Brad Davis led the shorthanded Houston Dynamo to a dramatic, come-from-behind 2-2 tie against rival FC Dallas at Robertson Stadium Saturday night. Despite being down to 10 men due to a red card, Davis set up substitute Colin Clark for the game-tying goal in the 87th minute, the second of two assists on the night. Davis now has a league-high eight assists on the season.
With the tie, the series between the Dynamo and FC Dallas for El Capitán will be determined in the return leg in Frisco, Texas, on September 24. Houston was won the season series between the teams in three of its five seasons. If the season series finishes tied and there is no playoff meeting between the teams, the winner of the previous season series – in this case, FC Dallas – retains the Civil War-era cannon.
After playing three games in eight days, the Dynamo are next in action on Saturday night, taking on the San Jose Earthquakes on the road. Houston’s last road win came against San Jose on October 16, 2010.
In tonight’s game, Houston dominated first-half possession but fell behind when Andrew Jacobson headed in a long-range rebound in the 27th minute. The Dynamo responded in the 42nd minute when Brad Davis broke free in the left corner and crossed for Cam Weaver, who one-timed in a left-footed shot that ended the FC Dallas shutout streak at 531 minutes. The goal was Weaver’s fourth of the season, tying a career high in MLS play set in 2009.
In the second half, Dallas took the lead in the 70th minute when Ugo Ihemelu headed in a corner kick from Marvin Chavez, Ihemelu’s second goal of the season. Two minutes later, Dynamo rookie Kofi Sarkodie – making just his second start of the season – was shown a second yellow card and ejected.
Left with just 10 players, the Dynamo pushed for a tying goal and found it in the 87th minute. Cam Weaver won the ball in the midfield and got it to Brad Davis 30 yards from goal in the middle of the field. Davis held the ball, then played a well-weighted pass into the left side of the penalty area for an onrushing Colin Clark. The substitute midfielder took a touch before firing the ball past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for the tying goal and Clark’s second goal of the season.
Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear made five changes to his starting lineup from Wednesday’s match, replacing three defenders, one midfielder, and one forward. Defender Mike Chabala made his first league start of the season and the 35th of his MLS career, while defender Jermaine Taylor made his first start since the season opener on March 19.
For Houston players Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, and Je-Vaughn Watson, Saturday’s game was their last with the club for several weeks, as they will join their respective national teams for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Midfielder Brad Davis made the 235th MLS appearance of his career and midfielder Geoff Cameron made his 80th career MLS start. Defender Andre Hainault made his 70th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions and ran his consecutive MLS minutes streak to 2,925, a team record for a field player. The streak will end next Saturday, as Hainault will miss the match on national team duty.
The Dynamo played without forwards Calen Carr (concussion) and Brian Ching (plantar fasciitis); midfielder Danny Cruz (knee hyperextension); and defender Corey Ashe (groin strain).
Reserve Match: Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m., Dynamo (2-1) vs. FC Dallas (2-0), Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex
Next Match: Saturday, June 4, 9:30 p.m. CT, Dynamo at San Jose Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara CA
Next Home Match: Saturday, June 11, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Chivas USA, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC
On the game …
“It was a frustrating night, but [the players] ended on a good note. We were kind of hit-or-miss. The goal before halftime gave us a little jump, which made it a little brighter. Then we gave a soft goal, a set piece again, which we addressed before and will address again. Then in the end, going down to 10 men is rough. It was a great play by Brad [Davis] and Colin [Clark] to get us some points.
On making five lineup changes …
“Against Los Angeles, we looked a bit tired in some areas, and there are some guys that are good players that deserved to play, so we decided to make those changes. Overall, we could have played better, and the guys we gave opportunities to could have played better. When given opportunities, guys need not to show well, they need to bust their butts. I’m not happy with the way they scored so easily.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER BRAD DAVIS
On the game …
“It’s more intense, this game, but it’s fun to play in this rivalry. We showed a lot of heart at the end of the game, and we were fortunate enough and I think we deserved the point that we got. After going down a man and fighting through that, coming up with a tie was pretty big for us.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO FORWARD CAM WEAVER
On the game …
“We’ve got to start fixing these mistakes as we head later into the season. I think we have to say, ‘It’s not good enough,’ and we have to strive for more, especially at home. We have to get those three points, and we’ve got to go back and look at the way we are playing and the mistakes that we are making and try to fix them.
On a six-game winless streak …
“If we can improve our play a bit, hopefully some wins will start coming. Looking at the standings, we are right in the thick of things. Again if we can improve the way we are playing, we can get a lot more wins and push up the standing. We definitely have the talent.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO GOALKEEPER TALLY HALL
On the game …
“The tying goal was a great ball in by Brad [Davis], and a phenomenal finish by Colin [Clark]. With a man down, I think it says a lot about our character. I was extremely disappointed giving up two goals. It was something that was unacceptable, and the guys battled back and got a result out of it.”