MLS- Toronto FC

Early goals galore as TFC tie Dynamo

Giles Barnes


Exactly one week after combining for six scores, Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo brought the goals out of each other yet again.

The two Eastern Conference sides split four first-half finishes, drawing 2-2 Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Dynamo forward Will Bruin started the scoring in the 11th minute by taking advantage of an errant backpass from TFC defender Bradley Orr to a charging Joe Bendik. Orr and Bendik’s miscommunication left Bruin with an open net, and the Dynamo forward took advantage of the error to make the score 1-0.

TFC equalized just seven minutes later via Gilberto, who scored just seconds after Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis’ shot was saved on the other end. TFC’s methodical counter saw the ball move through the Dynamo defense before finding its way to Gilberto, who took a heavy touch in the box before firing past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.

The hosts restored their lead just eight minutes later, as Giles Barnes fired past from distance in the 26th minute to give the Dynamo a 2-1 lead. Barnes took a pass from Ricardo Clark and into space before shooting from 25 yards and past a cheating Bendik.

Despite a 28th minute Michael Bradley penalty miss, TFC’s Dominic Oduro netted the game’s fourth and final goal in extra time after a spectacular run and cross from TFC’s Luke Moore. Moore sprinted his way towards the backline past Dynamo defender AJ Cochran before playing a cross through the Dynamo box, past Hall and into the path of Oduro, who tapped in to even things at two, where things remained until full time.

TFC will now look towards Wednesday’s friendly with Tottenham Hotspur, while the Impact return to action next Saturday when they take on the Columbus Crew.

Here are the match highlights:

  • McCallumKnights

    The fact that the Dynamo were gifted a goal and a penalty miss and they still couldn’t win is unreal. But let’s just pretend we don’t need to strengthen the squad during the transfer window.


    • McCallumKnights

      Just read this and I’m not feeling better. Looks like the Dynamo are stuck in MLS 2.0 only they are also unwilling to buy players in addition to developing them.


      There have been a handful of distinct eras in MLS history. We tend to break it down to “MLS 1.0” and “MLS 2.0,” and every week there’s another benchmark (this column’s new favorite buzzword) that has people declaring “MLS 3.0 is here!”

      But that whole brush is too broad. If you were around in the Bad Old Days you’d know that MLS 1.0 consisted of a bunch of smaller eras. Here are a few:

      “Geez, these stadiums are full” (1996)
      “Geez, these stadiums are empty” (1997-2001)
      “Oh crap, we’re contracting” (2001-2002)
      “Name a franchise after a Mexican team? I guess that could work” (2004-2005)

      And there have been similar dividing lines in the days of MLS 2.0 – Toronto fans actually invented MLS support before Seattle fans invented MLS support, which happened just before Portland invented MLS support. Designated Players like Beckham, Blanco, Angel and Donovan paved the way for Designated Players like Henry, Keane, Valeri and Bradley. Tristan Bowen paved the way for DeAndre Yedlin, Diego Fagundez and Gyasi Zardes.

      More to the point, Omar Gonzalez’s contract extension last summer and Osvaldo Alonso’s last winter paved the way for what we saw on Saturday when Sporting KC announced they’d inked Matt Besler and Graham Zusi to DP contracts. Taken all together, does that mean this is now MLS 3.0?

      I’d submit that it does. Smart teams – and there’s no denying that LA, Seattle and KC are three of the smartest in the league – are changing both the business model (organic, locally sourced soccer players are a wise investment) and the narrative (hey, our guys can play!).

      Where’s that leave the rest of MLS?

      Right now, the answer is “trying to keep up.” Parity is still 100 percent real, but we’re starting to see a bit of talent stratification based upon developing talent from within.

      That’s the essence of MLS 3.0. Building players is better than buying them, and the teams with the patience and structure to do the former are about to separate themselves in a big way.


      • The Imperative Voice

        I do think the Dynamo struggled to keep up in their two recent finals appearances against a team that used the 3 DPs well (LA). However, last year’s final saw two sides that are good “play for the unit” teams — like Houston.

        Houston’s lack of total competitiveness this season has to do with personnel decisionmaking within the “unit” concept. The striking is mediocre and the defense is poor, and that’s about the people playing there. If they revamped their need positions, they would become competitive, at which point then the concern is whether we are willing to spend for the caliber of players the elite are willing to field, or to roll the dice and pray we make a final against a SKC type balanced side and not an LA type team with high level attacking talent.

        I think Houston is poor at developing its own talent which makes every signing massive. However SKC is generally a mix of foreign signings and college players — Palmer-Brown is a rarely used exception — so I don’t buy them “making their own” either. Making your own is not yet something MLS does well.


    • MrMaxican

      I believe Houston has their hands tied with their salary cap. I wouldn’t expect any big changes until the off season. I think Hall and Ashe will be used as trade bait to redo the entire back line and clear up some $$$$. Don’t see Lopez, Barnes, Davis, Garcia going anywhere for the time being. We always trade away our draft picks, if we have any left maybe they will be used for a forward.


  • smartestonthepitch

    Dynamo have failed at their DP signings. Current one is Alexander López, 22 year old Honduran who has shown nothing and can’t break the lineup.

    Boniek is a DP but he does not deserve it. His is just OK.

    I don’t know if Davis is a DP, he does make the money.

    They signed a Mexican player a couple years back, Luis Angel Landin, to a DP contract. He gained 30 lbs between the signing and showing up to Houston. Never did a single thing for the Dynamo.


  • Bean

    The Dynamo do not have all of the players needed to fill out a competitive roster. The club knows this, and has known for several years. I can only guess at why they do not fix their issues. The Dynamo have a good base to build from in the midfield, with Davis/Barnes/Boniek/Rico. But that’s it.


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer