Frustrated by their midweek elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League, the Dynamo turned up their game to take a 3-0 lead on Chivas USA on goals from Andrew Hainault, Dominic Oduro, and Abe Thompson, holding on for a 3-2 win and finishing the season tied for first place in the Western Conference.
The Houston Dynamo finished in a tie for first place in the Western Conference and secured the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a roller-coaster 3-2 win over Chivas USA Sunday afternoon at The Home Depot Center in the final game of the regular season. With the win, the Dynamo will take on the Seattle Sounders in the first round of the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
With the three-goal outburst, the Dynamo became the first team this season to score three goals in one game against Chivas USA, preventing them from setting an MLS record. The Dynamo finished the season tied with the Seattle Sounders with the league's best defense, allowing 29 goals in 30 games. Houston has now had the fewest goals allowed in the league for three consecutive years.
Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad made three saves to win his 13th game of the season, most in Major League Soccer. The 41-year-old Onstad played all 2,700 minutes of the Dynamo's MLS regular season. Onstad also held onto his league record for best goals against average in a single season, set in 2007. The three Dynamo goals scored against Zach Thornton pushed his 2009 GAA above Onstad's 2007 mark of 0.82.
With assists on the Dynamo's two first-half goals, midfielder Brad Davis set a new career high with 12 assists in the MLS regular season and tied Colorado's Omar Cummings for the MLS lead in assists. Davis also wore the captain's armband for the Dynamo, only the second time in his career with Houston he has served as the squad's captain. The other was in the 1-0 road victory over Chicago on June 5.
Each Houston goalscorer netted his first goal of the season and with the Dynamo: defender Andrew Hainault and forwards Dominic Oduro and Abe Thompson.
The Dynamo took the lead in the 26th minute, when Brad Davis bent a corner kick to the far post, and Ryan Cochrane headed it back across the top of the six-yard box, where defender Andrew Hainault was on hand to head in the first goal of his Dynamo career.
Houston doubled its advantage in the 29th minute when Ryan Cochrane's headed clearance fell to Brad Davis, and he slipped a through ball for Dominic Oduro, who finished through the legs of Zach Thornton for his first MLS goal of the season and his third competitive goal for Houston.
Early in the second half, the Dynamo made it 3-0 when Dominic Oduro got free on the right and crossed to Geoff Cameron. After Chivas failed to clear the ball, Cameron fired a low left-footed shot to the far post, and Abe Thompson was on hand to one-time it into the net for his first goal since joining the Dynamo.
Chivas USA pulled to within 3-2 on goals from Michael Lahoud and Eduardo Lillingston, but the Dynamo held on for the win.
The Dynamo played without forward Brian Ching (red card suspension); midfielders Corey Ashe (ankle), Ricardo Clark (knee), and Danny Cruz (foot); and defender Richard Mulrooney (disabled list).
Houston midfielder Brian Mullan made the 210th regular season start of his MLS career, and midfielder Brad Davis made his 195th.
Houston Dynamo (13-8-9) vs. Chivas USA (13-11-6)
October 25, 2009 -- The Home Depot Center, Carson CA
HOU -- Andrew Hainault 1 (Ryan Cochrane 1, Brad Davis 11) 26
HOU -- Dominic Oduro 1 (Brad Davis 12, Ryan Cochrane 2) 29
HOU -- Abe Thompson 1 (Geoff Cameron 6) 52
CHV -- Michael Lahoud 1 (Paulo Nagamura 2, Justin Braun 2) 59
CHV -- Eduardo Lillingston 8 (penalty kick) 88
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Ryan Cochrane (Eddie Robinson 60), Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan, Geoff Cameron, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis, Luis Angel Landin (Abe Thompson 44), Dominic Oduro (Cam Weaver 67).
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Wade Barrett, Danny Cruz, Craig Waibel.
Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Carey Talley, Jonathan Bornstein, Yamith Cuesta, Ante Jazic (Jorge Flores 65), Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Sacha Kljestan, Jesus Padilla (Marcelo Saragosa 46), Justin Braun, Maicon Santos (Eduardo Lillingston 60).
Substitutes Not Used: Lance Parker, Maykel Galindo, Shavar Thomas, Mariano Trujillo.
CHV -- Maicon Santos (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 16
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54
CHV -- Yamith Cuesta (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
CHV -- Sacha Kljestan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 71
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (caution; Delay of Game) 77
CHV -- Eduardo Lillingston (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 94+
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Peter Manikowski
4th official: Yader Reyes
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial