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Notebook: Another road game, another shutout

Another road game, another clean sheet for the Houston Dynamo.

A week after holding Chivas USA scoreless at The Home Depot Center, Houston duplicated their effort in a 1-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at AT&T Park this past Saturday afternoon. And at the root of Saturday’s goose egg was goalkeeper Tally Hall.

The second-year starter played the type of game you need from a goalkeeper on the road: cool, calm, collected and in the right place at the right time.

“We asked him before the game to be a big body for us and come out and catch some balls and take pressure off the defense,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “As the game wore on, he was becoming a better, imposing goalkeeper for us. He made one real good save on Chris Wondolowski and I thought he grew in confidence and effectiveness as the game went on.”

Playing behind a defensive group that is proving to be one of the best in the league, Hall made five saves including his big stop on Wondolowski as the striker got free in the second half.

And having a back stop waiting to gobble up chances can provide confidence for a group that is two games into a seven-game road trip.

“I’m glad he’s behind me directing because he comes up big when we need him, too,” center back Geoff Cameron said of his goalkeeper.

A win’s a win

While the defense came through big time for the Dynamo, Houston had to rely on a penalty for their lone goal. Including Brad Davis’ PK, Houston notched eight shots and put only three on goal. The low shot output and long spells of defending late may cause some to question the aesthetics of Saturday’s win.

Kinnear won’t be one of them.

“They don’t put up pretty wins or ugly wins in the column,” the coach said. “You don’t always play well but still the attitude is to try and win and that’s the most important thing.”

Taylor steps up

With Corey Ashe out with a hamstring strain suffered against Chivas USA last week, Kinnear deployed center back Jermaine Taylor out left against San Jose.

“I thought he did OK,” Kinnear said of Taylor, who filled in on the left side against Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Playoffs last year. “We asked Jermaine to play left back and thought he had some very good moments for us.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com he can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.