The Houston Dynamo defeated the LA Galaxy by a scoreline of 3-2 to pick up their third home win on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. El Campo, Texas native Memo Rodriguez scored in the 90th minute to send 22,320 fans into a frenzy with his first goal of the season.
Here are three things we learned:
The were several storylines going into this match – the good form of Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto, a visit from Zlatan Ibrahimović and the dos Santos brothers, plus a sold-out BBVA Compass Stadium, among others. At the end of the night, it was a Dynamo homegrown product who took the headlines.
“It feels like my first goal but probably even better,” said the 22-year-old Dynamo Academy product after scoring in front of family and friends. “The atmosphere was great. Hopefully, we bring that all season long.”
The goal was Rodriguez’s first of 2018 and one that culminates the player’s comeback from a knee injury last season. He proved to be the spark the team needed to secure three points at home in a moment – and a night – that will live in the minds of the Dynamo faithful for years to come.
2. The opening goal gets the result
In the five matches at BBVA Compass Stadium this season, the team that scores first has gone on to win the match. While that statistic is not law, the Dynamo pushed to get the opening goal at home and rode that advantage to their third home win of the season.
Alejandro Fuenmayor picked up his debut goal with the club in the second minute of the match to become the third member of the backline to score this season. It was also the third time the team has scored within the first five minutes and the fifth time inside the first 15 minutes of a match.
“This is my first win as a starter with the team,” said a jubilant Fuenmayor after his fourth appearance in the starting XI. The 21-year-old Venezuelan gave the Dynamo the jump start they needed to improve their home record to 3-2-0 and will hope his goal will help him pick up his third consecutive start this weekend at Vancouver.
3. Mentality is key to Dynamo success
Head coach Wilmer Cabrera opened his postmatch thoughts by mentioning the win was “a good reward for a group of men who have fought a lot today and they went with a good mentality on the field. The mentality was good against a team that is very talented.”
“Last year it seemed like coming after halftime we always suffered lapses, mental lapses, and they were scoring on us after halftime here at home, but now it’s normally happening that we are winning and someone ties us. The last game that we played, in Minnesota, they beat us. Again, we do not give up. That’s the key,” added Cabrera.
Looking forward to their next match, the Dynamo manager mentioned he wants to see his players capitalize on this victory to improve on their 0-1-2 road record. The Dynamo have seen the fruits of their labor in lapses, they know need to deliver the final product as they look to do Friday at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9:30 p.m. CT, KUBE 57).