach in support of their fallen comrade.

So if you are a fan of Henry, come out to the Rob to witness one of the more gifted strikers in soccer today. If you are Irish and want a little revenge on the Frenchman, then come out and heckle the man.

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