The Houston Dynamo were the aggressor on a hot Saturday night hitting the back of the net three times in a 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
Will Bruin continued his hot streak opening the scoring in the ninth minute. Brad Davis pushed up the left flank and sent a hopeful ball low and in. LA center back Leonardo was out of position and his slide was not good enough opening a channel for Bruin to take a touch, change his feet, and curl his finish around Brian Rowe for his ninth goal of the season, which is leading the club.
Davis doubled the lead in the 27th minute scoring his first goal in 18 MLS games this season. Nathan Sturgis set up the tally weaving through the LA defense and putting a chance on a platter for Davis. All alone in the center of the pitch, 22 yards from goal, Davis cut his trademark left loose beating Rowe low to the far post for the 2-0 lead.
With time winding down Leonel Miranda played keep away in the box before chipping Rowe from 16 yards out. Miranda cut back in the 88th minute at the edge of the box and lofted a shot into the top corner to clinch the shutout win.
With the win Houston (7-8-6) improves to 27 points while LA (9-7-7) stays on 34 points.
While Houston had the goals, LA held the possession early; but struggled to convert it to chances. Robbie Keane had the reigning champs' best chance of the first half spinning to take a shot, but was surrounded and eventually engulfed by goalkeeper Tyler Deric who made the save.
Houston got another scare in the 39th minute when Bradford Jamison IV split AJ Cochran and Alex Lima on the right to break into the box. His shot ricocheted off two Dynamo defenders before looping towards, but ultimately wide, of goal.
Even with the addition of new Designated Player Steven Gerrard, LA struggled to threaten or punish Houston early. LA out passed Houston on the night by a wide margin, but the home team was the one threatening goal taking the edge in shots 13-7.
While LA continued to outwork Houston in the possession game, Lima took a crack at killing off the game in the 52nd minute collecting a loose Rowe distribution and firing it low from 25 yards out. His shot went wide and the lead remained 2-0.
Two minutes later Davis was wide with his bid for the brace. The Dynamo captain attempted to double his count again in the 79th minute but Rowe was up to the challenge with a diving stop.
Erick “Cubo” Torres made his Dynamo MLS debut coming on for Bruin in the 69th minute and came a Rowe foot save away from scoring the 82nd minute. His 21 minutes begins his Dynamo career after signing with the club in December and being loaned back to Chivas Guadalajara from the Clausura portion of the Liga MX season.
LA became the first team to loan a player in from their USL club bringing Dave Romney, who started at left back, and Ari Lassiter into the team for the game. Lassiter, son of MLS great Roy Lassiter, came on in the second half and forced a leaping save out of Deric in the 85th minute.
Houston travels to face rivals Sporting Kansas City next week while LA hits the road to face the Colorado Rapids.
Houston Dynamo (7-8-6; 27 points) vs. LA Galaxy (9-7-7; 34 points)
MLS regular season
July 25, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 22,445 (sellout; stadium record)
Houston Dynamo: Will Bruin 9 (Brad Davis 5) 9
Houston Dynamo: Brad Davis 1 (Nathan Sturgis 2) 27
Houston Dynamo: Leonel Miranda 1 (Rasheed Olabiyi 1) 88
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raúl Rodríguez, AJ Cochran; Leonel Miranda, Nathan Sturgis, Ricardo Clark (Zach Steinberger 90 +1), Alex (Rasheed Olabiyi 87); Brad Davis ©, Will Bruin (Erick Torres 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Chandler Hoffman, Mauro Manotas, Alexander López
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Dan Gargan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, David Romney; Kenney Walker (Ariel Lassiter 71), Juninho, Bradford Jamieson (Edson Buddle 46), Steven Gerrard (Ignacio Maganto 86), Sebastian Lletget; Robbie Keane ©
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Wolverton, Mika Väyrynen, Tommy Meyer, Rafael Garcia
LA: Bradford Jamieson (caution) 16
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Anthony Vasoli, Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi