The Houston Dynamo opened their 2008 preseason with a hard-fought, 1-0 win against the team now bearing their former name: the San Jose Earthquakes.
In front of a boisterous crowd at PAL Stadium, both teams battled early for midfield supremacy. It was Houston, though, that scored the first and only goal of the game in the 44th minute, thanks to a free kick by Stuart Holden. His delivery was aimed for Chris Wondolowski, who knocked the ball across the goalmouth, where Ricardo Clark got free to drive a shot past Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon and into the back of the net.
“It was probably one of the easiest goals I’ve ever scored,” Clark said. “The ball just bounced to me, I was in the right spot, and it was easy from there. It was not the greatest goal, but I’ll take it.”
“Houston made several substitutions at halftime and during the second half, including rookie goalkeeper Corbin Waller replacing Pat Onstad. Waller had at least three good saves in the second half that prevented San Jose from tying the score, including two stops in the final 20 minutes.
With the 1-0 win in the books, the Orange will train tomorrow at PAL Stadium before taking on Cal in a scrimmage on Friday. A second pre-season match against the Earthquakes is set for Saturday at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, with kickoff scheduled for 9 p.m. CT.
“These games are just about preparation,” Clark said. “They are just practice for the real thing coming up in Hawaii, so we just have to take things one day at a time so we can get to the Pan-Pacific Championship with plenty of confidence.
Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes
February 13, 2008 -- PAL Stadium, San Jose CA
HOU -- Ricardo Clark (Chris Wondolowski) 44
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad (Corbin Waller 46), Patrick Ianni, Eddie Robinson (Steve Wondolowski 64), Bobby Boswell (Mike Chabala 64), Stuart Holden (Jeremy Barlow 64), Richard Mulrooney (Nick Hatzke 64), Ricardo Clark (Geoff Cameron 46), Dwayne De Rosario (John Michael Hayden 64), Corey Ashe (Johnny Alcaraz 64), Brian Ching (Erik Ustruck 64), Chris Wondolowski (James Georgeff 64).
San Jose Earthquakes -- Joe Cannon (Preston Burpo 46), James Riley (Chris Roner 64), Nick Garcia (Taylor Graham 46), Jason Hernandez (Jay Ayres 64), Chris Pozniak (Greg Curry 64, Robert Sandoval 75), Shea Salinas (Adam Smarte 46), Joe Vide (Eric Denton 46), Ned Grabavoy (Fabrice Noel 64), Ivan Guerrero (Tim Bohnenkamp 64), Gavin Glinton (Yuri Morales 46), Kei Kamara (Matt Taylor 64).
HOU -- Jeremy Barlow (caution) 74
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial