The Houston Dynamo lost their 2011 season opener on Saturday night, falling 1-0 at home to the Philadelphia Union before an energetic crowd of 19,385. After Philadelphia scored in the fifth minute, the Dynamo dominated the majority of the match but could not tie the score. It was Houston’s first ever loss in a home opener (2-1-3).
The Dynamo play their next two games on the road, taking on the Seattle Sounders Friday night at 9 p.m. CT and then the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The only goal of Saturday’s game came in the fifth minute on a long throw-in from Philadelphia right back Sheanon Williams. The throw-in carried to Sebastien Le Toux, who fired a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that slammed off the crossbar. Union defender Danny Califf reached the rebound first and tucked it into the corner.
The Dynamo’s best chances came in the second half. In the 49th minute, Brad Davis played a through ball into the penalty area for rookie forward Will Bruin, but his left-footed shot from a wide angle was saved by Philadelphia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. In the 68th minute, Geoff Cameron and Davis combined to set up Dominic Oduro for a one-time chance, but his shot went high.
The match marked the second consecutive year Philadelphia has beaten Houston at home; last year the Union downed the Dynamo 3-2 in Houston and the teams played to a 1-1 tie in Philadelphia.
Houston forward Will Bruin became the first rookie to start on Opening Day for the Dynamo in the club’s six-year history. Bruin played 61 minutes in his professional debut.
Midfielder Brad Davis wore the captain’s armband and made the 185th start of his MLS career. Defender Bobby Boswell made his 115th career appearance for the Dynamo in all competitions, with midfielder Geoff Cameron making his 95th and forward Dominic Oduro his 60th.
Match: Friday, March 25, 9 p.m., Dynamo at Seattle Sounders, Qwest Field,
Next Home Match: Wednesday, April 6, 7 p.m., Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, Aggie Soccer Stadium, College Station TX (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier)
Next Match in Houston: Sunday, April 10, 6 p.m., Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the game …
“It was a disappointing night. We gave up one chance and lost the game. We created a few chances, and we came out without anything.”
On allowing the first goal …
“It was a hopeful throw into the box. We were just casual in our approach to address a dangerous situation. Any time a guy brings the ball down in the six-yard box off of a long throw, it’s very slack defending, and you get punished for it. After they scored their goal, they just sat in and packed it in, and chances were few, but when you know a team is going to come in and do something like that, it’s very important to come in and score the first goal.”
On Philadelphia defending deep …
“The grass was wet, which I wasn’t a fan of because the ball was playing too fast. They just killed the space. We had some good moments, and when we were getting in good areas, our delivery wasn’t really what it was. The season is not over, though, there is still a long way to go.”
On failing to score …
“We had one good chance, and if you don’t score goals like that, you aren’t going to win the game. That’s a pretty good chance, a great play by Geoff [Cameron], a good ball by Brad [Davis], and it’s a goal that you should expect to score.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO DEFENDER BOBBY BOSWELL
On Philadelphia’s goal …
“The way [Sheanon Williams] throws the ball is the first throw we have seen. It went over me, and I misread it. On the first two or three, he was throwing them lopsided, and they were spinning funny. I have never seen a ball thrown like that, and I have to make adjustments, and it’s unlucky to give up a goal so early.”
On allowing the first goal …
“We have a new group of guys, and it’s a new season. I think if we had gotten one, it opens up the game. It is a game of goals, and it wasn’t going in right, and we weren’t helping ourselves out by not putting it in the frame. We didn’t help ourselves out giving up one so early.”
On Carlos Ruiz’s first-half yellow
“Anytime Ruiz is on the field, you will get a couple of plays like that. I don’t think the ref had that much impact on the game. You can throw a red on the one, but that is at his discretion. I don’t think it was a rough night in terms of physicality, I just think it was tough for us to score. “
HOUSTON DYNAMO DEFENDER ANDREW HAINAULT
On the game …
“It was an early mistake, so there is no sense in getting down. There is a lot of time to turn it around. That is something that me, Tally [Hall], and Bobby [Boswell] have to sort out. We are not going to get down; we are going to make sure we keep the spirits up.