Houston Dynamo forward Erick Torres scored his team-high 12th goal of the season to pull the Dynamo level with the Colorado Rapids at halftime, but a pair of second-half goals from Colorado midfielder Marlon Hairston spurred the Rapids to a 3-1 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park tonight.
Torres’ goal came in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time. Defender A.J. DeLaGarza sent a cross into the box and Torres cleverly worked himself into position in front of the Colorado defender and stabbed the cross through the legs of Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard with the sole of his boot. The goal drew the 24-year-old Mexican international to within one of the club single-season record, set by Brian Ching in 2008.
The Rapids opened the scoring in the 21st minute when forward Dominique Badji played a ball to midfielder Dillon Serna as he was being pressured by the Dynamo defense. Serna received the ball inside the penalty area and sent a pass into the middle of the box finding Doyle, who sent the ball to the bottom right corner of the net with a left-footed shot.
After Torres’ goal just before halftime drew the visitors level, Colorado quickly answered at the beginning of the second half. In the 48th minute, Doyle played a long ball from the midfield to Badji on the left side of the box. The speedy Badji outraced Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis to the ball and played a pass in front of the empty net and midfielder Marlon Hairston slid in to direct the ball into the net.
With the Dynamo threatening Colorado’s goal later in the half, Colorado struck on a counterattack to in the 69th minute put the game out of reach thanks to a familiar trio of attacking players. Doyle flicked a header to Badji off of a long ball, and Badji fought off a challenge from two Dynamo defenders to return the ball to Doyle, who drew two Dynamo defenders before laying off to Hairston. Hairston chipped a shot over the shoulder of an onrushing Willis and into the net.
The Dynamo created several dangerous scoring opportunities throughout the game, but Howard made several acrobatic saves to deny the men in Orange. Forward Mauro Manotas had a pair of quality chances, one in each half, and in each instance Howard was able to get a foot on the young Colombian’s shot. Midfielder Juan David Cabezas cracked a powerful volley in the 45th minute that appeared headed toward the upper left corner of the goal, but a diving Howard was able to turn the shot aside. A minute later, forward Andrew Wenger saw his header off of the ensuing corner kick turned away by the U.S. Men’s National Team legend.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. CDT against the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium (TICKETS).
Colorado Rapids (6-10-1; 19 pts.) 3-1 Houston Dynamo (7-7-4; 25 pts.)
MLS Week 18
July 1, 2017 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colorado
COL: Kevin Doyle 4 (Dillon Serna 1, Dominique Badji 3) 21
HOU: Erick Torres 12 (A.J. DeLaGarza 2) 45+5
COL: Marlon Hairston 2 (Dominique Badji 4, Kevin Doyle 3) 48
COL: Marlon Hairston 3 (Dominique Badji 5, Kevin Doyle 4) 69
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard (C); Dennis Castillo, Mike Da Fonte, Eric Miller, Mekeil Williams; Bismark Adjei-Boateng (Sam Hamilton 74), Mohammed Saeid, Marlon Hairston (Caleb Calvert 76), Dillon Serna; Dominique Badji (Jared Watts 89), Kevin Doyle
Unused Substitutes: Zac MacMath, Kortne Ford, Ricardo Perez, Alan Gordon
Total shots: 9 (Kevin Doyle 4); Shots on goal: 5 (Marlon Hairston 3); Fouls: 5 (Dominique Badji 2); Offside: 1 (Dominique Badji 1); Corner kicks: 0; Saves: 6 (Tim Howard 6)
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley; Ricardo Clark (C) (Vicente Sánchez 78), Juan David Cabezas (Alex 65), Boniek García; Andrew Wenger (Joe Holland 89), Erick Torres, Mauro Manotas
Unused Substitutes: Tyler Deric, Dylan Remick, Jalil Anibaba, Memo Rodriguez
Total shots: 13 (Mauro Manotas 3); Shots on goal: 7 (Mauro Manotas, Erick Torres, Andrew Wenger 2); Fouls: 9 (Juan David Cabezas 4); Offside: 0; Corner kicks: 10 (Boniek García 10); Saves: 2 (Joe Willis 2)
COL: Mike Da Fonte caution (foul) 4
COL: Sam Hamilton caution (foul) 82
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referee 1: Jeremy Hanson
Assistant Referee 2: Anthony Vasoli
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz