By IVES GALARCEP
After failing to score a goal in more than a month, and failing to win a match in almost two months, the Houston Dynamo were in desperate need of a result to turn around a slump that was threatening to send their season into a tailspin.
Sparked by the return of Oscar Boniek Garcia, and the insertion of Omar Cummings into the starting lineup, the Dynamo attack showed signs of life on Saturday that hadn’t been seen in some time, and while there was no deluge of goals for Houston, Ricardo Clark’s game-winning header felt like one. His 59th minute header off a Jermaine Taylor cross was enough to help the Dynamo post a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Union were playing their third match in eight days, and it showed as the Dynamo looked like the fresher and sharper team. Dom Kinnear’s side dominated all the stats on the night, producing twice as many shots and shots on goal, and dominating the possession battle, 61-39.
Despite those advantages, an some inspired play from Boniek Garcia, the Dynamo took a while to break through and finally broke through when Clark, having just had a clear chance go over the crossbar, came right back and streaked in to head home a Taylor cross.
Both teams were missing their top strikers to the USMNT’s CONCACAF Gold Cup camp, with Jack McInerney joined by Dynamo teammates Will Bruin and Corey Ashe. Houston was also without injured captain Brad Davis.
The victory pulls Houston to within a point of the Union for third place in the Eastern Conference, with a game in hand. The loss marks Philadelphia’s third straight match without a win. The Union will look to rebound on Friday with a match vs. Chivas USA.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? See the Dynamo waking up and going on a long run of results? Starting to wonder if the Union are about to stumble out of the playoff race?
Share your thoughts below.