With much of the talk leading up to this week’s Houston Dynamo match against the Portland Timbers centering on the return of former Houston players and coaches, one player that flew under the radar was former Timber Adam Moffat.
Under the Sunday night lights, the Scottish-born midfielder did his talking with what can only be termed as a golazo in the 17th minute of a 2-1 Houston win. The goal was Moffat’s first since July 3, 2010, when the midfielder was a member of the Columbus Crew.
In a match that had the makings of a back-and-forth battle, Moffat’s strike ignited the Dynamo offense and spurred the club to take advantage of its first-half momentum to pull out a crucial three points.
“We came out pretty good but had some miscommunication in the back, and [Moffat’s goal] kind of changed the momentum,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear. “After Adam scored, the guys really got a boost and knocked it around pretty well.”
Houston controlled the ball for the balance of the first 45 and ultimately got the winning goal in the 27th minute via Brian Ching from inside the six-yard box. While the veteran forward scored the winner, the Dynamo players were quick to give their new midfielder the credit for swinging the game in their favor.
“We give [Moffat] a lot of [ribbing] for shooting, but good for him for keeping going,” said midfielder Brad Davis, who notched his 75th career MLS assist on Ching’s goal. “It’s good to have that threat from outside, because teams have to step out and be aware of it. It opens space up.”
While the strike was a thing of beauty, the fact that it came against Moffat’s former team gave the midfielder some satisfaction, and now he is looking to continue the strong play.
“It’s a big game with a chance to get three points, and we did that,” Moffat said. “But personally, I’m happy that it was against my former team. It’s your old teammates, so you want to get stuck in and let them know you’re there. It was a good strike, and when it went in I was happy; delighted.”
After the game, Ching credited Moffat with the team’s renewed fight.
“It was a great strike, and I’m sure it will be up for goal of the year,” said Ching, who won MLS Goal of the Year in 2006 and ESPNSoccernet.com Goal of the Year in 2010 with bicycle kicks. “He has the heart we need, and the team gets a lift from that.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.