With the Dynamo set to begin the 2013 season in just 10 days – against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 2 – we are counting down to kickoff with a Dynamo-centric countdown to Opening Day. See the bottom of this post for the complete countdown list.
Each day, we’ll post a description of what makes the number significant. If you have any comments on the subjects, post them in the comment section below.
Today, we continue with #10:
When Boniek Garcia joined the Dynamo from Olimpia of Honduras on June 27, the club was 5-5-5 after one of the worst defeats of the season, a 4-2 setback in Montreal on June 23. Garcia was expected to help the club, adding a dynamic attacking dimension to the midfield. But few could have envisioned the significant impact the Honduran would have on Houston's 2012 season, which ended at the MLS Cup final.
From Garcia's debut on June 30 through the end of the season, the Dynamo had a +10 goal differential, with 28 goals scored and 18 goals allowed in 19 games. Before his arrival, the club had scored 20 goals and conceded 23, for a -3 goal difference. Granted, Houston's first seven games of the season were on the road, so the first 15 games of the year were under different circumstances than the final 19 with Garcia. Still, one cannot deny that the crafty midfielder was a major part of the Dynamo's summer surge, as the club went 9-4-6 with Garcia after the 5-5-5 start to the season.
The Dynamo did not lose any of Garcia's first eight games with the club, going 5-0-3 beginning with his June 30 debut against Philadelphia. At the end of the season, Garcia was voted by his teammates as the Dynamo Players' Player of the Year, the ultimate sign of respect from teammates. It seemed like Garcia impacted every game he played, and he played 90 minutes in all 17 regular season appearances, and 90 minutes in all six playoff games. Below are some of Garcia's stand out performances from his debut season in orange.
|6/30||Philadelphia||W, 2-1||After just two days of training with the club, assists on Brad Davis' opening goal just 19 minutes into debut|
|7/15||D.C. United||W, 4-0||Assists on Will Bruin's goal and then scores his first goal with Houston, which he declares the first header goal of his career|
|7/28||@ Toronto FC||W, 2-0||Combines with Davis to setup Brian Ching's late goal, sealing first road win since March as unbeaten streak reaches seven games|
|8/19||Columbus||T, 2-2||Continues blossoming partnership with Davis, assisting on his goal in 19th minute|
|8/25||Toronto FC||T, 1-1||Garcia is provider on Bruin's goal, marking fifth assist in 11 games with Houston|
|9/14||@ Sporting KC||T, 1-1||Garcia sets up Davis' second half goal as partners team up again|
|9/23||@ Philadelphia||L, 3-1||Honduran provides first half equalizer with rocket off far post|
|9/29||New England||W, 2-0||Garcia seals big win with stoppage time volley goal, followed by memorable knee-slide celebration in corner|
|10/20||Philadelphia||W, 3-1||On night Eastern Conference playoff field is settled, Garcia's provides game-winning goal in 71st minute, followed by a two-fist celebration through raining streamers|
Return to the blog on Thursday for number 9 on our countdown to Opening Day.
Complete Countdown to Opening Day List: