With no chance to host MLS Cup, Sunday was the last Dynamo game BBVA Compass Stadium will host this year, and the club made sure to end their first season with a bang.
Houston put on a show for their record crowd in the second half, feeding off the 22,101 raucous fans on their way to a 3-1 win over D.C. United in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship series.
The victory sealed a undefeated season at their new home that stretched over 19 games against MLS competition. After the final whistle, the Dynamo made sure to show their fans exactly how they feel with a lap around the stadium to show their appreciation.
“I think the record here at home this year was remarkable. I really do,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We know we cannot bring MLS Cup back to Houston, unfortunately. So at the end of the game, especially when you have a packed house and the fans are behind you 100 percent, you have to acknowledge it. They’re a big reason why we have such a big home record.”
The win set a franchise single-season record for home wins in MLS play as the Dynamo amassed a home record of 13-0-6. Tack on two more results in CONCACAF Champions League play and the Dynamo were undefeated in 21 games across all competitions at BBVA Compass Stadium.
From the streak to the fans to the atmosphere, Houston has created a certain mystique around their new home.
“Yeah, it is awesome playing here,” said Will Bruin. “Fans are always coming out in big numbers and support us very well and get us pumped up. It is a very tough place for opposing teams to come in and play and I think we feel very comfortable playing here.”
The Dynamo's undefeated streak in Houston is now at 30 in all competitions, dating back to June 2011, and is behind only Real Salt Lake’s mark of 34 set from 2009-2011.
Sunday’s result, however, was the perfect cap to an unbeaten first season that had its share of comebacks and big moments. The win’s outburst, the goals and the late-game success made for a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that stuck through the final whistle.
“To say we went the whole year and [the fans] never had to come into the stadium and see us lose is huge,” said defender Bobby Boswell after the game. “I think it’s a credit to them and the guys in this locker room. They play hard for our coaches, our fans and our city.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.