The Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon against the Austin Aztex of the United States Soccer Federation Division 2 in a preseason scrimmage at Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex. Houston carried an 18-5 shot advantage but needed a late goal to tie the game. The Dynamo are next in action on Thursday night, hosting the Chicago Fire in a preseason scrimmage at 7 p.m.
Against Austin on Sunday, both teams struggled to find their rhythm in the first half on a bumpy surface. Goalkeepers Pat Onstad for Houston and Miguel Gallardo-Aparicio for Austin each made two saves.
The game picked up life in the second half, starting in the 62nd minute. Brian Ching held the ball up in the box for Houston, then laid it off for an overlapping Dominic Oduro. His shot was saved by Gallardo-Aparicio, but Ching got onto the rebound and was taken down for a penalty kick. The Dynamo's all-time leading scorer took the penalty himself but fired his effort off the right post.
After Gallardo-Aparicio saved a Danny Cruz shot in the 70th minute, Austin took the lead against the run of play in the 74th minute. The Aztex floated a long ball out of the back toward the top of the penalty area, and Houston defender Bobby Boswell tried to play the ball back to second-half goalkeeper Tally Hall, but Boswell's header bounced past Hall, who was coming out for the ball himself, and rolled into the net.
The Dynamo's sustained pressure paid off in the 86th minute. An Oduro shot from the right was punched away, but Erik Ustruck tracked down a loose ball on the end line and, from a bad angle, fired a low shot just inside the far post for the tying goal. Houston finished with a 10-1 shot advantage in the second half and had five corners to Austin's none.
The Dynamo and Aztex will meet again in an exhibition match at Nelson Field in Austin next Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Dynamo will continue their preseason schedule with a scrimmage against the Chicago Fire on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex. Houston will then play friendlies on March 17 and March 20 in California against MLS opposition before opening the season March 27. The Dynamo's home opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, against defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.
Austin Aztex vs. Houston Dynamo
March 7, 2010 - Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex
AUS -- Bobby Boswell (Own Goal) 74
HOU -- Erik Ustruck (unassisted) 86
Austin Aztex -- Miguel Gallardo-Aparicio, Sean Powers, Jay Needham, Kieron Bernard (Wes Allen 82), Kevin Sakuda, Lawrence Olum (Richard Edger 67), Yordany Alvarez (Michael Callahan 46), Stephan Campbell (David Shriver 67), Jamie Watson (Sullivan Silva 46), Eddie Johnson (Maxwell Griffin 46), Leonel St. Preux (Jarrod Smith 36).
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad (Tally Hall 46), Ryan Cochrane, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Craig Waibel 56), Mike Chabala (Wade Barrett 69), Brian Mullan (Danny Cruz 66), Lovel Palmer (Mike Chabala 73), Geoff Cameron (Sammy Appiah 59), Corey Ashe (Erik Ustruck 69), Cam Weaver (Dominic Oduro 46), Brian Ching (Luis Ángel Landín 69).
AUS -- Sean Powers (Caution) 60
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (Caution) 66
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial