The Houston Dynamo got a late goal from Hunter Freeman on Sunday night to win their second consecutive match with a 1-0 decision over the New England Revolution. The result lifts the Dynamo into a three-way tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew.
The Dynamo are next in action on Saturday, taking on the Chicago Fire on the road, before returning to Houston to host back-to-back games on April 29 against D.C. United and May 4 against the Colorado Rapids.
Sunday’s game-winning goal came in the 86th minute on the Dynamo’s 26th shot of the night. Brad Davis delivered a corner kick from the left, and forward Cam Weaver connected with a header that caromed off the crossbar straight up into the air. The ball came down almost on the goal line, and Houston defender Hunter Freeman boxed out New England goalkeeper Matt Reis to deflect the ball into the net from close range. The goal was Freeman’s second career tally in MLS play and his first since April 26, 2007.
Houston is off to the second-best five-game start in club history, collecting eight points from its first five games. The only better start came in the club’s inaugural season of 2006, when the Dynamo opened the season with nine points in their first five games (3-2-0).
The win gives Houston back-to-back home wins in MLS play for the first time since wins over Chivas USA and Kansas City on April 17 and May 1, 2010. It is the first time the Dynamo have ever beaten New England at home, snapping a five-game winless streak (0-4-1).
Houston peppered the New England goal throughout the match, with Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis called upon to make seven saves to keep his team in the game. New England also got goal-line clearances from A.J. Soares and Zack Schilawski – the latter knocking away a Bobby Boswell shot that appeared to have crossed the line – to keep the game scoreless until late.
The Dynamo’s 27 shots, 8 shots on goal, and 12 corner kicks were all season highs, and Houston has totaled 47 shots over the last two games, both home wins.
Defensively, the Dynamo allowed just one shot on goal and earned their first shutout of the season. Goalkeeper Tally Hall saved a bouncing shot from Zak Boggs in the 51st minute for his only stop en route to his third career MLS win and second career MLS shutout.
Houston midfielder Danny Cruz left the game in the 75th minute with a bone bruise on his right knee. He will be evaluated further throughout the week.
Midfielder Brad Davis made his 150th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions, third in club history. Defender Bobby Boswell made his 120th appearance for the club in all competitions. For their MLS careers, defenders Hunter Freeman and Andre Hainault made their 75th and 50th starts, respectively.
Match: Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo at Chicago Fire, Toyota Park,
Next Home Match: Friday, April 29, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. D.C. United, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the game …
“Obviously the goal relieves all of the frustration, and the guys walk off the field happy. It’s good to get another three points. It’s good to get two wins in a row, which we hadn’t done all year, and it leaves us with a good feeling going into next week.
Hunter Freeman’s goal …
“He is just supposed to be a distraction to make sure the goalkeeper can’t come out and catch the ball easily. He took a hit in the first half, so for him to be in there and be a menace is a testament to him. It’s one of those things where you just go in there and make sure the goalkeeper doesn’t have an easy path to the ball.”
Corey Ashe’s play at left back …
“He has been playing very well over there and has played against some good players. Tonight was a little different because they had a big player over there and they tried to loft some balls to him. Corey did very well, though. Quickness-wise, you aren’t going to get a lot of balls behind him. On the ball he is very calm, makes good runs, and makes good decisions.”
DYNAMO FORWARD WILL BRUIN
the game …
“I had my chances, and next time I’ll put them in. It’s just awesome that we found a way to get a goal and get the win. We had our chances, and it doesn’t matter if it’s an upper corner shot or it just goes over the line, a goal is a goal.”
DYNAMO FORWARD CAM WEAVER
the game …
“The whole team, we played for 90 minutes. We dominated the game and didn’t give them many chances. We created a ton of chances for us. On another night it could have been 5-0. It just seemed like it wasn’t our night. To keep pushing on all the way to the end and finally get that goal, it’s three points and we are really happy with that.”