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Dynamo top Union to leapfrog into playoff position

Ricardo Clark


The Houston Dynamo looked like a team in danger of falling out of the playoff picture, but if we have learned anything over the years, it is that you can never count the Dynamo out when the post-season is approaching.

The Dynamo snapped a four-match winless streak, and catapulted into fourth place in the Eastern conference, on the strength of a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at PP&L Park.

Ricardo Clark headed home a long free kick from Brad Davis to give the Dynamo a precious road win that helped them move back into a playoff place after previously residing in sixth place to start the weekend.

The match had its share of controversy after a 30th-minute Keon Daniel free kick beat Tally Hall only to be waved off after Amobi Okugo was whistled for interfering with Hall on the kick.

The Dynamo nearly opened the scoring in the 21st minute, but Cam Weaver squandered two quality scoring chances just seconds apart to keep Houston off the scoreboard early.

The Union nearly found their own opening goal just three minutes later when Conor Casey headed a perfect Fabinho cross just over the crossbar for what was one of the Union’s best chances of the night.

Jack McInerney’s struggles continued as he saw a golden opportunity to equalize slip by him in the 72nd minute. The second-half substitute slipped a close-range shot just wide of goal on a night that extended his goal-less drought to 12 matches.

The loss dropped the Union into sixth place in the East, tied on points with fifth-place Chicago, which has a game in hand. The Union have a week off now before returning to action against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 27th.

Here are the match highlights:


  1. how is it offsides if he doesn’t come in contact with the ball? if the call is correct? just about every free kick has a man offsides so then should almost everyone of them be waved off

  2. I remember a time when Houston use to be threatening on set pieces. I remember a time when Houston was known for having a stellar defense and deep roster. I remember a time when Houston had leadership out there on the pitch. Gone are all these things so it’s really surprising that they actually scored on a set piece and posted a shutout. I’m glad to see the veterans step it up.

    The new guys don’t respect what Brian Ching or Brad Davis represent because leadership comes by doing and this year those two haven’t really done anything. Their confidence is down because Adam Moffat was consistently having turnovers with the ball which lead to goals being scored by opposing teams and the fact that Will Bruin & Cam Weaver couldn’t score a goal if the goalie left the pitch for a water break in the middle of the game. The Dynamo lack leadership on the pitch, someone to rally the war-cry. Ching & Pat Onstad did it in the past and Brad Davis did it the last couple of years, I think either Ricardo Clark or Boniek Garcia need to step it up this year.

  3. It was a tough match for both teams. Too many chances were squandered by both. Still, the Orange played tough and showed me resiliency. I was encouraged to see Cummings come in late and play really well. I think he will start next week or at least be a first sub. His speed is too great to let sit on the bench. Bruin will break out and I hope he starts doing so starting next week. Too many chances and no results. Can play havoc with the mind. Great win for the Orange and hope this leads to a season ending charge.

  4. There are still points to get and determine who is in and out of the playoffs, but…
    Where are all my Dynamo doubters at?

    Also I’m sad to see moffat go but getting the team younger should always be a priority.

  5. Okugo was whistled for interference not offside. The replay showed that it was a very soft call. Probably should have been 1-1.

      • You are correct and the call was correct. I was watching the match in a bar and couldn’t hear the broadcasters. I assumed the call was interference. After seeing the replay it turns out to be a justified and well earned 1-0 win.

      • No prob. At PPL folks all initially thought he was being called for interference, too (self included), which would have been a very weak call, but when they showed the replay (and I double checked it at home), it was clearly an issue of offside. Nevermind that fact that if either side had finished half of their quality chances the match could have ended 3-3…

  6. Was at the match last night. Great atmosphere. With the exception of Fabhino, the Union looked snakebit last night. First touches were heavy, passes were just a bit too off, shots were just a bit too wide or high. So much for the big changes Hackworth was threatening this week.

    Felt bad for Keon, but Okugo was offside, it was close, but clear.

    I’ve said it before, but I think what we see is what Philly’s got. There are some kep players that are either young and still learning (MacMath McInerney Okugo) or just lack the quality to be lead leaders in their roles (Gaddis, Daniel, Farfan, HACKWORTH).

    They have to make some moves this summer once the Adu money comes free.


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