Sixteenth time’s the charm.
That’s how many tries it took the Houston Dynamo to get a road win in 2011, but a Geoff Cameron header in the 87th minute at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday allowed the orange-clad boys from the Bayou City to finally put to rest their least favorite storyline of the season.
“We know and people keep talking about it,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “[I am] happy for the guys. They are sick and tired that we haven't won on the road. … We’ve played some games on the road where we've completely dominated and come away with one point or nothing. To come away with three is a great feeling to have in the locker room."
The initial road win could not have come at a better time. The win propelled the club from third to first in the Eastern Conference and could be the difference between getting a first-round bye and playing in the wildcard round.
“We've got three games left now, two home and one away, so maybe [this win] will start some momentum for the rest of the season and into the playoffs,” Cameron said. “That's our main goal: to finish off the season strong, get into the playoffs, and make a run for it."
Fan support key
With roughly 270 miles separating Dallas and Houston, it was perhaps no surprise that the Dynamo had significant fan support at Pizza Hut Park looking for a win over their Texas rivals.
"For them to make that journey up here and be louder than the home supporters is something to be very proud of,” Kinnear said. “When they do make that trip, you want to reward them with something positive, and I think the fans will have a good ride home."
Houston is now 3-2-4 at Pizza Hut Park in regular season play, with a 3-3-5 mark in all games. Significantly, one of those five ties was the 2006 MLS Cup championship, which the Dynamo won on penalty kicks to complete a storybook first season in Houston.
Goose egg helps
It may have taken a backseat as a story, but Tally Hall’s stellar play on Saturday paced the Dynamo to their fifth shutout of the season. Four saves from the 6-foot-4 goalkeeper, solid work by the backline, and a little help from the woodwork all conspired to keep a dangerous Dallas attack off the scoreboard.
“Anytime you get a shutout, it puts you in a good position to win a game,” Kinnear said. “We got a little bit of luck at times, and they had a few near-misses, but we just kept our heads down and held on, and it worked out, and we scored a goal late.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.