The Houston Dynamo earned their first victory at the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup with a 4-0 win over Real Salt Lake this evening at Kino Sports Complex.
After a scoreless first half, Houston took the lead in the 53rd minute when midfielder Tomás Martínez found forward Memo Rodriguez at the edge of the box. The Dynamo Academy product found forward Mauro Manotas near the penalty spot, and Manotas beat RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath at the near post. The goal was confirmed by video review after the assistant referee raised his flag for a potential offside infraction.
52' - Memo 👉 Mauro pic.twitter.com/9B6rJd6SqZ— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
Midfielder Tommy McNamara doubled Houston’s lead in the 60th minute after he picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, dribbled to the top of the box and beat MacMath with a dipping shot at the far post. Manotas won the ball near midfield and played the ball to McNamara who dribbled past three defenders before unleashing his long-range effort for the second goal of the game.
60' - Tommy Mac doubles the lead 💥 pic.twitter.com/X0rhdpLHON— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
Houston tallied their third goal of the game eight minutes later when Niko Hansen won the ball outside the box along the right flank. The forward dribbled past two defenders with a salamandering run before finishing with a left-footed shot to far post for his first goal of the preseason.
63' - Niko says we'll take a third 👌 pic.twitter.com/lIl7KpzfHG— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
The final goal of the evening came in the 81st minute when Hansen found Christian Ramirez inside the box. The forward controlled the ball with his first touch and buried the ball inside the far post with his next for his first goal of the preseason.
81' - Superman adds a fourth! pic.twitter.com/DLBeiGamW1— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić posted his first clean sheet of the preseason, making two big saves in the shutout effort. He was called into action in the 44th minute as he denied Real Salt Lake forward Giuseppe Rossi with a save from point-blank range. The forward was played into the box by Justin Meram, but his effort bounced off the Dynamo keeper’s shoulder for a corner kick.
Marić made his second save of the evening in the 78th minute after a Dynamo defender lost his footing outside the box. Real Salt Lake forward Douglas Martinez attempted to chip the ball over him, but the 6-3 goalkeeper leapt high and swept the ball away with his left hand for a corner kick.
Houston improved to 1-0-1 in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup and 3-0-1 overall in preseason play. The Dynamo will play their final preseason contest on Saturday, Feb. 22 against Columbus Crew SC before returning home to prepare for Opening Day presented by BBVA. Houston hosts long-time rivals the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Feb. 29 to kick off the 2020 regular-season campaign.