An amazing performance can be tarnished by a single bad play, and that's exactly what happened to Tyler Deric and the Houston Dynamo Friday night against Orlando City.
A poorly-controlled back pass by Deric in the 74th minute was the difference as Orlando City SC knocked off the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium 1-0 for their first franchise win in Major League Soccer.
The Dynamo opened up the match with Will Bruin being dropped to the bench in favor of Lionel Miranda. Oscar Boniek Garcia was pushed in under Giles Barnes with Miranda's move out wide. In a surprising move, David Horst drew in on defense alongside Jermaine Taylor over Raul Rodriguez, who was probable to play with a hamstring injury. Darrell Lovell of MLSSoccer.com reported that although Rodriguez dropped out of the Dynamo's line-up for tonight's match-up, he took a full training session on Wednesday.
Carlos Rivas started up top for Orlando City with what will be a common image of Kaka in the middle of the attacking midfield. Bryan Rochez was dropped from OCSC's 18-man roster Friday night and Darwin Ceren replaced Cristian Higuita alongside Amobi Okugo in the midfield.
Rivas and Kaka combined for the first real chance of the first-half in the 15th minute when Rivas received the pass from Kaka 40 yards out before turning and curling a dangerous chance over Deric's left post. It was an opportunity that showed Orlando's ability to work balls through their midfield and through Kaka up to Rivas, because when you have a former Ballon D'or winner in your line-up like Kaka, there isn't much of a dispute you can make with that tactic.
Tyler Deric's week one performance was proved not to be a one-off when he absolutely denied Kaka in the 41st minute from an almost identical free-kick location that ended with a goal for Orlando last weekend. Kaka curled the ball towards the left-corner side netting, started making his run towards the corner flag but was stopped by a criminal save from Deric, who stretched out to get a hand on the ball to push it out for a corner in what was nine times out of 10 an assured goal at any level.
The Dynamo's first-half opportunities were the result of Orlando defending errors, including a clearance off the line to deny a corner that was driven right to Brad Davis, who put it high and over OCSC goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
The first-half would end deadlocked at 0-0 with the majority of chances going in favor of Orlando. Molino was having a strong game complimenting Kaka on the right side of the midfield, providing service to Kaka and Rivas up top.
Tyler Deric would get the better of Kaka for a second time in the 65th minute when Kaka chipped over a sliding David Horst to get himself a clear look in close on Deric. The Houston goalkeeper would block the close effort to keep the score level as the game entered the late stages.
But Deric's stellar play would all come crashing down in the 74th minute when he took a heavy touch on a Houston back pass, calling on him to scramble and try and clear the ball. The clearance was blocked, leaving a clear chance for Orlando's Pedro Ribeiro on an empty net. Deric fought from behind on Ribeiro to clear the ball, but ultimately ended up in the net on a pile up with Ribeiro and the ball behind him. 1-0 to the Lions.
A late string of corners for the Dynamo in the last minutes of the match were not enough to pull back a point for Houston, ultimately falling 1-0 and handing Orlando their first MLS-era goal in franchise history.
It's still being determined if the goal will go down as a Deric own goal or Ribeiro's, but Deric put in another strong effort, and a possible save of the week candidate, despite giving up the game-winning moment. The Dynamo's offence however struggled to provide any support for Deric and get any real tests on Ricketts, who looked untouched in the Orlando goal tonight.
The Dynamo will look ahead to next week as they take to the road for the first time this season for a game in Los Angeles at the StubHub Center with the MLS Champion LA Galaxy.