Houston struggle to unlock Crew

Dynamo have not defeated Columbus since August 2008

HOU_20120819_Crew_3_RicardoClark

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Every team has that one opponent who always seems to have their number. For the Houston Dynamo, it's the boys from Columbus.

Houston and the Crew met for the 14th time Sunday night and their 2-2 draw – the second time they played to that scoreline this year – was the eighth time in the series' history the teams played to a stalemate. The Dynamo have beaten Columbus just twice all-time.

In fact, the Dynamo nearly lost again on Sunday night, and came roughly eight minutes from losing for the first time at BBVA Compass Stadium, if not for a late goal from Adam Moffat. The back and forth nature of the match is further evidence that Columbus play the type of soccer that makes life interesting for the Dynamo.

“Some matchups in this league aren’t ideal and for some reason we seem to struggle with that team,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “I think it’s because they’re pretty gritty, like we are, and seem to grind games out. It’s always a good matchup. Maybe not the most exciting to watch on television but talking about competitive nature it’s pretty good.”

Counterattacks hurt

HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 2, CLB 2

Columbus were at their most dangerous Sunday night when catching Houston on the break. The Dynamo applauded the visitors' ability to stay organized and strike when their commitment to going forward pulled them out of position.

“Over-commitment for us was a little bit of a problem,” Moffat said when asked what opened up the counter opportunities. “You get impatient …You push a few guys forward and all of a sudden there’s gaps. We’ll look at that and it’ll be something we address."

Clark makes home debut

For the first time since 2009, Ricardo Clark played in front of the Houston faithful. Coming on in the 63rd minute, Clark brought a spark to the Dynamo attack with his customary high work rate and ability to mix things up in the center of Houston’s formation.

“You know from Rico in the past that every time he steps on the field he’s going to give you 100 percent,” midfielder Brad Davis said. “He’s improved and had some good experiences overseas. He’s gotten better each year and I see him getting better and better as he regains his fitness for us.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.