In their final scrimmage before travelling to South Carolina for the Carolina Challenge Cup, the Houston Dynamo fought to a 2-2 draw with Southern Methodist University on Saturday morning.
The Dynamo continue to give their trialists a good amount of time on the field and as we near the start of the season, we'd expect to see some movement with the players who have continued their time in Houston.
Starting XI vs. SMU: Hall; Sarkodie, Boswell, Brunner, Nealis; Songo'o, Clark, Moffat, Davis; Johnson, Bruin.— Dynamo Theory (@dynamotheory) February 9, 2013
Jimmy Nealis got the start at left back, while Franck Songo'o was back in the midfield, this time on the right side. The guy on the left wasn't a new trialist, just captain Brad Davis returning from national team camp. Boniek Garcia was back in Houston as well, but did not feature in the match.
Houston couldn't get going in the first half, and went behind early when a ball hit defender Eric Brunner and redirected into the net for an own goal in the 15th minute. The Dynamo had several other chances to draw even, but went into the half down by a goal.
In the second half, we saw the two other trialists Mike Chabala and Anthony Areana make an appearance.
Second half squad: Marscheider; Creavalle, Arena (trialist), Chabala (trialist), Sarkodie; Watson, Clark, Camargo, Dixon; Weaver, Ching.— Dynamo Theory (@dynamotheory) February 9, 2013
The story of the second half was really SMU keeper Devin Cook, who was a second half starter. Houston pressured SMU for the equalizer, but Cook made a handful of impressive saves to keep his team in the lead. In the 60th minute, SMU added to their lead when Leobardo Vazquez got around Dynamo keeper Erich Marscheider for the second goal of the game.
Houston continued to pressure, and just two minutes later the Dynamo were within striking distance after a nice passing sequence led to a Je-Vaughn Watson goal. It was Watson's first of the preseason.
Cook continued his impressive second half by stopping shots from both Cam Weaver and Alex Dixon to preserve SMU's one goal lead.
In the 87th minute, Brian Ching was able to send in a header past Cook to level the match. Alex Dixon was credited with the assist, his third on the preseason.
The matched finished 2-2 and immediately following a large portion of the team headed to BBVA Compass Stadium for the team's first ever Dynamo Fan Fest. Overall a succesful day for the Dynamo and the club's fans.
The Dynamo will practive in Houston this week and scrimmage the Dynamo Academy on Tuesday afternoon (3:00 pm, HASP) before heading to South Carolina on Saturday.
Houston will face the Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Charleston Battery next week in the Carolina Challenge Cup.
Houston Dynamo vs. Southern Methodist University
February 9, 2013 - Houston Amateur Sports Park
SMU - Eric Brunner (own goal) 15
SMU - Leobardo Vazquez (Tyler Engel) 60
HOU - Je-Vaughn Watson 1 (Cam Weaver 2, Luiz Camargo 2) 62
HOU - Brian Ching 1 (Alex Dixon 3) 87
Houston Dynamo first half - Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Jimmy Nealis*; Frank Songo'o*, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis; Will Bruin, Jason Johnson
Houston Dynamo second half - Erich Marscheider; Warren Creavalle, Anthony Arena*, Mike Chabala*, Kofi Sarkodie; Je-Vaughn Watson, Ricardo Clark (Brian Ownby 61), Luiz Camargo, Alex Dixon; Cam Weaver, Brian Ching
Southern Methodist University - Jaime Ibarra (Devin Cook 46); Damian Rosales, Michael King, Ben Hill, Chris Sendejas (Chris Figueroa 46); Tyler Engel, Max Rockwell (Derek Schrick 35), Aaron Simmons, John Lujano (Edu Aranda 35; John Lujano 46; Will Smith 65); Andrew Morales (Brenden Lee 35; Max Rockwell 65), Juan Castillo (Leobardo Vazquez 46)