The Houston Dynamo won their fourth consecutive preseason match, beating the Columbus Crew 4-2 in a 120-minute scrimmage Thursday morning at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. Thursday’s scrimmage consisted of three 40-minute periods.
The Dynamo have now outscored their three MLS opponents 11-3 over the past three games. They will wrap up their Arizona trip Saturday morning, taking on the Portland Timbers at noon CT.
Houston opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Danny Cruz latched onto a loose ball and fired a 20-yard shot past Ray Burse in the Columbus goal. It was the second time in three preseason games against MLS teams that the Dynamo took the lead in the first 10 minutes. The goal was extra special for Cruz, who is from Glendale, Ariz., and had family in attendance.
Columbus pulled one goal back in the 78th minute when rookie Justin Meram converted a one-on-one chance against Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Houston made it 3-1 in the 91st minute (out of 120) when all-time leading scorer Brian Ching capitalized from close range on a Mike Chabala corner kick. Columbus scored four minutes later when Justin Meram scored his second goal of the game from a Léandre Griffit cross.
The Dynamo restored their two-goal advantage in the 104th minute when captain Brian Ching was taken down in the penalty area. For the second time in three days, Jason Garey stepped up to the penalty kick and, although he needed two tries due to a teammate’s encroachment, converted to make it 4-2.
For the first time in club history, the Dynamo used all four home-grown players in the same game. Dynamo Academy products Tyler Deric, Francisco Navas Cobo, Alex Dixon, and Josue Soto all played as substitutes, with three in the game at the same time in the final period.
Three total players were ejected, but in each case the team was allowed to make a substitution and continue with 11 players. For Columbus, Andres Mendoza was ejected in the 18th minute, and for Houston, Lovel Palmer was sent off in the 58th minute and JeVaughn Watson in the 64th minute.
Next Preseason Game: Saturday, February 19, 12 noon CT, Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers (scrimmage), Phoenix AZ
MLS Opener: Saturday, March 19, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, Robertson Stadium, Houston
Columbus Crew vs. Houston Dynamo
February 17, 2011 -- Reach 11 Sports Complex, Phoenix AZ
Preseason scrimmage (120 mins.)
HOU -- Danny Cruz (unassisted) 8
HOU -- Eddie Robinson (Brad Davis) 52
CLB -- Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor) 78
HOU -- Brian Ching (Mike Chabala) 91
CLB -- Justin Meram (Leandre Griffit) 95
HOU -- Jason Garey (penalty kick) 104
Columbus Crew – Ray Burse (Alex Riggs 61), Sebastian Miranda (Ben Sippola 61), Chad Marshall (Josh Williams 61), Andy Iro (Kwaku Nyamekye 61), Shaun Francis (Josh Gardner 8, Cory Elenio 78), Dilly Duka (Bernardo Anor 45, Eric Gehrig 107), Rich Balchan (Cole Grossman 61), Emmanuel Ekpo (Léandre Griffit 61), Robbie Rogers (Santiago Prim 61), Andres Mendoza (Jeff Cunningham 19, Andy Adlard 81), Emilio Renteria (Justin Meram 61).
Houston Dynamo -- Tally Hall (Tyler Deric 41, Evan Newton 81), Kofi Sarkodie (Jordan Graye 61), Jermaine Taylor (Bobby Boswell 61), Eddie Robinson (Andrew Hainault (61), Hunter Freeman (Mike Chabala 61), Danny Cruz (Corey Ashe 61, Josue Soto 92), JeVaughn Watson (Alex Dixon 64), Geoff Cameron (Lovel Palmer 55, Richard Edwards 58), Brad Davis (Francisco Navas Cobo 61), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 61), Will Bruin (Jason Garey 61).
CLB -- Andres Mendoza (caution) 18
CLB -- Andres Mendoza (ejection) 18
HOU -- Jermaine Taylor (caution) 31
HOU -- Cam Weaver (caution) 33
CLB -- Emmanuel Ekpo (caution) 36
HOU -- Brad Davis (caution) 38
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (ejection) 58
HOU -- JeVaughn Watson (ejection) 64
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial