Houston Dynamo fall 2-0 to D.C. United in first game of Carolina Challenge Cup

Jermaine Taylor goes 72 minutes and Andrew Driver makes return in preseason loss

CHARLESTON, S.C.—The Dynamo dropped their first match of the Carolina Challenge Cup 2-0 to D.C. United on Saturday night. The match was the longest outing of the preseason for Dynamo starters to this point, going 72 minutes as they gear up for the MLS regular season opener against the New England Revolution on March 8.

The scoring began in an unfortunate manner for the Dynamo in the 21st minute. Nick DeLeon’s hard cross from the left side was intercepted by a retreating David Horst, but the Dynamo defender was unable to control the deflection and it rifled past Tyler Deric, who had come out for the cross.

The match was even and tightly contested for the entire 90 minutes, with neither side creating many clear-cut chances. The Dynamo came close six minutes in, as Ricardo Clark redirected a Brad Davis corner kick as he fell right in front of the goal, but his header flashed just over the crossbar.

Dynamo centerback Jermaine Taylor played all 72 minutes with the first group after getting his first minutes of 2014 against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last Wednesday. Midfielder Andrew Driver also returned to the field for the first time since a Feb. 2 scrimmage against the Colorado Rapids. Five yellow cards were handed out in what became a testy preseason match between the two Eastern Conference rivals.

D.C. United switched the majority of their lineup in the 76th minute, and the game began to open up with both teams featuring fresh legs. The Dynamo nearly had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 84th minute, as a long ball bounced over the head of D.C. keeper Bill Hamid as he tried to clear it outside of the box. Omar Cummings raced behind trying to collect the ball for an open net finish, but fell down under pressure from a United defender and the threat was cleared.

The final goal came four minutes later, as midfielder Kyle Porter was played behind the Dynamo defense on a counter attack for a one-on-one against Dynamo goalie Tyler Deric. Deric rushed off his line to stop the initial shot outside the box, but the rebound fell to Michael Seaton and the United forward was able to shake free and score on the unguarded goal.

The Dynamo return to action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT against the Seattle Sounders, again at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United
February 22, 2014 - Blackbaud Stadium
Carolina Challenge Cup

Scoring Summary:
DCU: Own Goal 21
DCU: Michael Seaton (unassisted) 88

Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie (Brian Ownby 72), David Horst (Eric Brunner 72), Jermaine Taylor (AJ Cochran 72), Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 72); Tony Cascio (Andrew Driver 72), Boniek García (Alexander López 72), Ricardo Clark (Servando Carrasco 72), Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 72); Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 72), Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 72)

D.C. United: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin (Jalen Robinson 76), Bobby Boswell (Steven Birnbaum 76), Jeff Parke (Conor Shanosky 76), Cristian Fernandez (Taylor Kemp 76); Davy Arnaud (Victor Munoz 76), Perry Kitchen (Reuben Ayarna 76), Luis Silva (Collin Martin 76), Nick DeLeon (Kyle Porter 72); Fabian Espindola (Connor Doyle 76), Eddie Johnson (Michael Seaton 78)

Disciplinary Summary:
DCU: Perry Kitchen (caution) 32
DCU: Davy Arnaud (caution) 55
HOU: Will Bruin (caution) 66
DCU: Cristian Fernandez (caution) 71
DCU: Michael Seaton (caution) 90