Mauro Manotas scored two more goals and Cristian Maidana also scored for the second consecutive game as the Houston Dynamo defeated the Dynamo Academy Under-18s, 3-1, in a preseason scrimmage on Tuesday afternoon at Houston Sports Park.
The annual scrimmage included the preseason debut of Ricardo Clark, the 2015 Dynamo MVP and Players’ Player of the Year. Clark, entering his 13th professional season, played the first half after a lingering ailment kept him out of the first four preseason games. He played alongside David Rocha and Maidana in the center of midfield.
Manotas continued his strong preseason with his second brace in four days, following his two-goal outing against Houston Baptist on Saturday with two more in the first half Tuesday, increasing his preseason total to a team-best five goals.
Maidana opened the scoring in the fifth minute, smashing a penalty kick past Academy goalkeeper Charles Filby after Rocha was taken down in the box.
Manotas offered an omen in the 31th minute, driving a shot off the corner of the goal frame after a convincing dummy run from Erick Torres. The Colombian finished his chance two minutes later, running onto a through ball from David Horst and slotting inside the far side of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
Then in the 42nd minute Leonel Miranda served a wonderful cross from the right end line and Manotas buried his chance at the back post for a 3-0 lead.
The Dynamo had other chances to stretch the lead in the first half, including a long run from Miranda that produced a shot wide of the near post. Later, a quality buildup was capped with a pinpoint pass from Manotas to Torres, and the Mexican striker’s shot was saved by Filby. Torres had another chance three minutes later, taking a pass from Maidana, but missing the target. Near the end of the half, Manotas headed wide from another Miranda cross.
Manotas set up Memo Rodriguez at the top of the box eight minutes after halftime, but his shot sailed just above the crossbar. Later, Zach Steinberger made a good run into the right side of the box before passing to T.J. Casner, who forced a save from Academy goalkeeper Rene Chavez. Then Bradley Bourgeois crossed through the six-yard box and Chavez palmed the danger clear.
The Dynamo Academy pulled a goal back with five minutes left. Midfielder Aziz Ouattara curled a 20-yard free kick over the wall and into the upper corner, past the dive of Brown, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
The Academy U-18s are in first place in the USSDA’s Frontier Division, with 33 points from 14 games (10-1-3) and a division-leading +22 goal difference.
Coyle rested several veteran players on Tuesday, including: Tyler Deric, Joe Willis, Sheanon Williams, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley, Andrew Wenger, Alex Lima, Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes and Will Bruin. The group participated in a training session before the scrimmage.
The Dynamo will hold their final preseason training in Houston on Wednesday before returning to Tucson, Arizona on Thursday. The Dynamo will play three games in the Desert Diamond Cup, beginning with a match against the Colorado Rapids at 8 p.m. CT on Saturday. The matched will be streamed live at www.HoustonDynamo.com.
The Dynamo open the 2016 regular season on Sunday, March 6 at BBVA Compass Stadium against the New England Revolution. Tickets are available here.
Houston Dynamo vs. Houston Dynamo Academy Under-18s
February 16, 2016 – Methodist Champions Field – Houston Sports Park
HOU: Cristian Maidana 2 (penalty kick) 5
HOU: Mauro Manotas 4 (David Horst 1) 33
HOU: Mauro Manotas 5 (Leonel Miranda 2) 42
U-18s: Aziz Ouattara (unassisted) 85
Houston Dynamo first half: Calle Brown; Jalil Anibaba, David Horst, Agus Garcia, Ivan Magalhaes^; Leonel Miranda, David Rocha, Ricardo Clark, Mauro Manotas; Cristian Maidana; Erick Torres
Houston Dynamo second half: Calle Brown; Bradley Bourgeois, David Horst (Taylor Hunter 57), Sebastien Ibeagha, Ivan Magalhaes; Memo Rodriguez, Rasheed Olabiyi, Zach Steinberger, T.J. Casner^; Cristian Maidana (Christian Lucatero 57); Mauro Manotas (Charly Flores* 57)
*Rio Grande Valley FC signing
^2016 MLS SuperDraft selection
Dynamo Academy Under-18s: Charles Filby (Rene Chavez); Juan Martinez (Luis Garza 84), Quayyum Murana, Alexander Acton, Alejandro Saez (Johnathon Diaz 79); Gabriel Ruiz (Giandemir Jaen 85), Lucio Martinez (Erwin Regules 62, Isaac Albaradei 74); Roberto Marquez (Rami Khoury 62, Cameron Walker 82), Mason Schuster (Ryan Guajardo 74), Christian Molina (Aziz Ouattara 46); Hector Ramirez (Thomas Menke 46)