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Dynamo reserves settle for Champions League tie

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Hey John Spencer, your Houston Dynamo reserves just won the MLS Reserve Division. Where are you going next?

To San Salvador!

That’s right, fresh off clinching the most least coveted title in Major League Soccer, the Dynamo reserves won an all-expenses paid trip to San Salvador to play in the CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday night against Luis Angel Firpo.

The match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, was important in terms of advancing from Group B to the knockout stages. But because the two-time defending MLS Cup champions were playing the opening game of the Western Conference Semifinal Series at Giants Stadium in four days, nearly every Dynamo starter remained in Houston.

With the exception of Stuart Holden, who wore the captain’s armband, the lineup was the same that defeated the Chivas USA reserves in front of thousands dozens in Carson, Calif. on Sunday morning. Holden got on the end of a Geoff Cameron throw and, after Luis Angel Firpo defender Carlos Calderon whiffed on a clearing chance, tucked the ball to the left of goalkeeper Henry Hernandez in the 16th minute to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

But Luis Angel Firpo equalized three minutes from full time when substitute Ramon Patricio Avila beat Caig to a cross from Carlos Monteagudo at the near post and Fernando Leguizamon picked up the scrapes in front of the goal, putting the ball through the legs of Mike Chabala, who was on the line.

Houston, which remains unbeaten in three road matches in the inaugural competition, is still in third place with six points, two points behind Luis Angel Firpo and three behind Pumas UNAM, which booked its passage into the knockout stages. The final match of the group stage is Nov. 26, three days after MLS Cup, when Dynamo host Luis Angel Firpo at Robertson Stadium. Houston needs a win to advance.


  1. Pumas at least are largely playing with a reserve team in CCL, plus a few guys who get/have got first team minutes. their youth development seems to pay off a little.

  2. I have to say, I was indeed impressed by the Dynamo reserves. They had a speed of play that I havent seen much of against Central American teams. Its just such a shame that Tony Caig is the worst goalie in the history of the planet, and John Spencer didn’t bother to try to use a sub or two to slow the game down.

  3. @ Chros:

    Actually you’re wrong. Houston can guarantee themselves a spot in the next round if they win their last match of the group phase. The result of tonight’s match does not have any affect on their chances to advance. Why? Because Houston’s final match is against Firpo (again), so a Dynamo win means they would climb to 9 points while Firpo would lose and be stuck on 8 points.


    And, yes, Caig is not cutting it. I will be surprised if he is still in MLS next year.

  4. I wasn’t aware that Montreal and Puerto Rico were playing more than their season and CL. Have those two teams reached 40 games (each)?

  5. Why do MLS clubs indulge in so much navel gazing and contemptuously field their reserve teams for international competition. How about showing some self respect guys! The USL teams way outperformed you this time around and coped just fine with congested schedules.

  6. Very impressed with Mike Chabala last night. If Wade Barrett wasn’t the captain, Chabala might be starting for the full team. Barrett has definitely lost a step (or two).

    Kamara really needs to learn how to put the ball on frame. Also, how about that save on the late Corey Ashe shot? Amazing stretch by the Firpo keeper.

  7. Still not giving the proper respect to USL teams? What more do they have to do? Both are in a better position than the remaining MLS team that could still get to the next round.

  8. “Andy, you obviously haven’t seen Chivas USA play. Can’t remember the keepers name but the overweight guy that they traded for after Guzan left has to be the worst player in MLS history.”

    Zach Thornton had some very good years a lifetime ago. Have you seen the Galaxy’s keepers, Saunders excluded?

  9. @Byron

    He gave up a goal off his chest after trying to dodge it.

    That’s right, he tried to dodge the ball when he was the only thing between the it and the back of the net.

    @Dr dcr vcr

    Don’t expect Seattle to take anybody other than Nate Jaqua in the expansion draft, unless Houston wants to get more from the Sounders for Jaqua in a trade.

  10. I watched most of the second half and I was impressed w/ Houston’s play; it was smart, composed, and honestly, I didn’t realize it was their full reserves until the announcers mentioned it.

  11. Andy, you obviously haven’t seen Chivas USA play. Can’t remember the keepers name but the overweight guy that they traded for after Guzan left has to be the worst player in MLS history.

    And another note, the Dynamo reserves are probably the best in the league. Ashe Holden and Cameron are a very solid midfield, I don’t think that other reserve teams could pull something like this off in a game that matters.

  12. the last minute goal we gave up is once again the fault of tony caig. hands down worst goalkeeper i have ever seen in my entire life, cost the team so many goals every time he steps on the field

  13. From watching that game last night, Houston does have some talented reserves. The two players that stood out to me were the outside backs, Ustruck and Chabala. They didn’t play like the typical American outside backs. They were could play the ball on the ground to their teammates, defend on an island when need be, and could dribble out of trouble. I would not be surprised if Seattle took Chabala in the expansion draft since he is American, will play on the minimum senior roster contract, and left back is probably the hardest postion to fill on a team.

  14. This is just another example of MLS teams playing too many games. Yet, MLS has not figure out out that they need to make some kind of change to accomodate this tournaments. DC United is good example of what happens to a team who plays too many games during the season. There is no way MLS teams are built to play over 40 matches in one season with the roster cap that exists at this time.

    So if nothing changes, Good luck Columbus Crew, you’ll need it next year.

  15. Overall I’m disappointed still. Houston needs to advance to the next round and I wish they would have really pushed for the win here. Now the last game is a must win and they have to pray for no upset in the other game.

  16. This is not the first time a reserve squad tied an opponent playing at home in CCL. DC did it vs. Saprissa a couple of weeks ago. Doesn’t mean jack to compare the leagues on this one game because to use that line of thinking the DCU reserve squad is stronger than the first team.

    But good to see the Dynamo squad get a result, however it might have put their future in the CCL at stake. It could very well turn out that the 2 USL teams make it to the next round and no MLS teams do.

  17. Actually, the USL teams flourished in the Champions League during their season and playoffs and with very bad schedule congestion.

    I wouldn’t say those were better circumstances for the USL teams.

  18. So MLS may be better than USL after all. Here we have a reserve squad tieing a team in its own house that would desperately like to get into the next round of the Champions League. The USL teams are good but they were able to out compete MLS teams more because of circumstances than their abilities.

    The match congestion is something MLS will have to learn to live with. I think next year we may see more MLS reserve sides take on some of those early round games in the multiple competitions. This was a good learning experience for MLS.

  19. Tony, as long as you know who won what then all is well. Remember this: “All teams will compete in a single table…….”? No East, West Division there to be “won”. Anyway, great game by the young guns to bring back a point. Now we have a game for all the marbles the day before Thanksgiving. Should be fun.

  20. Houston didn’t win the reserve division, no matter what MLS thinks. They won the Western Division. K.C. won the Eastern Reserve division. There was no interplay between conferences. It’s like saying Celtic won the British Premier League because they had more points than Man U.

    Stupid, F-ing MLS.


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