Houston Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez scored his first professional goal in his first career start as the Charleston Battery remained unbeaten with a 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls II on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium. Across the country, Dynamo rookie Taylor Hunter made his second consecutive start at right back as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks rolled to a 5-2 win over Real Monarchs SLC.
Rodriguez signed as a Homegrown Player with the Dynamo on Dec. 4 after four years in the Dynamo Academy. After a strong preseason, the 19-year-old joined Charleston, the Dynamo’s USL affiliate on loan on March 24. The El Campo native has managed to break into a veteran team, with substitute appearances in the first three games as the Battery opened the season with three wins.
Rodriguez made his first start on Saturday and scored the opening goal with a curling effort from the top of the box just before halftime (see highlights above). The Battery are 3-0-1 (10 points) this season, a point behind Eastern Conference leading Rochester (3-0-2; 11 points) with a game in hand. Charleston is next on the road to face the Wilmington Hammerheads on Sunday at Legion Stadium.
Hunter, selected by the Dynamo in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, joined Switchbacks FC on a short-term loan on April 10 and has started both games he was available for selection, beginning with a 1-0 home win on April 11 over Real Monarchs SLC, the new USL outfit under parent club Real Salt Lake. Hunter remained a starter as Colorado Springs won the back end of the home-and-home, 5-2, on Friday. Next up, the Switchbacks visit the Austin Aztex on Saturday at House Park.