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Preseason Match Recap: Houston Dynamo 2, Sporting Kansas City 2

Giles Barnes and Erick Torres scored equalizers in each half to earn the Houston Dynamo a 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City in the Desert Diamond Cup Saturday at Kino Sports Complex.

Trailing 1-0 in the 31st minute Jalil Anibaba found Barnes with a long cross to tie the game. Barnes’ header hit the ground outside the goal and bounced past Sporting Kansas City’s Tim Melia.

The substitutions in the second half provided a constant wave of offensive pressure that included Torres’ third goal of the preseason. In the 77th minute Mauro Manotas and Torres  shuffled for possession with the Mexican international gathering the ball to beat Melia at the near post to tie the game, again.

“I think we showed great character coming back twice in a game, creating chances and there were a lot of pleasant performances,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said.  “I think that we still have to do better in certain areas but that is what the preseason is for, to build up for the new season.”

The first shot on goal came in the 8th minute when Will Bruin headed a cross from Alex Lima towards the far post. A lunging Nuno Coelho cleared the shot with his chest and the rebound was propelled towards the other end by the Sporting Kansas City defense. 

Sporting Kansas City scored in the 16th minute off a corner kick from Connor Hallisey who found Coelho at the near post. The defender flicked the header at the near post for the opening goal.   

Hallisey tested Calle Brown towards the end of the first half with a shot from 18-yards out. The 23-year-old was well positioned to make the save.

The Dynamo were close to a second goal at the end of the first half. Barnes shot at the near post but Melia’s intervention lead to a corner kick. The first half finished tied at one goal apiece.  

Coyle made two changes at halftime, David Rocha entered for Ricardo Clark and David Horst came on for Agus Garcia.

In the 53rd minute Sporting Kansas City won a free kick inside the six-yard box after the referee signaled a backwards pass from Raul Rodriguez to Brown who handled the ball with his hands. Two minutes later Dom Dwyer found Daniel Salloi unmarked at the far post for his first goal of the preseason.

Lima’s last play of the game was a shot that curled wide in the 56th minute. Zach Steinberger came on for the Brazilian in the 57th minute and Boniek Garcia came on for Cristian Maidana.

In the 62nd minute a series of rebounds landed at the left foot of DaMarcus Beasley who shot on goal. Melia dove to his right to make the save.

Coyle made additional substitutions in the 66th minute bringing on Leonel Miranda and Manotas for Andrew Wenger and Bruin. The substitutions continued in the 72nd minute as Abdouli Mansally and Torres came on for Beasley and Barnes.

Manotas found Miranda in the 73rd minute for a shot on goal that was blocked by Melia.

Rodriguez made a fantastic play in the 84th minute after Hallisey snuck behind the Dynamo defense to force a one-on-one with Brown. Hallisey evaded a lunging Brown only to be tackled by a hustling Rodriguez who cleared the ball.

The final substitutions came in the 86th minute as Sebastien Ibeagha and Bradly Bourgeois replaced Rodriguez and Anibaba.

The Dynamo continued to pressure Sporting Kansas City in the final minutes of the second half. Garcia had the best opportunity to win the game in the 88th minute off a header that went wide the near post.

“Overall very pleased. The fitness levels are high and that gives us a very good sign,” Coyle said about the state of the Dynamo. “So, the focus is to the new season next week against New England and that's really important.”

This concludes the preseason activity for the Dynamo who open the 2016 season against the New England Revolution at 2 p.m. CT on March 6 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

February 27, 2016 – Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, Arizona 

Preseason Scrimmage

Scoring Summary: 

SKC: Nuno Coelho (Connor Hallisey) 16

Houston: Giles Barnes 1 (Jalil Anibaba 2) 30

SKC: Daniel Salloi (Dom Dwyer) 55

Houston: Erick Torres 3 (Mauro Manotas 1) 77

Houston Dynamo – Calle Brown; Jalil Anibaba (Bradley Bourgeois 86), Raul Rodríguez (Sebastien Ibeagha 86), Agus Garcia (David Horst 46), DaMarcus Beasley (Abdouli Mansally 73); Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 66), Ricardo Clark (David Rocha 46), Alex Lima (Zack Steinberger 57), Giles Barnes (Erick Torres 73), Cristian Maidana (Boniek Garcia 57); Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 66)

Sporting Kansas City – Tim Melia; Chance Myers (Saad Abdul 60), Nuno Coelho (Kevin Ellis 60), Matt Besler, Amaduo Dia; Jordi Quintilla (Lawrence Olum 78), Paulo Nagamura (Soni Mustivar 46), Roger Espinoza, Daniel Salloi; Dom Dwyer (Will Little 60), Connor Hallisey