The Houston Dynamo fell 6-5 in a shootout after a 0-0 regulation tie with the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals of the preseason Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. It was Houston's first game against another MLS team this preseason. The Dynamo will next be in action in the tournament's third-place game on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT against the loser of tonight's game between Toronto FC and FC Dallas. Fans can follow Saturday's Dynamo game with an internet-only radio broadcast on HoustonDynamo.com.
Thursday's game, played in temperatures that dropped into the 30-degree range, included several good chances in the first half. The Dynamo's first came in just the second minute, when Jamaican trialist Navion Boyd ran onto a loose ball in the right corner and crossed for Cam Weaver. He turned at the penalty spot and laid the ball off for Danny Cruz to hit a one-timer, but the shot caromed off the left post.
New York's best chance came in the ninth minute, when Costa Rican midfielder Roy Miller unlocked the Dynamo defense with a give-and-go, but Houston's Pat Onstad reacted well to make a key save with his trailing leg.
Both teams made wholesale changes during the second half, with the Dynamo bringing on 10 substitutes and New York eight by the end of the game. Although the Red Bulls had more possession, Houston again had the best chance of the half in the 58th minute. Cruz cut inside from the left flank and unleashed a dipping right-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Greg Sutton, only to carom off the inside of the right post.
New York also went close in the final half, with Miller missing wide against charging Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 83rd minute. When the match ended scoreless, the teams went to a penalty shootout to determine who advanced to Saturday's championship game.
Both teams were perfect in the five rounds of the shootout, converting all 10 shots. For the Dynamo, Wade Barrett, Dominic Oduro, Cruz, Peter Maciel, and Erik Ustruck all converted their shots. In the sixth frame, Geoff Cameron's effort toward the top right corner deflected off the underside of the crossbar and bounced away. New York then won the shootout with a left-footed shot from Austin Da Luz.
After playing in the third-place match on Saturday, the Dynamo will return to Houston on Sunday. The MLS regular season will begin March 27, with the Dynamo playing at FC Dallas, and Houston's home opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, against defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.
New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo
February 25, 2010 -- ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando FL
Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic -- Semifinals
HOU –- Wade Barrett (Goal)
NY -- Juan Pablo Angel (Goal)
HOU -- Dominic Oduro (Goal)
NY -- Joel Lindpere (Goal)
HOU -- Danny Cruz (Goal)
NY -- Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Goal)
HOU -- Peter Maciel (Goal)
NY -- Tim Ream (Goal)
HOU -- Erik Ustruck (Goal)
NY -- Roy Miller (Goal)
HOU -- Geoff Cameron (Crossbar)
NY -- Austin Da Luz (Goal)
New York Red Bulls -- Bouna Coundoul (Greg Sutton 46), Enar Jaager (Luke Sassano 46), Andrew Boyens (Tim Ream 46), Mike Petke (Carlos Mendes 69), Danleigh Borman (Jeremy Hall 43), Roy Miller, Seth Stammler (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 46), Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards (Conor Chinn 69), Juan Pablo Angel, John Wolyniec (Austin Da Luz 46).
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad (Tally Hall 46), Ryan Cochrane (Erik Ustruck 46), Bobby Boswell (Eddie Robinson 46), Mike Chabala (Wade Barrett 60), Danny Cruz, Lovel Palmer (Sammy Appiah 46), Léandre Griffit (Geoff Cameron 46), Shaun Saiko (Jonathan De León 46), Francisco Navas (Peter Maciel 68), Navion Boyd (Dominic Oduro 46), Cam Weaver (David Walker 62).
NY -- Mike Petke (caution) 58
HOU -- Peter Maciel (caution) 90
NY -- Joel Lindpere (caution) 91+
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial