The Houston Dynamo earned their first road win of the year on the strength of three goals in the first 17 minutes, defeating D.C. United 3-1 at RFK Stadium on Saturday night. With the win, the Dynamo improved to 9-7-5 on the year and moved into a tie for first place in the MLS Western Conference with 32 points.
The Dynamo blew the game open early thanks to the exploits of midfielder Alex, who tied a club record with three assists in the game. The last Dynamo player to notch three assists in a game was Brad Davis, who did so against Vancouver on April 10, 2011.
In the sixth minute, Alex sent a corner kick from the right side to the middle of box where forward Andrew Wenger rose and powered a header into the net for his second goal of the season. Alex again provided the key pass in the 15th minute when he controlled the ball in the final third and drove past D.C. United midfielder Jared Jeffrey. He sent a low cross to forward Mauro Manotas in front of the goal and the 22-year-old Colombian tapped in the finish to put the Orange ahead 2-0. Two minutes later, Alex again keyed the attack by giving a back-heel pass to Wenger, who sent a cross to the six-yard box and found forward Memo Rodriguez, who elevated and buried a header into the net.
D.C. United fought to cut into the three-goal deficit in the second half, and in the 27th minute, midfielder Patrick Nyarko passed the ball to forward Deshorn Brown, who fired a left-footed shot that was cleared by Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark off the goal line. Despite that scare, the Dynamo took a 3-0 lead into halftime, marking just the second time this season the team led at intermission away from home.
United continued to press in the second half, and in the 62nd minute they managed to break through. United midfielder Jared Jeffrey played a ball from the midfield to midfielder Lloyd Sam on the right side. Despite pressure by defender A.J. DeLaGarza, Sam played a cross to the middle of the box and found defender Bobby Boswell, who headed the ball inside the right post.
Spurred on by the goal, United continued to press over the last half-hour, but the Dynamo were able to see out the victory over the final 28 minutes and stoppage time.
The Dynamo will continue the 2017 season, presented by 76, on Saturday, July 29 at 7:00 p.m. CDT against the Portland Timbers at BBVA Compass Stadium (TICKETS).
D.C. United (5-12-3, 18 pts.) 1-3 Houston Dynamo (9-7-5, 32 pts.)
MLS Week 20
July 22, 2017 – RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
HOU: Andrew Wenger 2 (Alex 8) 6
HOU: Mauro Manotas 6 (Alex 9) 15
HOU: Memo Rodriguez 2 (Andrew Wenger 1, Alex 10) 17
DC: Bobby Boswell 1 (Lloyd Sam 4, Jared Jeffrey 1) 62
D.C. United: Travis Worra; Taylor Kemp, Kofi Opare, Chris Korb (Lloyd Sam 55), Bobby Boswell © (Steve Birnbaum 75); Luciano Acosta, Sebastien Le Toux (Nick DeLeon 46), Patrick Nyarko, Ian Harkes, Jared Jeffrey; Deshorn Brown
Unused Substitutes: Eric Klenofsky, Sean Franklin, Lamar Neagle, Julian Buscher
Total shots: 15 (Nick DeLeon, Deshorn Brown 3); Shots on goal: 5 (Deshorn Brown 2); Fouls: 10 (Jared Jeffrey 3); Offside: 3 (Deshorn Brown 2); Corner kicks: 9 (Lloyd Sam 5); Saves: 3 (Travis Worra 3)
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; A.J. DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, Dylan Remick; Juan David Cabezas (Charlie Ward 46), Ricardo Clark, Alex; Andrew Wenger, Mauro Manotas (Jalil Anibaba 77), Memo Rodriguez (Joe Holland 90+1)
Unused Substitutes: Kevin Garcia, Joe Willis, José Escalante, Vicente Sánchez
Total shots: 8 (Memo Rodriguez, Andrew Wenger 2); Shots on goal: 6 (Memo Rodriguez, Andrew Wenger 2); Fouls: 14 (Alex, Ricardo Clark 3); Offside: 1 (Alex 1); Corner kicks: 3 (Alex 2); Saves: 3 (Tyler Deric 3)
HOU: Alex (caution; foul) 13
DC: Nick DeLeon (caution; foul) 63
DC: Jared Jeffrey (caution; foul) 72
HOU: Tyler Deric (caution; time wasting) 90+3
HOU: Andrew Wenger (caution; foul) 90+5
Referee: Marco DeOliveira
Assistant Referee 1: Corey Parker
Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik