Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Dynamo 1, San Jose 2 - postgame notes

The Houston Dynamo completely dominated Saturday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes, outshooting San Jose 16-6, but were undone by two goals on counterattacks in a 2-1 loss at Robertson Stadium.

Shortly after two chances in the attacking end of the field, the Dynamo allowed the opening goal in the sixth minute when San Jose’s Geovanni, making his first MLS start, broke free on the right and sent in a low cross that Khari Stephenson one-timed into the left side of the net.

It was the second consecutive game in which the Dynamo allowed a goal in the first 10 minute; Colorado scored two minutes into last week’s match. Houston has allowed the first goal in 14 of its 23 matches this season; it is 1-12-1 in those games.

Houston controlled possession throughout the half but struggled to get its shots on goal. The Dynamo finally broke through in first-half stoppage time, when Brian Mullan broke free along the end line. After his initial cross was blocked, he floated a ball in toward the penalty spot, and Brad Davis rose to direct an accurate header inside the left-hand post for his fifth goal of the season, tying last year's total as the second-highest of his career. It was the first headed goal of Davis’ professional career. Mullan earned his third assist of the season.

The Dynamo continued to dominate in the second half, outshooting the Earthquakes 10-2. San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch made five total saves on the night to keep the Dynamo out of the net again, and the Earthquakes got the game-winning goal in the 64th minute. A well-worked counterattack on the left wing led to a cross, which was deflected toward the top of the penalty area. Geovanni reached it first and lashed a low shot past Pat Onstad for the game-winning goal.

Houston pushed forward, aided by an 84th-minute red card to San Jose’s Sam Cronin, but could not tie the match.

The Dynamo began the match without forward Brian Ching due to a calf strain and missed his presence in front of goal, but Ching came on as a late substitute in the 82nd minute. Houston also played without starting midfielder Lovel Palmer (Jamaican national team) and reserve midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo (U.S. U-20 national team).

The loss drops Houston’s home record in the regular season to 5-4-3 in 2010, the most losses the Dynamo have ever suffered at Robertson Stadium in league play. They lost three home games in their championship seasons of 2006 and 2007.

Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad made his 165th appearance for the Dynamo in all competitions and wore the captain’s armband for the first time. It was also his 215th career MLS appearance. Midfielder Richard Mulrooney appeared in his 280th career MLS game, 20th in league history, and midfielder Brian Mullan played in his 250th league game, tied for 34th in league history.

Defender Bobby Boswell made the 160th appearance of his MLS career and his 110th appearance for Houston in all competitions. Midfielder Corey Ashe played 12 minutes as a substitute to reach the 4,000-minute mark for his MLS regular season career.

Next Game: Saturday, September 18, 7:30 p.m., Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, Robertson Stadium



On the game …

“They were very troublesome tonight. Even before they scored, they had some chances in our area and took advantage of a little lack of intensity on our part. And even on their second goal. I don’t know what the shots were, but even their dangerous opportunities in the second half … They took advantage of a ball that we played directly to them and then ran through midfield. There are lots of circumstances of why we are disappointed: It puts the playoff picture very bleak; we lost another home game; it’s a game we should have had well in hand even before they got their second goal. The first 45 minutes was probably the best half we played all year, attacking-wise but we still need to score goals. If you don’t score goals, it all goes for nothing.”

On the ramifications of the result …

“It’s a heavy one, as I said before. If we win tonight, we are three points behind San Jose. I think right now those 29 points probably hold the last playoff spot. If you don’t score goals and you don’t take it to their team when they are down, home or away, [they] are always going to get one or two chances during the game, and I think that’s what they got, those two chances, and they took advantage. At the end of the day, they hit their chances and we missed ours, and that is what counts.”


On the game …

“We had plenty of chances to win the game. It feels terrible. I should have had a few, and I feel as if I let the team down. As a striker, when you get those chances, you have to put them away.”

On his chances …

“I’ve been doing a lot of finishing in training, and I’ve been doing well in training. It was just a couple feet to each side, and it’s really tough to swallow.”


On wearing the captain’s armband

“It would have been a lot nicer with the win. It was the first time in 215 [MLS] appearances, so it was a nice nod from Dominic [Kinnear]. We had another fantastic performance tonight, but we gave up two goals, and that’s all that really matters.”


On the game …

“I thought we put together the best game we have put together all year; we had a lot of good opportunities. They had two chances, and they scored on both of them. That’s been the story of our year, and that’s the way things have been going. We know where we are right now: We have to win out, so that’s what is ahead of us.”

On the timing of his goal …

“To score right before halftime and tie it up is always good. When you are on the other side, it’s a bit disheartening, so I thought we were going to come out in the second half and do the same thing, which I thought we did. They got one more opportunity on the break, and they scored on it. It’s the way things have been going for us all year. Two chances on two goals, and we had more chances in this game than we had all year, and they just aren’t going in.”

On scoring with a header …

“I actually scored some goals in training this week with my head, and guys were getting on my case, so it’s pretty ironic that I come to the game and do the same thing.”