Still shorthanded due to Gold Cup call-ups and in the midst of seven consecutive road games, Houston earned a 1-1 tie in a tough road venue. Another former Dynamo, Dwayne De Rosario, scored in the first half, but the Dynamo answered in the second with Geoff Cameron’s volleyed pass to set up a Bobby Boswell goal.
The Houston Dynamo pulled out a 1-1 tie in a hard-fought game against Toronto FC Saturday afternoon at BMO Field in Toronto. The Dynamo remain in first place in the Western Conference with 32 points, while Toronto FC move into first place in the Eastern Conference by one point, although the Chicago Fire have two games in hand.
Defender Bobby Boswell scored from a Geoff Cameron cross in the 74th minute to tie the game, and Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad made a season-high six saves to lead the Dynamo effort. Onstad became the eighth goalkeeper in league history to reach the 600-save mark for his MLS career, and he now has 603 career saves.
The Dynamo had the better early chances, with Kei Kamara and Geoff Cameron both missing wide, and Cameron, making his first MLS start of the year in midfield, fired a shot off the crossbar in the 20th minute.
Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Dwayne De Rosario took a return pass just inside the penalty area from Marvell Wynne and slipped a shot past Pat Onstad.
In the 63rd minute, Chad Barrett had a chance to double Toronto’s lead, but Pat Onstad came out to deflect the initial shot, and Bobby Boswell cleared it out of the six-yard box.
The Dynamo then tied the game in the 74th minute when a corner kick was cleared to Geoff Cameron on the left-hand side, and he served a back-post cross to Bobby Boswell. Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei saved Boswell’s initial header, but Boswell tapped in the rebound to tie the game. It was Boswell’s third goal of the season in all competitions, but his first in MLS play.
The Dynamo got strong contributions from their bench in the second half, with midfielder Danny Cruz, forward Ade Akinbiyi, and defender Erik Ustruck helping Houston tie and then close out the game.
Houston is now 3-2-1 on its current stretch of seven consecutive road games, which consist of four MLS games and three Open Cup games. The road trip concludes with Tuesday's Open Cup semifinal against Seattle. In MLS play, the Dynamo are now 4-4-2 on the road, with the second most wins in the league.
In addition to his 600th career save, Pat Onstad made his 185th career MLS start and his 130th start with the Dynamo in all competitions, now tied for second in club history. The team’s all-time leader in starts with 132, midfielder Brian Mullan, made his 220th career appearance in MLS. Midfielder Ricardo Clark made his 115th appearance for the Dynamo and Corey Ashe his 85th, both in all competitions.
Houston was without forwards Brian Ching (U.S. national team) and Cam Weaver (groin strain), midfielders Brad Davis (flu), Stuart Holden (U.S. national team), and defenders Wade Barrett (gastrocnemius strain), Andrew Hainault (Canadian national team), Richard Mulrooney (knee surgery), and Eddie Robinson (disabled list).
Houston Dynamo (9-4-5) vs. Toronto FC (7-6-5)
July 18, 2009 -- BMO Field, Toronto ON
TFC -- Dwayne De Rosario 6 (Marvell Wynne 2) 37
HOU -- Bobby Boswell 1 (Geoff Cameron 2) 74
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel (Ade Akinbiyi 72), Bobby Boswell, Julius James, Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan (Danny Cruz 66), Ricardo Clark, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe, Kei Kamara, Dominic Oduro (Erik Ustruck 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Wade Barrett, John Michael Hayden, Cam Weaver.
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Marvell Wynne, Nana Attakora, Adrian Serioux (Danny Dichio 36), Nick Garcia, Dwayne De Rosario, Carl Robinson, Amado Guevara, Jim Brennan, Chad Barrett (Fuad Ibrahim 80), Pablo Vitti (Marco Velez 90).
Substitutes Not Used: Brian Edwards, Gabe Gala, Emmanuel Gomez, O'Brian White.
TFC -- Pablo Vitti (caution; Simulation) 24
HOU -- Kei Kamara (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 48+
TFC -- Nick Garcia (caution; Reckless Foul) 55
HOU -- Mike Chabala (caution; Reckless Foul) 68
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Belleau; Craig Lowry
4th official: David Gantar
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-70-degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial