When Andy Najar scored in the first half of last night's match between the Houston Dynamo and DC United, the first thing that came to my mind was, "well, at least they can't blow a lead tonight". Not only did the Dynamo not blow a lead, they came back in the second half a got a win that will probably keep them out of the MLS basement this season.
Three second half goals gave Houston a 3-1 victory at RFK and technically kept the Dynamo still mathematically alive in the playoff race. Last night really wasn't about the playoffs though, it was more about starting to identify who on the roster Dominic Kinnear wants to move forward with in 2011.
Rookie of the year candidate Andy Najar put DC United ahead in the 29 minute with an impressive individual effort. Najar took a long past from Santino Quaranta and proceeded to beat Andrew Hainault and Adrian Serioux before burying a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
The Dynamo equalized in the 66th after a Rcihard Mulrooney cross found Brad Davis alone in front of the net. The redirection went off target, but hit off the shin of Devon McTavish and found the net.
Brad Davis had a head in the second Dynamo goal, sending a cross in to the box that Geoff Cameron redirected past goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Unlike past games, Houston was able to weather the DC attack down the stretch and in the 100th minute of the match, yes 100th minute, Dominic Oduro split two defenders and slotted a shot past Perkins to secure the victory.
The game got to the 100th minute thanks to a lengthy delay after Onstad and Hainault collided in the Dynamo box. The Dynamo keeper was bloodied and woozy, but convinced the Dynamo trainers to allow him to finish the match. The delay used up nearly all of the original five minutes of stoppage time and it was not until after 100 minutes of play that referee Alex Prus finally blew the whistle.
There was also an odd incident late in the match after a hard tackle by DC defender Julius James on Oduro. DC head coach Ben Olsen walked toward the Dynamo bench in what was later explained as an attempt to acknowledge the poor tackle. Alex Prus, who apparently received no assistance from the fourth official, ejected both coaches. The incident was harmless and as long as MLS doesn't punish either coach, it's really a non-issue.
The win gives the Dynamo 7 victories on the season and after a busy week, the team will prepare for their first visit to PPL Park against the Philadelphia Union next weekend.