Hall erases goalkeeper concerns in Houston
Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall has been nothing short of outstanding in the first three weeks of the season. If his early play is any indication, the Dynamo have an answer to one of the questions surrounding the team coming into the season.
In 1-1 draws against the Seattle Sounders and the New York Red Bulls the past two weeks, the 6-foot-4 goalkeeper saw a combined 48 shots, 16 of those on goal. Hall stopped 14 – many in truly amazing fashion – to keep the Dynamo in each match.
“What more can you say? Tally’s been good the last two games,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Sometimes you rely on your goalkeeper to get you out of some sticky situations, and when called upon, Tally’s been really good for us this year.”
Hall's potential was one of the reasons the Dynamo were willing to part ways with longtime No. 1 Pat Onstad, now a player-coach with D.C. United. But with only five MLS appearances to Hall's name heading into the 2011 season, there were concerns among observers and fans. So far, the 25-year-old has allayed those concerns.
While his numbers and play on the field have earned him the headlines, he’s more interested in talking about the play of the guys in front of him. Playing on the road in Seattle and New York, the defense saw enormous pressure from two of the league’s most talented attacks, pressure that would have done them in last year.
“The way the whole team has played puts a smile on my face,” said Hall. “The whole team is really working hard together to be difficult to beat. I think our last two games showed that we’ve turned the corner from last year, and I have a lot of confidence in our defensive unit to not give up goals.”
While Hall defers praise to his teammates, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of his performance. The athletic Hall makes the sensational saves and the routine ones. And while the positioning and command of his area is impressive, Hall’s gotten attention for the number of highlight-reel saves he’s produced. Hall’s save on O’Brian White was nominated for Week 2's MLS Save of the Week honors, and his 90th-minute leaping stop from Thierry Henry is up for this week’s award [VOTE HERE].
Hall was also selected to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week in each of the last two weeks.
“When you play well, it's fun to watch the game again,” Hall said. “I watched the O’Brian White save and thought that was good, but watching our defense fight and fly around to stop chances is way more fun.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer