Six days before the Dynamo host English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers in the third annual Dynamo Charities Cup, a member of the Dynamo has already impressed against Bolton. Rookie goalkeeper Evan Newton, currently on loan to FC Tampa Bay, made six saves in the second half as Tampa Bay edged Bolton 1-0 in Wanderers' first of three games on their U.S. tour.
Newton, who has yet to see any minutes in North American Soccer League play, came on at halftime of a scoreless game. He made three key saves early in the second half -- denying Kevin Davies, Chung-Yong Lee, and Robbie Blake -- and was credited with six for the half while backstopping Tampa Bay to the win.
"My first save was a couple of minutes in -- they slipped Davies in, I came out and cut down the angle, he hit it first time, and I made the save by getting big," Newton said. "Kevin Davies is a legend, so that was pretty cool. The header from Lee, in terms of the game, was maybe the most important save for keeping the team in the game."
See highlights from the match, courtesy of FC Tampa Bay:
"As a rookie and a first-year pro, playing against guys you've watched on TV, it was cool to be on the field against them, and to do well is a good feeling," Newton said. "Every opportunity you get, you want to make the best of it, so I was excited to get the chance to face them."
Playing its first game of the entire preseason, Bolton fielded a total of 21 players in the match, making most of its substitutions at halftime, while Newton was one of four substitutes for Tampa Bay. Wanderers will continue their preseason preparation by taking on Orlando City on Sunday before traveling to Houston and preparing for Wednesday's match. Newton said he will be following the match from Florida.
"It’s a good test for us as a team to see how we match up against one of the top clubs," Newton said. "Any time you’re playing against good competition, it’s a chance to gain some more experience and to challenge yourselves."