Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Dynamo 2, Toronto FC 0 -- postgame notes

The Houston Dynamo moved up one spot to fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win over Toronto FC Saturday night at Robertson Stadium. Houston used second-half goals from Danny Cruz and Geoff Cameron to earn its first win since June 11, while the Dynamo held Toronto without a shot to earn their second consecutive shutout.

Houston moved past Kansas City into fourth place with the win, and the Dynamo will host Sporting KC next Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.

After a scoreless first half, Houston got the game’s first goal in the 50th minute. Midfielder Danny Cruz broke free on the right after a Dynamo steal and played the ball forward to Brian Ching near the halfway line. Ching held off a defender and, while falling down, played the ball back into Cruz’s path behind the Toronto defense. Cruz raced in on goal and sent a low shot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei to give Houston the lead.

The goal marked the sixth time this season in 19 games that Houston has scored first, and the Dynamo are now 4-1-1 in those games. It was Danny Cruz’s first goal since June 26, 2010 and the third of his MLS career. Brian Ching earned his first assist of the season on the play.

Houston put the game away in the 81st minute. Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei made consecutive saves on Houston’s Will Bruin and Colin Clark to set up a corner kick. On the corner, Clark’s delivery was deflected into the middle of the penalty area, and Houston midfielder Geoff Cameron reached the ball first to slam it past Frei and seal the game. It was Cameron’s third goal of the season, tying his career high.

Defensively, the Dynamo back line – playing with the same lineup as in its previous two games – held Toronto FC without a shot and recorded its second consecutive shutout. Houston has now gone 197 minutes without allowing a goal. Goalkeeper Tally Hall earned his fifth win of the season and the fifth MLS shutout of his career.

Houston midfielder Brad Davis made his 164th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions, passing Brian Mullan for the second-highest total in club history. Midfielder Colin Clark played in his 100th career MLS game. Midfielder Geoff Cameron made his 90th career start for Houston and his 70th in MLS play.

The Dynamo played without forwards Calen Carr (concussion) and defender Eddie Robinson (MCL sprain).

Reserve Match (Friendly): Sunday, July 10, 10 a.m., Dynamo vs. Monterrey U-20, Robertson Stadium
Next Match: Saturday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, Robertson Stadium



On the game …
“I was happy we won. It took us a while to get a goal. We had some decent chances in the first half. I felt if we could score the first goal, we would win the game because they weren’t pushing much forward, and defensively we were very solid tonight. I thought if we got a goal it could be enough, and thankfully it was.”

On halftime adjustments …
“At halftime we were frustrated, because we did have some good looks in front of goal. It’s always good to win at home, because it allows the fans to go home happy. With these three points, you can get some momentum and pass some people if you put some wins together.”

On a second consecutive shutout …
“It’s always good when you get no goals against. We made a few mistakes, but we covered up for it. Tally gave a lot of credit to his back four for making his job easier than it had to be.”


On the game …
“It was a good hard-fought game. We came out and wanted to win, and we did that. We got another home game, got confidence, got another three points, and we’re going to try to do the same exact thing that we did this weekend and take it into next week to get three points.”

On his goal …
“It happened pretty quick. The little deflection off of Will [Bruin] bounced in front, and I just saw the ball bouncing and hit the ball as hard as I could. I kept the ball low, and it went in the net.”


On the game …
“Tying so many teams as of late, we really needed those three points. After their game against New York, we knew that if we scored one, the heads would go down. We knew that if we scored two, it would be over. Obviously, the humidity played a huge factor, and so once we scored one, it was to get the second one and manage the game.”

On the team’s record …
“We know we have a long, long, long way to go. We can celebrate now, but come tomorrow and the next day, it’s back to work. We need to climb the ladder. We have some home game that we need to start utilizing. Ties are good, but they’re not great. Especially since we’re at home, we need three points.”