On a night when the 2011 Houston Dynamo took another positive step with a 4-1 win against D.C. United, the club looked back and acknowledged a big part of its championship pedigree.
The Dynamo honored one of the great players in the club’s six-year history after last Friday’s match, as the entire team and a large portion of the 20,577 in attendance at Robertson Stadium stuck around to honor former goalkeeper and current D.C. United assistant coach Pat Onstad. Onstad, who is still a beloved figure in Houston, was poignant in his speech and showed the class that made him a fan favorite. For one player in particular – starting goalkeeper Tally Hall – it was a chance to remember an important veteran presence.
“He’s been a big figure, if not the figure, for a lot of the championships,” Hall said of his former mentor. “Hats off to him and his career. I’m glad I could be a part of the team he was on.”
Hall is perhaps the first to understand the impressive shadow Onstad still casts in Houston, and he does not shy away from it. After Friday’s win, Hall was happy the club honored Onstad with the postgame tribute, admitting that he wanted to put on a good performance with the Dynamo legend in attendance.
“I didn’t want to lose that game,” Hall said with a smile. “It’s fun being on the same field as him, and that he’s still in the game is fun for me.”
Weaver scores his third
On one of the more unusual ways to score a goal, Dynamo forward Cam Waver tallied off a throw-in that originated in the Dynamo’s own half. Right back Hunter Freeman picked the ball up just before the midfield line and found a wide open Weaver streaking toward goal.
[inline_node:335291]“It was a really heads-up play by Hunter,” Weaver said. “I saw him pick up the ball and throw it to me. I think the defenders weren’t expecting us to get the ball in play that quickly.”
Weaver then took his time and blasted an angled shot past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid into the roof of the net for the game’s final goal and his third of the young season. He’s on pace to set his new single-season high for goals, after scoring a combined four goals while splitting his time between the Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009.
Ching and Koke made cameos
Lost in the performance from Bruin and Weaver was the return of Dynamo captain Brian Ching and the debut of Spanish forward Koke. Ching – who received the captain’s armband from Brad Davis evan as Davis stayed on the pitch – came on in the 81st for Bruin, and Koke entered three minutes later for Weaver.
“It’s nice that you can make subs when the score was the way it was,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Those guys have been working hard, and it’s nice to see [Koke] step in and do well. … It’s nice that you can bring in two guys who are very good, and it was nice to see them hook up a few times. That’s something you will probably see in the future.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.