The Houston Dynamo moved into first place for the first time since April 29 and won the season series with in-state rival FC Dallas for the fourth time in six years with a dramatic 1-0 road win Saturday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park. Houston, with 42 points, leads Kansas City and Columbus by one point, although the Crew play later Saturday night.
Defender Geoff Cameron headed in the game-winning goal in the 87th minute, the fourth late game-winner of the season by the Dynamo and the 10th time this year Houston has scored in the game’s final 11 minutes to win or tie a match. It was the sixth time in the last nine games that the Dynamo have scored late to earn a win or a tie. Houston leads Major League Soccer with 14 goals scored in the final 15 minutes, although Seattle (13) plays later tonight.
The goal was Geoff Cameron’s fifth of the season, tying a career high set in 2009 and tying him with Will Bruin and Brian Ching for the team lead. Midfielder Brad Davis notched his 14th assist by delivering a corner kick on the play, putting Davis into a tie for the league lead in assists with David Beckham. The 14 assists also tie a career high in all competitions for Davis, set during the 2006 season.
The win broke a four-game Houston winless streak against Dallas (0-2-2), dating back to June 13, 2009, and gave the Dynamo a win and a tie against Dallas this year. That gives the Dynamo possession of El Capitán, the Civil War-era mountain howitzer awarded to the winner of the season series, for the fourth time in six seasons. Houston previously won the cannon in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Houston now leads the all-time series against Dallas 10-4-7 in all competitions, 8-3-7 in regular season play, and 3-2-4 at Pizza Hut Park.
Coupled with last week’s 2-1 win against San Jose, the Dynamo have now won consecutive games for the second time this season; the first came April 10-17. The win was Houston’s first road win of the season, although the Dynamo have at least shared the points in 10 of their 16 road contests.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall made four saves – and twice got help from the crossbar – to post Houston’s first MLS shutout since July 9. For Hall, the shutout was his fifth of the season and the 10th of his Dynamo career in all competitions; he also earned his 10th win of the year.
Seven of the Dynamo’s 10 wins (7-5-4) have now come against Western Conference opposition. The Dynamo are 8-1-5 when the temperature is at least 80 degrees.
Several Dynamo players reached milestones on the day: Brad Davis made the 215th start of his MLS career, and Brian Ching made the 155th start of his MLS career. Bobby Boswell made his 135th start for the Dynamo in all competitions, with Corey Ashe making his 95th and Andre Hainault his 85th.
Reserve League Match: Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m., Dynamo at FC Dallas, Pizza Hut Park, adidas field
Next Match: Saturday, October 1, 3 p.m., Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire, Robertson Stadium