Two trips to the west coast, two wins for the Dynamo...not too shabby. On Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Houston rode an early Brad Davis PK to a second straight 1-0 victory, this time over a spirited Earthquakes team that will likely be ruing their missed opportunities.
For the Dynamo, it's their second road victory of the season and when you compare that to the fact it took 16 away matches in 2011 to reach the same win total, you have to be pleased. I think many of us felt that this team would be able to start better this year with the settled nature of the defensive back line. Geoff Cameron and Bobby Boswell form such a capable partnership, and being able to plug Jermaine Taylor in for the injured Corey Ashe just shows the depth that Kinnear is working with at the back.
Houston's lone goal came in the 13th minute when Adam Moffat chipped a ball in to the Earthquake box, forcing goalkeeper Jon Busch to come off his line to cut off Brian Ching. Busch missed the ball and crashed in to Ching, who had beaten San Jose defender Víctor Bernárdez on the play. Referee Chris Penso awarded the penalty, that Brad Davis stepped up and buried past a diving Busch.
San Jose didn't push hard offensively in the first half, managing only one shot that Tally Hall easily pushed over the cross bar. In the second half, the addition of Marvin Chavez gave the Dynamo fits and the Earthquakes were a far more dangerous team. Despite some excellent chances for Chris Wondolowski, among others, San Jose couldn't solve Hall and the defense.
There are still questions about the offense of course. Je-Vaughn Watson had moments, but overall he continued to be a turnover machine playing in the middle of the midfield. Luiz Camargo will hopefully be ready next weekend, but we'll just have to see. Will Bruin was a bit quiet on Saturday as well, which is disappointing after such a great preseason. How he continues to learn and improve will be vital to the success of the Dynamo this season. Until then, there is going to be doubt that the Bruin/Ching pairing up front is the right way to go right now.
It's a second straight clean sheet for Houston and another nice confidence boost ahead of what will easily be the team's toughest match of the season, a trip to CenturyLink Field to face the Seattle Sounders next weekend.