The Houston Dynamo climbed to second place in the Eastern Conference and closed the regular season on a six-game unbeaten streak with a 3-1 win over the Supporters’ Shield-winning LA Galaxy on Sunday night at Robertson Stadium before a near-capacity crowd of 30,018, sixth in Dynamo history at Robertson Stadium.
The Dynamo will now face the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with the first leg at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on Sunday, October 30. The decisive second leg will be at Robertson Stadium on Thursday, November 3. Times and broadcast information will be announced later this week.
With the win, the Dynamo finished the season unbeaten in their last six games (4-0-2) and with a 7-2-4 record in their last 13 games, going from two games under .500 to three games over .500 at 12-9-13. Houston finished with a 10-3-4 record at home, the third-best mark in MLS.
Head coach Dominic Kinnear earned his 100th career MLS regular season victory, the fifth coach in league history to reach that mark. Kinnear (100-67-81) has the fourth highest winning percentage (.567) of any coach in MLS history.
Midfielder Brad Davis earned his 16th assist of the season, finishing the season with the most assists in MLS.
The win was the Dynamo’s first against the Galaxy since October 18, 2008, when Houston won 3-0 to clinch first place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy were 5-0-1 in the last six games of the series, outscoring Houston 10-1. The Dynamo are now 7-1 in their last eight games against Western Conference teams and finished the season 9-5-4 against the West, including wins against the league’s top four teams.
The Dynamo finished the season with 46 goals scored, the highest total in team history, surpassing the 45 goals scored in 2008 (30-game season) and the 44 goals scored in 2006 (32-game season).
Houston opened the scoring in the 27th minute, when midfielder Adam Moffat stole a pass in midfield and rifled a 38-yard bullet that whistled just inside the right-hand post and into the top right corner for a sure-fire Goal of the Year candidate. It was Moffat’s second goal of the season; his first came from similar distance against Portland on August 14.
The Dynamo doubled their lead after halftime when Brad Davis served a free kick into the penalty area and Adam Moffat redirected it to defender Bobby Boswell, who fired a right-footed shot into the right side of the net. It was Boswell’s fifth goal of the year, a career high, and puts him in a four-way tie for the Dynamo lead in scoring.
Houston sealed the game in the 74th minute when Brad Davis spotted forward Carlo Costly at the back post and served an accurate cross that Costly headed past Donovan Ricketts for his first goal with the Dynamo. Costly was the 17th different Houston player to score in MLS play this year out of 25 field players to see game action. The assist was the 80th career regular season assist for Davis.
The Galaxy pulled a goal back in the 88th minute when 16-year-old Jack McBean converted a pass from Chad Barrett after a Michael Stephens through ball. McBean became the youngest player to play, start, and score for the Galaxy.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall played 90 minutes to complete a regular season in which he played every minute for the Dynamo, one of several players around the league to set a new record with 3,060 minutes played. Midfielder Brad Davis also started each of Houston’s 34 games.
Dynamo captain Brian Ching made his 140th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions. Defender Corey Ashe made his 130th career appearance in an MLS game and made his 30th start of the year. Defender Geoff Cameron made his 85th career MLS start.
The Dynamo played without forward Cam Weaver (right hip surgery).
Next Match: Sunday, October 30, at Philadelphia Union, PPL Park, Chester, Pa. (Eastern Conference Semifinals -- Game 1)
Next Home Match: Thursday, November 3, vs. Philadelphia Union, Robertson Stadium (Eastern Conference Semifinals -- Game 2)