The Houston Dynamo earned a 2-1 win against intra-state rival FC Dallas in the third-place match of the preseason Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Houston improved to 1-0-1 in the preseason against MLS opposition. The Dynamo's next preseason action will come in a home scrimmage on Sunday, March 7, as the Dynamo host the Austin Aztex at 1 p.m. at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex.
On Saturday, Houston and Dallas -- both of which had been shut out on Thursday -- traded first-half goals. Dallas opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Marvin Chavez stripped the Dynamo back line and raced in alone on Pat Onstad, eventually slotting a pass to David Ferreira for an easy tap-in. Houston came right back in the 16th minute when Jamaican trialist Lovel Palmer let loose with a 35-yard blast that caromed in off the right post after Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala got a hand to it.
Each team also had a golden chance shortly before halftime. In the 41st minute, the Dynamo's Francisco Navas laid the ball back to Geoff Cameron, and his left-footed cross found Danny Cruz at the far post. Cruz, who hit the post twice on Thursday, bounced a left-footed shot just wide of the far post. Dallas had a chance on a corner kick in the 44th minute on a Dax McCarty corner kick, but an Atiba Harris volley went high.
Cameron and Brian Ching made their first preseason appearances for Houston since Feb. 6, after returning from U.S. national team duty. Brad Davis, who was also with the national team, sat out due to a hamstring injury.
The Dynamo made six changes to start the second half and eventually used nine substitutes. Houston almost took the lead early in the second half when Léandre Griffit floated a back-post shot that Sala tipped off the crossbar and out for a corner kick.
The Dynamo did go on top in the 53rd minute when trialist Navion Boyd reacted first to a Dallas back pass and broke in alone on Sala. Boyd's shot was saved, but Weaver fired the rebound into the net from 20 yards out as Sala scrambled to get back.
Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad had to make one big save to preserve the win, when a cross fell to Dallas midfielder Eric Alexander 15 yards from goal in the 68th minute. Onstad came out and squared up to the shooter, diving to his right to deny Alexander at the near post. The Dynamo hung on from there for the win.
The Dynamo will return to Houston tomorrow and resume training on Monday. 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.
vs. Houston Dynamo
February 27, 2010 -- ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando FL
Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic -- Third Place
FCD -- David Ferreira (Marvin Chavez) 13
HOU -- Lovel Palmer (unassisted) 16
HOU -- Cam Weaver (unassisted) 53
FC Dallas -- Dario Sala, Edson Edward (Zach Loyd 58), Steve Purdy, George John, Jair Benitez (Eric Avila 72), Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty (Misho Fahim 83), David Ferreira, Marvin Chavez (Duke Hashimoto 75), Brek Shea (Anthony Wallace 57), Atiba Harris (Jason Yeisley 69).
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Ryan Cochrane (Erik Ustruck 46), Eddie Robinson (Bobby Boswell 46), Mike Chabala (Wade Barrett 46), Danny Cruz (Sammy Appiah 46), Lovel Palmer (Brian Mullan 59), Geoff Cameron (Léandre Griffit 46), Shaun Saiko (Jonathan De León 59), Francisco Navas, Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 46), Navion Boyd (Dominic Oduro 59).
FCD -- Edson Edward (caution; Reckless Tackle) 42
FCD -- Eric Alexander (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial