HOUSTON – The streak rolled on in Houston as the Dynamo found little opposition from the reigning Supporters' Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes.
Houston controlled the game from the opening kick, keeping the ball for long spells of time and shutting down the misfiring San Jose attack. Paced by two first-half goals -- their first in the opening 45 of the season -- the Dynamo cruised to a 2-0 win to run their home unbeaten streak in all competitions to 34 games, drawing level with Real Salt Lake for the MLS record.
In constrast to their first four games, Houston did their work early.
The Dynamo opened the floodgates in the first half as they successfully turned possession into production. Will Bruin broke the ice with a professional finish in front of goal in the 17th minute, cashing in on Boniek Garcia’s hard work. The Honduran international played through the legs of Justin Morrow and fed a low pass to Bruin, who wasted no time in slotting home his first of the year.
The goal was just the first reward Houston’s dynamic attack would produce on the night, as Giles Barnes provided the second before the halftime whistle.
After Bruin came close to snaring a brace, Houston struck goal again in the 42nd minute on a sublime, inside-out team goal. Adam Moffat recovered what would have been a Garcia turnover to free Brad Davis down the left flank. Fresh off a US national team appearance against Mexico in World Cup qualifying, the left-footer lifted a teasing cross that drew San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch off his line, only to be beaten by the streaking Barnes, who thumped home a header for his second goal in as many games.
The goals punctuated a complete performance for the Dynamo. Houston had the clear advantage on the night in the possession department, dictating the flow and pace of the match throughout. While the ball was being worked around the Dynamo half, Houston’s defensive efforts largely neutralized San Jose danger man Chris Wondolowski.
The former Dynamo forward’s tough night was epitomized by a stoppage-time header that clanged off the framework instead of beating Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, who was rarely called on during the match.
The Earthquakes sorely missed the impact of target men Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon, who could have provided a useful presence in the Dynamo box. The good news for San Jose is that Gordon made his first appearance since their November 2012 playoff loss to the LA Galaxy, coming on for Adam Jahn in the 68th minute.
Unfortunately for San Jose, Gordon could not give them the lift to overcome a Houston squad that had matters well under control for the duration of the evening.
Houston will attempt to set the MLS unbeaten mark against the Chicago Fire on April 14. In the interim they will travel to JELD-WEN Field to face the Portland Timbers Saturday. San Jose return home next week to try and get back on the winning track against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Houston Dynamo (3-1-0; 9 points) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (2-2-1; 7 points)
March 30, 2013 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
HOU: Will Bruin 1 (Boniek Garcia 1) 17
HOU: Giles Barnes 2 (Brad Davis 1) 42
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe; Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 77); Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 70); Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 83).
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Omar Cummings, Warren Creavalle.
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Ty Harden, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow; Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales, Chris Wondolowski, Adam Jahn
Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Brad Ring, Nana Attakora, Dan Gargan.
HOU: Adam Moffat (caution) 22
SJ: Ty Harden (caution) 53
SJ: Victor Bernardez (caution) 75
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Mark Cahen
4th Official: Armando Villarreal