Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

Dynamo U-18s battle to scoreless draw

More than 200 spectators lined the field at Elizabeth Meyer Park in Spring on Tuesday night to watch the Dynamo Academy U-18s battle Dallas Texans Houston to a scoreless tie. The game was a makeup game after their April 18 match was postponed due to inclement weather. Houston was leading that game 1-0 in the second half but was forced to start over on Tuesday.

The Dynamo dominated possession throughout the match, but had trouble finishing past DTH goalkeeper Jonathan Leon. In the 24th minute, Mark Donohue (Awty International) freed himself in the box for an open shot, but Leon stopped him once and managed to scramble to his feet to knock away the rebound. Six minutes later, off a free kick, Steven Salinas (Katy Mayde Creek) found Abe Matamoros (Strake Jesuit) for a flick header, but Matamoros hit the crossbar, and the rebound from Martin Castillo (Pasadena Sam Rayburn) hit the post to continue the unlucky trend for the Dynamo.

The physicality picked up in the second half, as both teams were looking to secure spots in the USSF Development Academy playoffs. In the 75th minute, Castillo dribbled past two defenders but was taken down in the 18-yard box before he could release a strike. Unfortunately for Houston, Irvinn Ramirez (Fort Bend Marshall) could not capitalize, as he pushed his penalty kick wide of the goal.

Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Wall (Strake Jesuit) made critical saves throughout the night to keep DTH off the board, but the story remained the Dynamo's inability to capitilize on scoring opportunities.

The result left the Dynamo with a fifth-place finish in the Texas Division after leading the group at the winter break; Houston is a lowly 1-4-2 in division play in 2010 after struggling with injuries and absences. The division's top two teams - FC Dallas and either the Dallas Texans or the Lonestar Aztex - will qualify for the Development Academy playoffs automatically. The remaining teams, including the Dynamo, have a chance to qualify as one of 12 national wildcards based on their overall points per game.

With only three games left on the schedule - all at the USSF Development Academy's Spring Showcase in Sarasota, Fla. - the Dynamo will need a very good performance May 28-31 to reach the playoffs. The Dynamo return to the field this Saturday, when a mix of players from the U-16 and U-18 squads will take on the U.S. U-17 national team at Robertson Stadium. The game is part of a doubleheader and will start at approximately 9:30 p.m., following the first team match between the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United.

U-18: Houston Dynamo Academy vs. Dallas Texans Houston
May 18, 2010 -- Meyer Park, Spring, TX
USSF Development Academy -- Texas Division

Scoring Summary:

Dynamo Academy -- Pat Wall, Steven Salinas, Sebastien Ibeagha, C.J. Odenigwe, Leo Ayala (Erik Centeno 58), Josue Morales (Sebastian Karpen), Jade George (Juan Lopez 76), Irvinn Ramirez, Abe Matamoros, Martin Castillo (Eloy Gonzalez Litan 83), Mark Donohue.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial