Forward Erick Torres scored a penalty kick early in the second half as the Houston Dynamo continued their preseason in Tucson with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Kino Sports Complex.
Next up, the Dynamo will play Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a pair of split-squad matches on Tuesday to complete their first trip to Arizona. The first scrimmage will begin at 4:45 p.m. CT, with the second set for 7 p.m. CT. One of the games, to be announced, will be streamed live at HoustonDynamo.com/live.
The Dynamo were awarded their second penalty kick of the night as Giles Barnes held off Victor Bernardez at the edge of the box and the Honduran defender tugged Barnes to the ground. Torres converted the spot kick to the bottom right corner, past the dive of Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.
After using 24 players in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Portland to open preseason, Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle used 22 players on Saturday. Coyle made four changes to the starting lineup from Wednesday, with Will Bruin making his preseason debut and Joe Willis, David Horst and T.J. Casner also entering the lineup.
San Jose seized the early initiative, with Quincy Amarikwa smashing a header off the crossbar from 12 yards in the opening minutes. Soon after, Amarikwa fed Chris Wondolowski, who pulled wide of the far post from 15 yards.
The Dynamo fought back with a pair of chances, beginning with DaMarcus Beasley, who flashed over the crossbar from 22 yards in the 12th minute. Two minutes later, Andrew Wenger crossed for Bruin at the near post, but Clarence Goodson denied him with an excellent sliding block.
The surge continued to the 25th minute as Beasley drew a penalty after he was fouled by Tommy Thompson. Barnes took the penalty kick but was denied by Brian Meredith, who dove to his right to keep the game scoreless. A minute later, Bruin nearly scored from close range after a corner kick, but Meredith again was up to the task.
The chances continued for both sides, with Casner testing Meredith on one end and Wondolowski forcing a save from Willis.
Coyle replaced Bruin with Torres in the 37th minute as an injury precaution. The manager made two halftime changes, with Rob Lovejoy replacing Casner and Ivan Magalhaes entering for Beasley. Coyle made seven more substitutions near the hour mark, including Bradley Bourgeois, Sebastien Ibeagha, Jalil Anibaba, Leonel Miranda, Rasheed Olabiyi, Zach Steinberger and Mauro Manotas.
Houston’s best chances in the second half included several forays into the Earthquakes penalty area, where the San Jose defense blocked several shots. Steinberger came close, flashing a shot over the crossbar. Later, Torres came close with a header wide of the far post. Later, Olabiyi struck a 40-yard effort that was saved by Tarbell. The Dynamo continued to push for an insurance goal and gained several corner kicks in the close stages.
The Earthquakes pushed for an equalizer but never truly tested Willis. Their best chances included Chad Barrett’s wide header from a free kick, and later, Simon Dawkins forcing a save from Willis.
The Dynamo will train on Monday in Tucson ahead of Tuesday’s pair of split-squad scrimmages against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Streaming information for Tuesday will be later announced at HoustonDynamo.com.
Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes
February 6, 2015 – Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, Arizona
HOU: Erick Torres 1 (penalty kick) 47
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Sheanon Williams (Bradley Bourgeois 57), Raul Rodriguez (Jalil Anibaba 57), David Horst (Sebastien Ibeagha 57), DaMarcus Beasley (Ivan Magalhaes* 46), Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 57), Alex Lima (Zach Steinberger 57), Boniek Garcia (Rasheed Olabiyi 57), TJ Casner* (Rob Lovejoy 57, Memo Rodriguez 78); Giles Barnes (Mauro Manotas 57); Will Bruin (Erick Torres 37)
*Trialist/2016 MLS SuperDraft selection