The Houston Dynamo fell to a 2-0 home defeat to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, slipping to fourth place in the Eastern Conference behind Philadelphia, New York, and Columbus. Crew rookie Bernardo Anor had a goal and an assist in his first career start to key the Columbus win.
After the Dynamo had two early chances stopped by Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer, the Crew took the lead before halftime. Bernardo Anor won the ball near midfield, dribbled into the attacking half, and slipped a pass through for forward Andres Mendoza, who converted his chance from the top of the penalty area for his fifth goal of the season.
Houston came out attacking after halftime but faced an uphill challenge after midfielder Lovel Palmer was ejected in the 52nd minute for his second yellow card. It was Palmer’s third red card in 40 career MLS starts and the first time he has come out of a game this season.
The Dynamo responded well to the one-man disadvantage, controlling possession and creating several good scoring chances. In the 60th minute, first Will Bruin and then Brad Davis ripped left-footed shots on goal that were palmed away by Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer.
Columbus then put the game away on the counterattack in the 77th minute, as substitute Justin Meram broke into the penalty area and reached the right side of the end line before crossing to the back post for Bernardo Anor. His initial shot was stopped by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, but Anor converted the rebound for his first professional goal.
Houston had one more great chance to score in stoppage time, but Brian Ching’s goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by Julius James.
Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis made the 200th regular season start of his MLS career, becoming the 50th player in Major League Soccer history to reach that milestone. Forward Brian Ching made his second straight appearance as a substitute, playing in his 150th career game for the Dynamo in all competitions.
Due to injury and national team duty, the Dynamo played without forward Calen Carr (concussion); midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica); and defenders Eddie Robinson (MCL sprain) and Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica).
Match: Saturday, June 25, 5 p.m. CT, Dynamo at D.C. United, RFK Stadium,
Next Home Match: Saturday, July 9, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
“We didn’t play well. We lost. … We all came out flat. We gave up a terrible goal. In the second half, we had a little bit of energy, and the red card killed us. We had a couple of chances, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. We were just off tonight. Individually and collectively, we were off, and when you have everyone off, your chances of winning are slim.”
trying to come back …
“We were a little bit pedestrian tonight. We kept on losing the ball, so it was hard to make them run and defend when our passing sequence was not good. I think after Lovel was sent off, we had a good little spurt. After that, though, they had good possession of the ball. I can’t fault our guys, though, for trying.”
On frustration …
“The wins and losses are what count the most, and obviously I want the fans to love the team and the way we play. When we win games, you get that love and adoration, and when you lose you get frustrated fans.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO FORWARD CAM WEAVER
On the game …
“It was a poor performance from us all around. I think we showed more energy in the second half, and we played better when we were down a man. We needed to bring that type of fighting energy from the beginning, and we didn’t. We deserved to lose.”
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER DANNY CRUZ
On the game …
“We are upset. We lost 2-0. It wasn’t a good night. It is tough to play a man down, but we still had our opportunities. Even before the red card, it wasn’t a good night. Obviously it doesn’t make it any easier, and this loss puts us in a hole, but now we need to dig ourselves out.”