Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
The LA Galaxy made only one defensive mistake on Saturday night, and the Houston Dynamo pounced on it.
Giles Barnes found the ball at the edge of the area and fizzed a side-footer that gave the Dynamo a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy, erasing memories of the Dynamo’s 5-2 thrashing from RSL last Sunday. It’s the fourth straight league win for the Dynamo over the Galaxy, who of course won back to back MLS Cup titles over the Dynamo.
The Dynamo suffered a blow in the 18th minute when Oscar Boniek Garcia was forced off, crumpling to the ground after making a pass. Dynamo head coach Dom Kinnear said after the match that Boniek Garcia had a hamstring injury but that Kinnear did not think it was serious.
Even without Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez in their squad, the Galaxy were able to attack on the counter attack, with Robbie Keane combining well with Juninho and Stefan Ishizaki.
Keane had a number of impressive dribbles from the midfield line but he never got close enough to Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall’s goal to make a huge difference. A.J. DeLaGarza had arguably the Galaxy’s best chance of the game in the 39th minute when he fired a curving shot past a helpless Hall, but Dynamo defender David Horst saved his team and headed the ball off the line.
Three minutes after Andrew Driver nearly gave the Dynamo the lead in the 58th minute when he hit the post off a cross, Barnes gave the Dynamo the goal they were looking for.
Galaxy right back Dan Gargan took a throw-in and passed it to Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Penedo mishandled the throw-in and rookie forward Mark Sherrod quickly obtained possession and found Barnes open on the left side of the box. Barnes opened his hips and side-footed a shot into the side netting to give the Dynamo their one-goal advantage.
The Galaxy brought on Raul Mendiola for his MLS debut in the 66th minute and he immedietaly made a difference, giving the Galaxy another offensive piece that likes to play combinations across the field. Though they didn’t win, Mendiola and fellow substitute Gyasi Zardes were bright late for the Galaxy.