Dynamo survive late surge by San Jose, start season off with a win

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Today marked the season opener for Houston Dynamo FC who got were able to start the season strong by getting the win over the visiting San Jose Earthquakes. After a strong first half showing, the Quakes were able to make the right adjustments, along with a stunning goal, and play their way back into the game which ended with a nail biting 2-1 score line.

There was some early confusion about the formation and who was playing where with reporting ranging from the Dynamo playing a 3-4-3 to a 4-3-3. After some clarification it looked like Tab Ramos shook things up and played Oscar Boniek García at center back next to Tim Parker with several defenders listed as OUT on the injury report.

In the early minutes the Dynamo were the aggressors and had a few close chances to get the game’s first goal within the first 10 minutes. Fafà Picault had a great ball played to him over the top, but goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski was alert and able to clear the ball. A few minutes later Picault crossed a ball into Tyler Pasher, but was unable to put the ball on goal and the play resulted in a corner kick for Houston. Unfortunately for San Jose Tommy Thompson would be hurt on the play for Pasher and he would have to come off for Luciano Abecasis.

The Dynamo thought they had the opener with Picault finding the back of the net, but Pasher was ruled offside on his overlapping run before he squared the ball to Picault.

Picault did well to hold possession while being tightly marked near San Jose’s corner flag and was able to pick out Memo. Memo got his head up and played a great through ball to Vera who fired a shot forcing a one handed save by the San Jose goalkeeper.

The Earthquakes came out and set their tone by making big, physical tackles on the Dynamo attacking players. The Dynamo did very well to limit service to the San Jose attacking players with their offense being mostly limited to set pieces which did not come frequently in the first half.

Houston’s pressure and ability to win the ball back in the midfield played a big part of getting the first goal of the game. After winning the ball back the Dynamo got the ball to Joe Corona who played an excellent long through pass to Memo. Memo faked a touch to his left and caught Marcinkowski in no-man’s land and was easily able to find the net. 1-0 Houston.

The Dynamo nearly added to their tally before halftime. A great through ball and excellent leave by Maxi Urruti saw Memo in on goal. Memo took a touch to shake off the defenders, but struck the crossbar instead of getting a first half brace.

The Earthquakes came out at halftime with added energy and found some success on the counter attack, but were unable find the net. Joe Corona tried to get Houston a second goal, but his effort from the top of the box was just off from the upper corner.

The game got chippy after Memo held the shirt of Javier Eduardo López trying to win back possession. López responded by kicking out which saw him earn a yellow card.

Urruti would make it 2-0 to the Dynamo in the 56th minute. Tyler Pasher got free on the left wing and made a darting run passed his defender. Pasher had a lot of targets in the box and picked out Urruti. Urruti took a touch onto his favored foot and coolly beat the goalkeeper in a textbook counter attacking goal.

Both sides made several changes over the next few minutes and fresh substitute Ariel Lassiter got free on the left and played a ball to Urruti who had a silky smooth turn, but his shot was easily saved.

After the Dynamo nearly got their lead up to 3-0, the San Jose Earthquakes got back into the game with a goal of the week wonder effort by Paul Marie. A give and go with Shea Salinas saw Marie try his luck from deep outside the box and he curled it into the net. 2-1.

The goal injected life into the Earthquakes, but that didn’t stop the Dynamo from trying to push the lead back up to two goals with Urruti trying his luck and Ari Lassiter finding space on the wing.

Shea Salinas had a fantastic counter attacking run that put him 1v1 with Marko Marić, but the Dynamo goalkeeper was able to deny the effort. Chris Wondolowski tried to get the rebound, but somehow MLS’s all time goals leader couldn’t put the ball in the net.

The Earthquakes did well to try and play their way back into the game by making great adjustments, but it wasn’t enough to make up the two goal deficit. Houston panicked a little down the stretch and should’ve finished a few more of their chances to keep San Jose at bay, but the goals they did finish were enough to get the full three points after 90 minutes.

Up next for the Dynamo they’ll be making a trip to the west coast to take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park at 9:30 PM CT.

Goals:

39’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (assisted by Joe Corona)

56’ HOU: Maxi Urruti (assisted by Tyler Pasher)

74’ SJ: Paul Marie (assisted by Shea Salinas)

Disciplinary:

29’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)

41’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)

51’ SJ: Javier Eduardo López (yellow card)

52’ SJ: Eric Remedi (yellow card)

87’ SJ: Andrés Ríos (yellow card)

90’+3’ HOU: Derrick Jones (yellow card)

Lineups:

Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist, Oscar Boniek García , Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Matías Vera, Memo Rodríguez (87’ Derrick Jones), Joe Corona (67’ Darwin Cerén); Tyler Pasher, Maxi Urruti (87’ Christian Ramirez), Fafà Picault (71’ Ariel Lassiter)

San Jose Earthquakes (4-2-3-1): JT Marcinkowski; Marcos López (60’ Shea Salinas), Oswaldo Alanís, Florian Jungwirth, Tommy Thompson (8’ Luciano Abecasis); Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill; Carlos Fierro (61’ Chris Wondolowski), Javier Eduardo López (60’ Andrés Ríos), Cristian Espinoza; Cade Cowell (66’ Paul Marie)



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