There were few surprises during the Houston Dynamo-FC Dallas preseason matchup on Saturday, and the Texas rivals wasted no time this preseason getting down to business in a physical matchup more than a month before their opening games. Referee Jasen Anno whistled 20 fouls during the match, which the Dynamo won, 4-0.
“These guys are all professionals … I think they care, I think if there wasn’t some tackles going around it shows guys didn’t care,” Kinnear said. “Even though it is just the third week of preseason, I think everyone still cares about their job.”
In addition to scoring the second goal on a cross from Brad Davis, Houston midfielder Geoff Cameron was active in midfield, and as a result found himself on the receiving end of a number of Dallas’ 14 fouls. The physicality boiled over after Davis’ goal when FC Dallas right back Jair Benitez engaged both Brian Ching and Cameron in verbal confrontations. According to Ching, Benitez spat in Cameron’s face during their altercation.
“The only thing that marred the game was Benitez spitting in Geoff’s face,” Ching said. “You don’t need that."
The Dynamo were able to take advantage of Dallas’ physicality, with Davis converting on a free kick from just outside the penalty box in the 40th minute.
“The third [goal] I won a foul at the top of the box and luckily hit it well and found the back of the net,” Davis said.
All three Dynamo first-half goals came on set pieces.
“Set pieces are something our team has done pretty well in the past. I put some good balls in there, the first one was touched in by one of their guys and the second Geoff [Cameron] attacked the ball very well,” said Davis.
“Set pieces have always been a big part of our organization,” Ching said. “We have one of the best servers of the ball in Brad, and if you go back and look at our championship years, we scored 50 percent of our goals on set pieces.”
The Dynamo and FC Dallas have a chance to meet again when both teams travel to Orlando, Fla. for the Disney Pro Soccer Classic February 24-26. The Dynamo will face Toronto FC in the semifinals while FC Dallas play USL club Orlando City (the former Austin Aztex). If both clubs win or lose they will face each other in the final match of the tournament.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.