Houston finally returned home but slumped to its first regular season home defeat in more than a year on a late goal from Kheli Dube. New England’s Matt Reis made eight saves, including a stop of a Julius James header in stoppage time.
The Houston Dynamo lost their first regular season home game since June 12, 2008, a string of 17 consecutive games, in a 1-0 defeat to the New England Revolution Saturday night at Robertson Stadium. New England was the last team to beat the Dynamo at home in the MLS regular season. The Dynamo remain in first place in Major League Soccer with 32 points, two points ahead of the Eastern Conference's Columbus Crew (and potentially D.C. United).
After a scoreless first half, Houston carried play for much of the second half and forced several good saves from New England goalkeeper Matt Reis. The Revolution broke onto the scoreboard, however, in the 76th minute. Right back Kevin Alston started the play with a great ball out of the back. Midfielder Steve Ralston reached the ball at the edge of the penalty area and chipped it over charging Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Forward Kheli Dube got to the ball in the six-yard box and tapped it in for the only goal of the game.
The Dynamo's best chance to tie the game in the dying minutes came when Matt Reis had to scramble backward to tip a header from Dynamo defender Julius James over the crossbar.
Houston played without forwards Brian Ching (U.S. national team) and Cam Weaver (groin); midfielders Stuart Holden (U.S. national team) and Brian Mullan (ankle); and defenders Richard Mulrooney (knee) and Eddie Robinson (knee).
Midfielder Brad Davis became the sixth Dynamo player to reach 100 career starts for the club in all competitions. Davis also recorded his 150th career MLS start.
Defender Bobby Boswell made his 125th career MLS regular season start and his 65th with the Dynamo in all competitions. Forward Kai Kamara made his 75th career appearance in MLS play. Defender Craig Waibel made the 130th start of his MLS career.
New England Revolution (6-5-5) vs. Houston Dynamo (9-5-5)
July 25, 2009 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
NE -- Kheli Dube 3 (Steve Ralston 5, Kevin Alston 1) 76
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi (Wells Thompson 80), Jeff Larentowicz, Pat Phelan (Shalrie Joseph 46), Kenny Mansally, Steve Ralston, Kheli Dube (Michael Videira 76),
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Mauricio Castro, Nico Colaluca, Amaechi Igwe.
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel (Mike Chabala 80), Bobby Boswell, Julius James, Andrew Hainault, Corey Ashe, Ricardo Clark, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Danny Cruz 73), Kei Kamara, Dominic Oduro (Ade Akinbiyi 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Wade Barrett, John Michael Hayden, Erik Ustruck.
NE -- Jeff Larentowicz (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34
HOU -- Julius James (caution; Reckless Tackle) 38
HOU -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Reckless Tackle) 78
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Kermit Quisenberry
4th official: Abbey Okulaja
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial