The Houston Dynamo got their preseason match schedule started on Wednesday with their annual scrimmage against the Dynamo Academy U-18s, cruising to a 4-0 win with three goals in the second half.
The Dynamo put the pressure on early, with Omar Cummings forcing a pair of saves from Academy goalkeeper Andy Rios in quick succession in the 10th and 11th minute. Cummings took a first time shot after receiving a ball from Tony Cascio in the box, which Rios made a diving stop to keep the match scoreless early on. Just moments later, Cummings tested Rios again after Andrew Driver's cross from the left flank found the Jamaican's head, but the shot went right to the Academy keeper. Rios came up big again 18 minutes in, tipping a low Will Bruin shot off the post.
The senior side broke through just before the half-hour mark. Cascio picked up the ball near the halfway line and played a ball just behind the Academy defense for a diagonal run from Bruin. The fourth-year forward found himself one-on-one with Rios and provided a cool finish to open the scoring.
The Academy came away form the first half with a couple quality chances on goal. Memo Rodriguez' shot from 20 yards out forced a diving save from Dynamo first half keeper Tyler Deric in the 35th minute. The U-18s had another chance five minutes later, when Elo Ozumba freed Zachary Jackson on the right sideline, allowing the Academy midfielder to play a cross into the middle of the box. His teammates were unable to tap it in, but Justin Reyes ended up with control until he went to ground looking for a penalty that the referee did not give. Reyes had another chance just before halftime on the counterattack, but his solo attempt was smothered by Deric.
The Dynamo entered the second half with a fresh lineup, but the new faces continued to control the match. The first team had two chances cleared off the goal line before they were able to add to their tally. Off an Alexander López corner kick, Eric Brunner's header flashed on target but was deflected over the crossbar by Brian Ownby, who was on the line shielding the goalkeeper. An hour in, Mark Sherrod dribble around Rios on an individual run, but his shot was cleared by a retreating Stuart Close.
Sherrod got his revenge and his goal minutes later, however. Ownby chipped a ball from the edge of the area to the far post that was slightly deflected, but still managed to fall the Dynamo's second round SuperDraft selection for an easy blast into the back of the net.
The match was put away in the next ten minutes as the Dynamo were able to double their lead. Trialist Sito Seoane curled a left-footed free kick from just outside the penalty area past Rios to make it 3-0, and then Jason Johnson took a pass from Ownby and cut inside on his left foot for a low, hard shot to the far post to finish the scoring.
The Dynamo continue their preseason schedule this Sunday, Feb. 2, against the Colorado Rapids. The match will be played at Houston Sports Park with kickoff set for 11 a.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. Houston Dynamo Academy U-18
January 29, 2014 – Houston Sports Park, Houston, Texas
HOU: Will Bruin (Tony Cascio) 29
HOU: Mark Sherrod (Brian Ownby) 63
HOU: Sito Seoane 67
HOU: Jason Johnson (Brian Ownby) 73
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric (Michael Lisch 46); Anthony Arena (AJ Cochran 46), David Horst (Eric Brunner 46), Mike Chabala (Euan Holden† 46); Servando Carrasco (Ricardo Clark 46); Tony Cascio (Brian Ownby 46), Giles Barnes (Sito Seoane* 46), Boniek García (Alexander López 46), Andrew Driver (Bryan Salazar 46); Omar Cummings (Jason Johnson 46), Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 46)
Houston Dynamo Academy: Andy Rios; Louis Thomas (Garret Welch 63), Stuart Close, Albion Neziri (Jose Duarte 81), David Brown (Gabriel Camera 76); Matthew Dorsey (Daniel Rutter 63), Memo Rodriguez, Thomas Barboza (Bryce Marion 63); Zachary Jackson (Josue Palomino 53), Elo Ozumba (Emmanuel Usen 53, Giovanni Pacheco 81), Justin Reyes (Irvin Ramirez 53)
HOU: Servando Carrasco (caution) 33
HOU: Anthony Arena (caution) 38