Countdown to Opening Day: #17, Dynamo scored 17 goals in final 15 minutes of games in 2012

With the Dynamo set to begin the 2013 season in just 17 days – against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 2 – we are counting down to kickoff with a Dynamo-centric countdown to opening day. See bottom of this post for the complete countdown list.

Each day, we’ll post a short description of what makes the number significant. If you have any Dynamo-related numbers of your own, post them in the comment section below.

Today, we continue with #17:

The Dynamo scored 17 goals in the final 15 minutes of games in 2012. The number of late goals is easily a franchise record, eclipsing the previous mark of 14, set in 2011.

Houston rallied for 14 wins, salvaged a lot of important ties and completed an unbeaten home schedule in 2012. What is one thing that helps make all three possible? Late goals.

It is simple: A late goal can turn a tie into a win, a bad loss into a draw, and of course, preserve a home unbeaten streak and undefeated home season. The Dynamo specialized in late-game dramatics in 2012, with 17 goals after the 75th minute of regular season games. Houston scored a total of 48 regular season goals in 2012, with the goals in the final 15 minutes of matches accounting for a full 35% of its goals.

17 late goals in a season is historic, with only the 2012 San Jose Earthquakes (22) and 2009 Real Salt Lake (19) scoring more goals after the 75th minute in a season since the Dynamo entered the league in 2006. 

Consider this: With 17 goals after the 75th minute in 34 regular season games, the Dynamo averaged a late goal in half of their games. 

Now there are reasons why generally more goals are scored late in games. Players are tired and perhaps more mistake-prone, and teams that are desperate for a goal take more risks, leading to more goals in their favor and also leaving them vulnerable to allow a goal. Still, the Dynamo's 17 goals in the final 15 minutes of games set a franchise standard for clutch. 

Most late goals in a season (since 2006)

Year Club Late Goals (76th minute or later)
2012 San Jose Earthquakes 22
2009  Real Salt Lake 18
2012 Houston Dynamo 17


Late goals that helped the Dynamo achieve important results in 2012:

Date Opponent Goal scorer Minute  Result
March 12 @ Chivas USA Andre Hanianult 92+ 1-0 Win
April 21 @ Columbus Brian Ching 81 2-2 Draw
May 19 @ New England Luiz Camargo 87 2-2 Draw
June 16 FC Dallas  Adam Moffat  76 2-1 Win
June 20 Toronto FC Will Bruin 90 3-3 Draw
June 30 Philadelphia Brian Ching 82 2-1 Win
July 18 Sporting KC Calen Carr 79 2-1 Win
August 19 Columbus Adam Moffat 82 2-2 Draw
September 6 Real Salt Lake  Colin Clark  94+ 1-0 Win
September 29 New England Ricardo Clark 77 2-0 Win

Houston Dynamo late goals, year-by-year

Year Total goals Goals after 75th minute
2012 48 17
2011 45 14
2010 40 8
2008 45 8
2006 44 8
2009 39 5
2007 43 5

Complete Countdown to Opening Day List:

#18 - Dynamo have lost just 18 MLS home games in seven years

#19 - Dynamo finish 2012 with franchise best +19 home goal differential

#20 - Brad Davis' combined goals and assists in 2011 and 2012

Return to the blog on Thursday for number 16 on our countdown to opening day.