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.
It was a nice win without many of our regulars. My preference is Bruin/Cummings as forward, Davis, Barnes, Clark, Driver as midfield/ Defense is Sarkodi, Boswell, taylor, Ashe, Hall. We need another forward with speed and range. FO needs to work on bringing someone in for the stretch run. We have good experience in Ching, Wheeler, Chabala, Bruner, youth in Arena, Johnson, Dixon, Ownby. If Cummings can recover some of his speed and his ability, we are a lock for the playoffs. This is a good team that can be great (imo) by adding a proven striker.
Brad Davis’s technical ability (free kicks, corner kicks, penalty kicks, quality service into the box) is surely missed. Absolutely none of our free kicks or corner kicks looked dangerous. I thought our rookies showed some promise (Johnson and Dixon) and would like to see more of them. My ideal lineup would be:
Striker: Cummings Bruin Carr
Mid: Davis Barnes Boniek
Defense: Ashe Taylor Brunner Sarkodie
Subs: Driver (Davis) Clark (Barnes) Creavelle (Ashe Sarkodie Boniek) Chabala (Ashe) Ching (Bruin)
This team is night and day without Boniek.
Warren Creavalle may earn a spot in the starting XI yet. Has he tried the CF position yet? Just kidding…
Does Davis move into the middle when he comes back? I don’t think you want to take Driver off. For me, after the Gold Cup, I think we see…
Bruin – Barnes
Driver – Davis – Clark – Boniek
Ashe – Taylor – Boswell – Sarkodie
Cummings for Barnes as a sub in the 60th to burn tired defenses. Creavalle to cause havoc around the 80th. Ching to kill it at the death.
Creavalle should play LB instead of Ashe.
Dynamo can’t slide too much during the summer this year. I would like to see MLS Cup at BBVA this year. I think that’s the only way we win it this year.
Much better with Boniek back, but we missed a load of chances that speak to our striking needs. Could have been 5-0 easy.