The Houston Dynamo returned to San Jose and thoroughly outplayed the Earthquakes on Saturday night, as goalkeeper and Dynamo Academy product Tyler Deric was handed his first MLS start for the Dynamo and posted a shutout in Houston's 1-0 road victory.
Deric earned the first ever MLS start by a member of the Dynamo Academy; the 22-year-old goalkeeper had only previously played one half against the Laredo Heat in a friendly. While Deric had a slip or two on the surface at Buck Shaw Stadium, Houston still earned its first shutout since July 10 thanks in part to the goalkeeper’s solid distribution out of the back and three saves.
"Naturally I was nervous, but the players and everybody on the team did a great job of easing me in and telling me that the coaches wouldn't put me in this situation if I wasn't ready,” Deric said. “I felt confident, I thought the coaches were confident in me, and they did a great job of talking to me and making me relax. Once I got my first touch on the ball, it was smooth sailing from there."
While Deric’s debut will make the headlines, the victory against the Earthquakes was a complete team effort. Forward Dominic Oduro stretched the San Jose defense repeatedly, and the Dynamo midfield controlled most of the match as Houston doubled the home team's total in corners and outshot the San Jose 19-10. That left the Dynamo defense to merely clean up the pieces that remained of the San Jose attack.
"I thought the team did excellent today, especially the back four,” noted Deric. “I think Mike [Chabala], Eddie [Robinson], Bobby [Boswell] and Andrew [Hainault] played extremely well, and the result was excellent.”
With the victory, Houston is 2-0-1 in the team’s last three road games, which has Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear upbeat.
“Performance-wise, I think the last two months we've played a lot like this,” Kinnear said. “I think we created more chances to maybe go two up at some times and take a little bit of pressure off of ourselves. We grinded it out, and I think all season long we've worked hard."
The main difference between this result and several disappointing draws over the last month is that the Dynamo kept a clean sheet, making the lone goal stand up. It was Houston's first shutout in league play since July 10, a streak of 12 consecutive MLS games without a shutout.
“We played a complete 90 minutes tonight, and it was good," said Hainault, who scored the game-winner. “We were happy. It was Tyler Deric’s first game tonight, so to get a shutout and to get a win was great. It was nice to get a shutout because it's been a while.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.