The Houston Dynamo suffered a 1-0 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday in their second game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. A first half penalty kick from Sebastien Le Toux was the difference as the Dynamo lost for just the second time this preseason.
With Sunday’s game coming less than 48 hours after Friday’s 0-0 draw with Sporting KC, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear’s lineup included ten changes, with trialist Warren Creavalle the only holdover from Friday’s starters.
In the 14th minute, Whitecaps forward Long Tan was taken down in the box by Creavalle for a penalty kick. Le Toux, acquired by Vancouver from Philadelphia Union in January, slotted home the penalty kick for the early lead.
Two minutes later, Houston had its best chance of the first half to equalize. Josue Soto curled in a corner kick to a dangerous area in the center of the penalty area, where Andre Hainault met the cross for a strong header, which sailed just over the cross bar.
In the 25th minute, Houston was awarded a free kick inside the Vancouver penalty area after goalkeeper Brad Knighton illegally handled a back pass from defender Jordan Harvey. The ensuing free kick by Soto was blocked by the Vancouver wall.
Three minutes later, Le Toux broke away down the right flank and found Tan alone behind the Dynamo defense. Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric took down Tan and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Tan, who has drawn three penalty kicks in two matches, attempted to chip his spot kick down the middle of the goal but Deric held his ground for the easy save.
In the 37th minute, midfielder Eder Arreola found defender Oscar Recio charging to goal at the top of the box. Recio’s touch lofted into the air long enough for Knighton to have to punch the ball away before colliding with Recio.
Moments later, another free kick from Soto was headed towards the far post by Colin Rolfe, but it missed the target as the Dynamo continued to search for the tying goal.
In the 69th minute, Hainault served in a quality cross from the left side. Cam Weaver settled the ball and ripped a shot from 15 yards that missed the target.
Second half substitutions from Kinnear nearly paid off in the 80th minute when Brad Davis sent a patented cross into the box for Brian Ching. Ching skied for the ball but his header went just over the crossbar.
Houston’s final chance to equalize came in the 90th minute. Ching received a ball at the top of the penalty area and laid it off for Nathan Sturgis, who fired a low shot from 20 yards that narrowly missed the far post.
After two games, the Dynamo sit in a three-way tie for second place in their group with Sporting KC and Montreal Impact. Houston will take on Montreal Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT in the final group stage match.
Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
February 26, 2012 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Disney Pro Soccer Classic
VAN - Sebastien Le Toux 15 (penalty kick)
HOU – Tyler Deric 28
VAN – Jordan Harvey 54
HOU – Warren Creavalle 54
Houston Dynamo – Tyler Deric; Warren Creavalle, Nathan Sturgis, Andre Hainault, Oscar Recio; Josue Soto (Luiz Camargo 71), Emerson Sato (Alex Dixon 71), Colin Rolfe (Brad Davis 57); Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ching 71), Cam Weaver (Calen Carr 71), Eder Arreola (Brian Ownby 57)
Vancouver Whitecaps – Brad Knighton; Greg Klazura, Michael Boxall, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey; Lee Nguyen (Russell Teibert 45), Gershon Koffie (Bryce Alderson 45'), Matt Watson, Michael Nanchoff (Bilal Duckett 75); Sebastien Le Toux (Caleb Clarke 67, Jun Marques Davidson 78), Long Tan (Darren Mattocks 82)