Ricardo Clark's 59th-minute goal effectively put an end to too lengthy streaks that have plagued the Houston Dynamo for more than a month.
Houston's midfielder quickly put a missed opportunity behind him from a minute prior, heading home the game's lone goal ending a scoreless streak of 388 minutes, dating back to June 1, propelling the Dynamo to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Not only did Clark's goal snap a lengthy scoreless streak, it helped his club win for the first time in league play since a 4-0 win at D.C. United on May 8. In all competitions, Houston's win Saturday night was its first since beating FC Tuscon 2-0 in the US Open Cup on May 29.
The Union had its unbeaten streak snapped at five games, suffering its first setback since a 5-3 loss at Montreal on May 25.
Philadelphia had several chances late to tie with Conor Casey and second half sub Matt Kassel both having shots go wide and high in the final minutes.
Houston (7-6-5) had multiple chances in the first half to try to break its scoring drought including two by Andrew Driver that went high and wide, and shots by Omar Cummings -- in the eighth minute -- and Warren Creavalle -- in the 16th minute -- that Zac MacMath saved.
Philadelphia's best chances in the first half came in the third minute and right before halftime. Aaron Wheeler had a header saved by Tally Hall in the third minute. Wheeler then charged in from the left box in the 43rd minute and had his shot batted out by Hall before Casey's shot from the penalty area sailed over the crossbar.
Houston's goal started with Giles Barnes, who had the ball at the edge of the box. He sent it wide to Jermaine Taylor who then send a driven cross into the center of the box where Clark elevated to head it inside the far post.
A minute prior to his goal, Clark received a pass from Eric Brunner but headed it over the bar from six yards out.
Both clubs were playing without key cogs in their respective lineups. Houston were without Will Bruin and Corey Ashe who were with the US men's national team at the Gold Cup, and Brad Davis out due to injury. Philadelphia were without Keon Daniel and Jack McInerney on national team duties in the Gold Cup, and Michael Farfan, Fabinho and Jose Kleberson due to injury.
Houston next travels to New England to face the Revolution on July 13, while Philadelphia (7-6-6) host Chivas USA on July 12.
Houston Dynamo (7-6-5; 26 points) vs. Philadelphia Union (7-6-6; 27 points)
MLS regular season
July 6, 2013 – BBVA Compass Stadium
Houston: Ricardo Clark 2 (Jermaine Taylor 1, Giles Barnes 3) 59
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Warren Creavalle, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Jermaine Taylor; Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Andrew Driver (Alex Dixon 83); Omar Cummings (Cam Weaver 69), Giles Barnes (Jason Johnson 76)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Brian Ownby, Bryan Salazar
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis (Matt Kassel 84); Sebastian Le Toux, Brian Carroll, Leonardo Fernandes (Roger Torres 71), Antoine Hoppenot; Aaron Wheeler (Don Anding 60), Conor Casey
Substitutes not used: Chris Konopka, Jimmy McLaughlin, Chris Albright, Christian Hernandez
HOU: Boniek Garcia (caution) 45
Referee: Matthew Foerster
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Armando Villarreal