MLS Regular Season
Houston Dynamo rookie forward Will Bruin openly shrugged off suggestions midway through the season that he had hit the wall.
The 21-year-old got off to a strong start to his MLS career, scoring four goals before the month of May, and looked to be on his way to a stellar debut campaign. Then came a four-and-a-half month scoring drought marked by missed opportunities on the field and a month on the sidelines after August knee surgery.
The Houston Dynamo were held to a 1-1 tie by the Chicago Fire at Robertson Stadium on Saturday afternoon, moving into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference pending the results of Saturday’s night games. Houston has two regular-season games remaining but does not play again until Friday, October 14.
With the tie, Houston is unbeaten in its last four games (2-0-2) and in its last seven home games (5-0-2). The Dynamo and Fire also tied 1-1 in their first meeting on April 23.
A pair of first-half goals were all the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire could muster in a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoon at Robertson Stadium.
In a game that lacked a lot of dangerous scoring attempts, Houston midfielder Colin Clark opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, 10 minutes before former Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro slipped in the equalizer against his old club for his 12th goal of the season.
MLSsoccer.com's Rookie Life video series includes a feature on Dynamo rookies Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie, who were drafted in the first round just four picks apart in January and have been going through the ups and downs of their first year in professional soccer together.
To watch the feature, built from interviews conducted back in May, click here or see below:
Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire
Saturday, October 1, 3 p.m. CT
Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
All-time series: Houston leads 6-3-2
Reserve Game: Dynamo Reserves vs. Fire Reserves, 5:30 p.m., Robertson Stadium - fans wishing to stay for the Reserve League match may sit on the east side of Robertson Stadium.
When the Houston Dynamo take the field on the average MLS matchday, there is normally little guesswork needed in regards to what formation Dominic Kinnear will use. The veteran head coach has been a devotee of the traditional 4-4-2 for most of his coaching career.
However, with teams around the league going away from the standard 4-4-2, Kinnear has widened the Dynamo's repertoire to combat the changes.
The playoff race in the East is heating up, and more than a few teams are rising to the occasion.
Nine of the 11 players on this week's Team of the Week hail from the East, with leaders Houston Dynamo, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union and the New York Red Bulls all represented. United lead the way this week with three midfield players after Dwayne De Rosario, Andy Najar and Stephen King had standout performances against Real Salt Lake this weekend.
The Houston Dynamo like to leave it late. So far this season, their ability to come up with late magic to get results has helped them rise to the summit of the Eastern Conference.
With Geoff Cameron’s 87th-minute winner Saturday against FC Dallas the latest example, the Dynamo have had a knack of being able to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. In fact, Houston has scored a goal in the final 11 minutes to get a result 10 times this year, with five of those late goals earning wins.
But where does their late-game confidence come from?
Sixteenth time’s the charm.
That’s how many tries it took the Houston Dynamo to get a road win in 2011, but a Geoff Cameron header in the 87th minute at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday allowed the orange-clad boys from the Bayou City to finally put to rest their least favorite storyline of the season.