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Bruin’s late strike gives Dynamo first win since May

MLS: D.C. United at Houston Dynamo


The Houston Dynamo have fallen on hard times recently, but maybe their fortunes are starting to change for the better.

Dynamo forward Will Bruin pounced on a mistake in second half stoppage time by D.C. United rookie defender Steve Birnbaum, finishing into an open net to give the Dynamo a dramatic 1-0 victory on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The win was the hosts first since May 17, breaking an eight game winless streak that included six losses and a goal differential of negative 13.

The match also represented the first starts for new Dynamo Designated Player signing DaMarcus Beasley and Honduran international Luis Garrido.

Though farther down in the standings to D.C. United, the Dynamo were dominant throughout the game, and nearly took the lead seven minutes in.

Dynamo forward Giles Barnes got around his defender and floated in a cross towards the back post in the seventh minute, finding the head of Bruin in the box. Bruin sent a header towards the far post the clanged off the crossbar, though it was a sign of things to come as D.C. United couldn’t handle Bruin’s presence in the box.

D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid came up huge throughout the match, making clutch saves off a header from Bruin and a close-range strike by Barnes to keep the score deadlocked at 0-0. In the 54th minute, Hamid came up big again as Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis cut in from the right wing and fired a low left-footed shot at the near post, though Hamid made a nice diving stop.

D.C. United’s best chance of the match came in the 58th minute, when a poor clearance by Jermaine Taylor fell right to Chris Rolfe, who controlled the ball and fired a shot on the half-volley towards Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Hall saw the shot the whole way and was able to parry it away from danger.

The Dynamo finally found their breakthrough in the first minute of second half stoppage time. A poor header towards his own net by D.C. United left back Taylor Kemp left Birnbaum in an awkward position, and he was unable to either clear the ball out of play or head the ball back to Hamid.

Dynamo substitute Omar Cummings pounced on the poor clearance from Birnbaum and with Hamid well out of position, slid the ball over to Bruin. Bruin one-timed a strike into the empty net to set off the celebrations at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Here are the game highlights:


  1. It may not pay off this year, but it looks like the Dynamo got two good players by waiting. I was Garrido off the ball and he was constantly moving and covering a lot of ground. Big fan of him so far. Shame on me for losing faith in the Dynamo.

    • I wouldn’t get too far ahead of yourself, we lacked quality striking — Bruin blew a few, the attack generally played perimeter ball and lacked the incisive pass (not enough people up, unable to make big passes or sustain possession), Sarkodie was getting caught up, and the CBs looked weak when the ball got behind the defensive midfielders and the CBs actually had to play individual defense. Some of those issues may put a ceiling on how much success we can have without further changes. But the team defense was improved (perhaps at the expense of playmaking). If we can squeak some more out we might sneak in the playoffs. But to win it all, they need fewer 30 yard shots and dead balls and more DeRo runs and wall passing. And they might need a couple defenders.

  2. Should have been a PK and a yellow for that kick to the face of Demarcus Beasley. Beasley beat Neal which is why he had to do the high kick to the face. MLS officials really need to start calling more fouls. Games get out of control and dangerous quickly when they don’t.

    • Agreed, the same exact play happened in the Philly-Colorado match a few weeks ago and it was a PK/yellow card which is the right call. Even DC’s announcers thought it was a PK.

    • Everything “struck” went over the net last night. Luckily that was a silver platter job. All either of the two DC guys needed to do was take that ball aggressively, but they tentatively tripped over each other and voila. “Call the ball.”

      The Dynamo need to work on feeding the ball into incisive positions inside the box. Too much crossing and teethless perimeter passing. Shots from 30. It’s an offense — and one we’ve ridden before in the Moffat era — but the sort of one that struggles for goals.

      Sarkodie needs to stay back. DC soon learned not to test Beasley and instead started exploiting the gap Sarkodie was leaving creeping forward. He needs to hold the flank more and let Boniek handle the offense.

      The “Clearance of Beasley’s Head” should have been a yellow and PK. Whole reason he does that desperate high kick is he knows Beasley is behind him. The rate of those kind of fouls seemed to have increased during the World Cup, and it’s a dangerous foul in a concussion-concerned era, which can be deterred fairly effectively by making the call.

      • The tackle on Silva was a PK as well as the Sarkodie hand ball. The PKs were 2-1 in favor of DC (yes that kick on Beas was also a PK). That ref sucked, but the goal was really dumb and I could feel it coming the whole time.

        Dust yourselves off boys and get back into the Ws next week. That said there is a learning opportunity here to be sharp and aggressive at all times during the game.

      • The tackle on Silva by Horst was a PK, agreed and a yellow minimum.

        I think it was Taylor, not Sarkodie, with the ball off the hand. I think that was a good no call though.

        I’m just happy the Dynamo got in the W column. It has been awhile. Solid performance by Garrido as well. Back to the empty bucket!

      • I saw the tentative look to the defender and was like, “pressure him” before it even developed. My personal experience if you doubt the keeper is there to help you run through the ball and take it to the corner. He balked and then Hamid tripped him up, which took them both out, QED.

        I couldn’t even tell from the tv if the plays were handballs which makes it hard to claim they were easy to call PKs. Anything that happened would have been “in the way” as opposed to ball to hand.

        Whereas, the guy gives Beasley a swift kick in the face having checked over his shoulder to know he’s coming. Not that I even think he means it — having been on both sides — but it’s reckless since he should know better.

  3. to quote Brian Ching
    “Some days just put a smile on your face.”

    Also during halftime, I asked Eddie Johnson where was his motivation. HIs response was “my wallet”.
    While the little twitter beef was entertaining, I feel the Houston/DCU rivalry has been one of respect. Maybe it was because of the support Barra Brava gave Houston during their MLS Cup match against New England or the fact former players (fan favorites) have gone on to play/work for the other team.

    Trying to troll Eddie Johnson was fun but I hope this doesn’t sour the rivalry.


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