The Houston Dynamo played their first of two exhibition matches during the World Cup break Thursday, defeating the Laredo Heat 2-1 in front of 6,111 fans at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi.
Felix Garcia, whose MLS rights are still owned by the Dynamo while he remains an amateur, put the Heat on the board early with a goal in the second minute. After stealing the ball from Dynamo defender Ryan Cochrane, Garcia took two steps and, from 25 yards out, found the back of the net past goalkeeper Tally Hall. Garcia’s speed plagued the Dynamo defense until he left the game in the 45th minute with an apparent injury.
Laredo, of the amateur Professional Development League, did not back down from the Dynamo, playing with an intensity that drew the attention of referee Carlos Salas. Midfielder Ezual Lewis picked up his second yellow card in just the 17th minute after taking down Dynamo forward Joseph Ngwenya, who had a clear path to the net. Salas was quick to eject Heat midfielder Dany Galvan and Dynamo defender Mike Chabala (second yellow card) in the 41st minute after the two appeared to exchange words while jostling for position in the box prior to a corner kick.
Houston midfielder Brian Mullan came into the game in the second half and caused problems for the Heat defense. Mullan stole the ball and drew a foul in the penalty area in the 68th minute, and Brad Davis converted the penalty kick to even the score.
The Dynamo kept the pressure on the inexperienced Heat defense and broke through in the 85th minute, when Lovel Palmer found Dominic Oduro down the left flank. Oduro took two touches and perfectly placed the ball in the upper right-hand corner of the net to seal the game for Houston. Oduro also scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute of the Dynamo's last in-season friendly, the Dynamo Charities Cup against Monterrey last year.
The Dynamo have the weekend off but return to action on Saturday, June 19 against Aguila in the Dynamo Charities Cup at Robertson Stadium.
Laredo Heat vs. Houston Dynamo
June 10, 2010 –- Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi TX
LAR -- Felix Garcia (unassisted) 2
HOU -- Brad Davis (penalty kick) 68
HOU -- Dominic Oduro (Lovel Palmer) 85
Laredo Heat -- Raul Herrera (Rodrigo Avila 51), Angel Hernandez (Josh Maley 92+), Carlos Ordaz (Alfredo Ramos 58), Joel Perez (Mike Abalos 64), Alex Hergert (Daniel Garza 71), Frank Lara (Alredo Martinez 79), Dany Galvan, Ezual Lewis, Juan de Dios Ibarra (Max Gunderson 61), Esteban Bayona (Soamy Bautista 23), Felix Garcia (Salvador Luna 45, Teddy Mulambe 83).
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall (Tyler Deric 46), Craig Waibel, Eddie
Robinson (Bobby Boswell 46), Ryan Cochrane (Andrew Hainault 75), Mike Chabala,
Francisco Navas Cobo, Anthony Obodai (Lovel Palmer 61), Sammy Appiah (Brian
Mullan 61), Corey Ashe (Brad Davis 46), Joseph Ngwenya (Cam Weaver 70), Luis
Landin (Dominic Oduro 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Brian Ching, Richard Mulrooney.
LAR -- Ezual Lewis (caution) 14
LAR -- Ezual Lewis (ejection; Second Caution) 17
LAR -- Joel Perez (caution; Dissent) 17
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (caution) 33
HOU -- Mike Chabala (caution) 36
LAR -- Dany Galvan (ejection) 41
HOU -- Mike Chabala (ejection; Second Caution) 41
HOU -- Craig Waibel (caution) 82
Referee: Carlos Salas
Referee's Assistants: John Lohr; Hayden Edwards
4th official: Chris Mercado
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial