The Houston Dynamo played in their first friendly of the 2018 preseason against UTRGV tonight in a closed scrimmage at the home of the RGV FC Toros. The game was divided into four 20-minute periods, and the Dynamo rotated players throughout the contest.
Forward Alberth Elis scored the first goal of the preseason for the Dynamo in the dying moments of the first period. In a quick transition move that spanned the length of the field in a matter of seconds, the ball went from defender Philippe Senderos inside the Dynamo penalty area to midfielder Juan David Cabezas to midfielder Boniek García in the middle of the park. From there, García found Kevin Garcia racing down the right flank and the defender played a low cross into the middle of the box, finding La Pantera at the penalty spot where he sent the ball to the right side of the net.
In the second period, the Dynamo had numerous opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the 10th minute, midfielder Memo Rodriguez took a low curling right-footed shot from the top of the box that forced a save by the UTRGV goalkeeper. In the 15th minute, forward Mac Steeves took a shot from 23 yards out in the middle forcing the keeper to punch it away. Four minutes later, the Dynamo threatened again via midfielder Arturo Álvarez, who cracked a left-footed shot from 20 yards out, but the UTRGV goalie parried the shot wide.
The Dynamo were able to find the back of the net again midway through the third period. In the 13th minute, defender Sheldon Sullivan got free down the right side, running on to an outlet from midfielder Pablo Aguilar, and crossed the ball to Steeves eight yards out. The UTRGV goalkeeper got his right hand on the ball, but Dynamo midfielder Marcelo Palomino drilled a right-footed shot to the roof of the net with his first touch.
The fourth period saw a number of RGV FC players and Dynamo rookies take the field. Midfielder Pablo Aguilar, playing the No. 10 role, created a pair of stellar chances late in the period, first initiating a move that forced a sliding clearance from a UTRGV defender on the line, then springing Sullivan on the left side for a cross that led to a scramble in the box. Neither ball found the back of the net, leaving the period scoreless.
The Dynamo will continue to train in the Rio Grande Valley for the rest of the week and will take on RGV FC Saturday night at 6 p.m. CST. That match will be open to the public, with tickets starting at $5 at the stadium box office or online at HEBParkRGV.com.
Houston Dynamo 2-0 UTRGV
January 31, 2018 – H-E-B Park – Edinburg, Texas
HOU: Alberth Elis 1 (Kevin Garcia 1) 20 first period
HOU: Marcelo Palomino 1 (unassisted) 13 third period
Houston Dynamo first period: Chris Seitz; Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Philippe Senderos, Dylan Remick; Eric Alexander, Juan David Cabezas; Alberth Elis, Boniek García, Andrew Wenger; Mauro Manotas
Houston Dynamo second period: Chris Seitz; Mekeil Williams, Adolfo Machado (Alejandro Fuenmayor 11), Leonardo, Dylan Remick (DaMarcus Beasley 11); Darwin Cerén, Charlie Ward; Alberth Elis (Arturo Alvarez 11), Tomás Martínez, Andrew Wenger (Memo Rodriguez 11); Mauro Manotas (Mac Steeves 11)
Houston Dynamo third period: Patrick McLain; George Malki, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Mekeil Williams (Kevin Garcia 11), DaMarcus Beasley (Justin Bilyeu 11); Charlie Ward (Eric Bird 11), Todd Wharton; Arturo Alvarez (Marcelo Palomino 11), Tomás Martínez (Pablo Aguilar 11), Memo Rodriguez (Sheldon Sullivan 11); Mac Steeves
Houston Dynamo fourth period: Michael Nelson; George Malki, Connor Donovan, Kyle Adams, Justin Bilyeu (Sheldon Sullivan 11); Eric Bird, Marcelo Palomino; Manny Padilla, Pablo Aguilar, Bryce Marion; Guillermo Delgado