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Hainault’s late winner leads Dynamo past Chivas USA

DynamoChivas (Getty)


CARSON, Calif. – The Houston Dynamo came into the Home Depot Center in hopes starting the season as strong as they ended last year, but keeper Dan Kennedy and company held them off for 90 minutes before Canadian defender Andre Hainault helped the visiting Dynamo snatch three points late.

Hainault's stoppage-time winner helped give Houston a 1-0 victory at Home Depot Center on Sunday on a day when the defending Eastern Conference Champs created plenty of opportunities throughout the entire match. So many, in fact, the Head Coach Dominic Kinnear was surprised the final score was a mere 1-0 victory for his side.

“We created some good chances, but we could have scored more than the 1-0,” Kinnear said.

“We made this a little bit more difficult than we should have,” said Dynamo forward Brian Ching. “We created a lot more opportunities than they did. We should have put them away a little bit sooner; we shouldn’t have had to wait till the 90th minute to make it exciting.”

Scoring goals is always the most exciting aspect of any soccer game. Though in this clash, Kennedy’s performance in front of the net made it quite a spectacle to witness. So much so that Kinnear had nothing but praise of the Chivas’ number one.

“I thought he had a good game today,” said Kinnear. “His save on Will Bruin was brave. I’m actually a fan of Dan Kennedy; I think he’s a good goalkeeper. He came out, throw some angles down and made it easier for himself and his shot stopping was really good.”

Despite the praise and performance, Kennedy was still distraught in the disappointing outcome of the game, but managed to acknowledge that the opposition was a really good team.

“They were in the MLS Cup final last year, right?” said Kennedy. “They’re one of the better teams in the league, obviously. They’re organized; we know they’re dangerous in set pieces. We battled them for literally 90 minutes and we did not deserve to lose that game, a tie would have been a fair result.”


  1. I don’t know how they got 14K — particularly with the upper bowl and ends covered by tarps — but the shady side was more filled than the sunny lower deck showed by the midfield game camera. You could see it when they panned around at halftime.

  2. Also I’d say that while MLS has historically been — and remains — a physical league….IMO the level of attacking talent and ability to get the ball on the ground and possess it has increased since the 90s. So while I understand that the Dynamo are primed for physical defense, they also seem tuned to a direct style of play dependent on deadballs which is verging on retrograde for MLS. It’s like Stoke in the EPL, who they remind me of.

    I also think with Hainault and Boz in the back Houston verges on too slow on defense. It held up yesterday but usually about 3 times a season they have a rough day where some team figures out we can’t even stay with our runners. This has been somewhat remedied by moving Cameron back but it still posed a problem against LAG in MLS Cup.

    Anyhow, like I said, we just need to work on not being a Dynamo caricature. In the dynasty years this was a team capable of 3-4 goals in its own right, not just a hardcore defense.

  3. Houston needs to resist becoming a caricature of itself. When this team won titles it had a fast striker like Ngwenya paired with Ching, athletic motor guys like Holden and Mullan paired with Davis, and some virtuoso attacking talent like DeRo paired with the cruncher Rico Clark. I’m a tad concerned DK seems content with 2 DMs, 2 slow finesse wingers, and 2 banger forwards. There’s not enough team speed and we become too predictable. The team defensive concept of 11 behind the ball will keep us in the games, and perhaps spark an occasional playoff run, but we need more spark. I’d like to see us get a faster RM, play Kandji or Carr with Ching, and acquire an AM.

    That should not have even been a contest. We sat back and absorbed attacks when I think we had a much better team to a man if the game plan was more aggressive. In preseason SJ beat them 5-0, Tijuana 5-2. We did them a favor by presenting them the standard, 11 behind the ball approach, and allowed them more chances than they deserved.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think our 442 does comprehend the league’s physicality well, but we didn’t use to be this negative and dependent on Davis. So while I agree we’re better suited to the competition over 30+ games than, say, 433 TFC, if we intend on taking silverware there needs to be more attacking quality. When we’ve made the playoffs two of the past three years, LA eliminated us both times without a goal scored. I think we need more firepower.

  4. i watched this game- JPA had a number of half-chances and 1 or 2 good ones, that on another day he puts away. this game looked like a draw, but a goal in the 92nd minute had to be devastating to chivas after keeping houston off the scoreboard for 90+ minutes. I agree that Kennedy played very well- a lot of point blank saves and nearly stopped the goal too.

  5. Just fold this abomination.

    MLS is a young league that generally deserves credit for trying different things to grow, and adjusting when something didn’t work, but Chivas USA remains a stain.

    Branding a team in the US as if it were a subsidiary of a MFL team was insulting to many American fans, and apparently not many Chivas Guadalajara fans give them the time of day either.

    Let them die, and start a new tradition in a community that deserves it.

  6. Houston has tailored their team to the MLS style of play. Big, physical and defensive minded. However it would be nice to see a lil more flair with the new stadium opening coupled with those slick orange uni’s

  7. Not necessarily vegas, fans here are fair weathered and a 3 game losing streak would mean the end of the world. But Phx or SD might be a good look. I feel like they are in the Galaxy’s shadow and will never shin in LA.

  8. The win was nice and was honestly low-hanging fruit for the road portion of the schedule, that we needed to pick. But that was an awful Chivas side we made look decent. I felt like the game plan was overly cautious, which is my general DK critique. He took a game that could have been a runaway like their 5-0 preseason closer against SJ (themselves not a juggernaut) — and we were getting breakaways with the lumbering Ching and Bruin, much less the speed we left on the bench for 70’+ — and turned it into a controlled squeaker where we lucked out on ball off the post, etc.

    We spent a lot of the first half on our own end and I think that relates to starting two “bangers” at the same time, plus the slower Davis and Clark wide. You need some speed in the perimeter positions to make the other team give us space to operate.

    That being said Clark had two of the better efforts on goal in open play, so what if he wishes he was playing left? There were players like Watson and Ashe who had much worse games.

    They did seem to miss Camargo although my two cents what we really need is a true center AM who can set the plate in open play, as opposed to more choppers out there. Once fit I think our best CM lineup would be a #10 and Camargo as DM. Moffat was anonymous…

  9. My experience with Galavision games in Houston is they set the cameras up on the shady side of the stadium with the light behind them, looking on to the sunny side of the stadium. The sunny side of the stadium may be a less attractive ticket. Robertson often looked pretty empty but if the camera had looked straight down the shady side was pretty full. So appearances can deceive.

    That being said, Chivas drew 14K on paper and whole areas were closed off. For a home opener it was underwhelming. But does that mean move them to Vegas? I think there are worse offenders.

  10. Chivas USA are part of the larger team, Chivas Guadalajara which is one of the oldest teams in soccer history.

    This game was terrible. Chivas goalie, Dan Kennedy has his A game whereas the rest of the team lacked any punch. Houston did create more chances but as a whole the team didn’t play well. I was upset that the game was only available in Spanish but at least Houston won. Go Dynamo!

  11. My thoughts.. Dynamo back 4 look strong. Forwards need some tweaking. I am not sure the Ching/Bruin combo is the answer. We need a true right winger, Clark can only cut inside to put the ball on his left foot. Watson needs to see the bench. Camargo really must not be fit.

  12. Gosh it looked like only 3,000 fans were there. Move this team to san diego, phoenix or vegas. Why are the chivas in LA ??


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