HOUSTON – With an inviting opportunity to fortify their playoff positioning, the Houston Dynamo burned an overmatched Chivas USA defense with a second-half offensive outburst en route to a 5-1 win Saturday night.
Giles Barnes led the way, scoring on either side of the halftime break to give Houston the lead twice on the night. Will Bruin and Boniek García– who bagged a brace – also found the net to help secure a crucial three points at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The win pushes Houston to 43 points, three clear of the fifth-place New England Revolution, their opponents next weekend, and just two behind the third-place Montreal Impact.
Barnes’ first goal was a slice of redemption for the striker. Twice in the first half the Englishman had clear looks on goal only to be bested by Kennedy, and in the 39th minute the forward finally got one to go.
On the Dynamo's fifth corner kick of the half, Brad Davis placed the ball in the perfect spot for Barnes, who shook loose of Chivas defender Carlos Bocanegra to nod home the game’s first goal. It was a milestone for Davis, as he became the seventh player to notch 100 regular-season assists in MLS history.
But Houston’s first-half lead evaporated just five minutes into the second half after a Jermaine Taylor giveaway led to a Eric Avila goal. After the Dynamo defender’s turnover in his own half, Avila set up rookie Carlos Alvarez, whose shot clanged off the left post. But the rebound floated across the box and the quick-thinking Avila headed it into the empty net for the equalizer in the 50th minute.
The back half of Barnes’ brace nixed that outcome quickly as the forward grabbed the lead back for Houston just four minutes later. Barnes was played in on an excellent through ball by Ricardo Clark, and he cashed in from 19 yards out to give Houston an advantage they never relinquished.
With his brace, Barnes now has eight goals to lead the Dynamo in scoring in his first full season with the club.
The Dynamo exhibited complete control as the night unfolded. The home team enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and created 16 scoring chances, directing 10 on goal.
At the other end of the field, Houston was able to keep Erick “Cubo” Torres at bay. The dangerous Mexican striker was the focal point of Houston’s defensive and rarely got a clean look in the penalty box.
In the 63rd minute, Bruin joined Barnes in the scoring party. Released by a Warren Creavalle through ball, Bruin initially stumbled as Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy seemed to have the play under control, only for the ball to nick past his outstretched foot and fall kindly for Bruin as he advanced into the penalty box alone. He made no mistake, placing his effort out of Kennedy’s reach for his seventh goal of the season.
Just for good measure Houston notched a fourth strike with a fluid passing sequence. Creavalle, Bruin and Cam Weaver used five passes to completely turn Chivas’ defense and Boniek Garcia was the beneficiary, knocking home a low bouncer for his first goal of the year.
Garcia added a 90th minute penalty-kick goal after a handball at the goal line to finish the rout and chalk up his first brace in a Dynamo uniform.
Houston Dynamo (12-10-7; 43 points) vs. Chivas USA (6-16-8; 26 points)
MLS regular season
September 21, 2013 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Houston: Giles Barnes 7 (Brad Davis 8) 39
Chivas USA: Eric Avila 3 (unassisted) 50
Houston: Giles Barnes 8 (Ricardo Clark 4) 54
Houston: Will Bruin 7 (unassisted) 63
Houston: Boniek Garcia 1 (Will Bruin 7) 79
Houston: Boniek Garcia 2 (penalty kick) 90+1
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe; Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Servando Carrasco 83); Will Bruin (Omar Cummings 81) Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 75)
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric; Alexander Lopez; Jason Johnson; Eric Bunner
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy; Mario de Luna, Bobby Burling (Steve Purdy 45), Carlos Bocanegra, Jorge Villafaña; Edgar Mejia, Oswaldo Minda, Eric Avila (Matthew Fondy 62), Carlos Alvarez (Carlo Chueca 78), Bryan de la Fuente, Erick Torres
Unused substitutes: Jose Manuel Rivera; Patrick McLain; Julio Morales; Josue Soto
Chivas USA: Carlos Alvarez (caution) 41
Chivas USA: Oswaldo Minda (caution) 52
Chivas USA: Erick Torres (caution) 52
Houston: Bobby Boswell (caution) 70
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Mark Cahen
4th Official: Jair Marrufo