The Houston Dynamo were looking to start fast on Saturday night, and after scoring just three minutes into the match, it looked like the Orange were doing just that. The subsequent 20 minutes, however, did not follow the same script.
After Will Bruin got the scoring started early, FC Dallas, who were playing without several key players including Blas Pérez and Brek Shea, employed their most prominent tool: speed. Wingers Jackson and Fabián Castillo helped Dallas take control and put the Houston defense under siege.
HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 2, DAL 1
“They created some good chances," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "They were playing narrow and using their pace on the outside pretty well. Castillo and Jackson are a handful, and their pace is very electric, so it can cause you problems.”
While Dallas’ runners were finding space behind the Dynamo defense, Houston eventually got a hold on the pace of the game. After seeing five shots before the 30-minute mark, the Dynamo pulled back possession and started to dictate the flow, which led to eventual success for the home side.
“I thought we let the runners go too much in the midfield and they had a few more opportunities than they should,” said defender Geoff Cameron. “We dealt with it better in the second half and were better with communication. We’re pretty happy. It’s a good result and three points and [we are] jumping up in the standings.”
Bruin sets career high in “unconventional” fashion
Will Bruin has had an interesting 2012 season. The sophomore striker set a career high with his third-minute goal, his sixth of the season, when he used his knee to deflect a failed Hernán Pertúz clearance into the back of the net. While the goal itself was well received, the fashion of the goal on the other hand drew some friendly ribbing from his teammates.
“I told him, ‘You’ve got two goals off of the back of your head, a deflection off your shin and two missed breakaways,’ so we were just giving him crap,” Brad Davis said. “But I think for a forward, a goal is a goal and anytime you can get your guys on the score sheet it helps their confidence. It also helps the team and it certainly did tonight.”
Home sweet home
Houston have certainly settled into their new digs. With Saturday’s win, the Dynamo improved to 3-0-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium and – along with the New York Red Bulls – are the only clubs without a home loss, having allowed just two goals in their four MLS home encounters.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.