Thanks to a goal by Argentine forward Franco Caraccio, the Houston Dynamo finished their participation in the Texas Pro Soccer Festival as unbeaten tournament winners today at Steele High School, tying D.C. United 1-1.
Houston started the game on the offensive and almost tallied its first goal in the sixth minute, when Chris Wondolowski crossed a ball from the left to Richard Mulrooney in the box. Mulrooney blasted the ball with his first touch, only to see former Dynamo goalkeeper Zach Wells block the shot.
Wondolowski had yet another scoring opportunity for the Orange in the 25th minute with a hard, low shot from inside the penalty area that went just wide of Wells’ right post. Both clubs spent the remaining minutes of the first half battling at midfield, partly due to strong winds in the Cibolo area throughout the game.
For the second straight game, Houston made nine substitutions at halftime, something that paid off in the second half. In the 53rd minute, John Michael Hayden took a free kick into the penalty area that D.C. United goalkeeper Jose Carvallo punched away. Caraccio collected the loose ball and pushed it into the back of the net for his first goal with the Dynamo.
D.C. United had its first chance to score in the 71st minute when Guy-Roland Kpene broke into the penalty area with only Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad to beat. The Canadian international was able to block Kpene’s shot to keep Houston in front.
D.C. United did tie the match in the 78th minute on a header by Cezar, who connected on a pass from the right by Jamil Walker. Although the game ended in a 1-1 tie, Houston won the tournament title over D.C. United on the third tiebreaker (goals scored), 6-4.
Houston’s next game is this Wednesday at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City against CSD Municipal as part of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CT.
D.C. United (2-0-1) vs. Houston Dynamo (2-0-1)
March 09, 2008 – Steele High School, Cibolo TX
2008 Texas Pro Soccer Festival
HOU -- Franco Caraccio (unassisted) 53
DC -- Cezar (Jamil Walker) 78
Chivas USA -- Zach Wells (Jose Carvallo 46), Bryan Namoff (Pat Carroll 46), Gonzalo Peralta (Jason Thompson 46), Domenic Mediate (Jamil Walker 46), Marc Burch, Fred (Ryan Cordeiro 46), Devon McTavish (Justin Moose 46), Rod Dyachenko (Santino Quaranta 72), Clyde Simms (Dane Murphy 46), Luciano Emilio (Cezar 46), Jaime Moreno (Guy-Roland Kpene 46).
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel (Brian Mullan 67), Eddie Robinson (Steve Wondolowski 46), Bobby Boswell (Geoff Cameron 46), Wade Barrett (Johnny Alcaraz 46), Richard Mulroney (John Michael Hayden 46), Ricardo Clark (Nick Hatzke 46), Dwayne De Rosario (Erik Ustruck 46), Corey Ashe (Kieran Hall 46), Chris WOndolowski (Franco Caraccio 46), Brian Ching (Kyle Brown 46).
Weather: Windy-and-65 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial