The Houston Dynamo looked to battle back after losing 4-1 to rival and Western Conference foe FC Dallas. The Dynamo welcomed the return of former head coach Dominic Kinnear as the Dynamo hosted the San Jose Earthquakes. The Dynamo reverted back to a 4-5-1 formation which sent Will Bruin back to the bench as Oscar Boniek Garcia rejoined the starting XI alongside fellow Honduran countryman Luis Garrido, who earned the starting nod in central midfield following Nathan Sturgis's injury in the previous match.
There were a few nervous moments for the Dynamo early as Chris Wondolowski had a chance in the 2nd minute on a San Jose corner kick, but his close range effort was poorly struck and it went over the top for a goal kick. A few minutes later a poor challenge by Alex Lopez gifted San Jose a dangerous free kick opportunity, but the shot was sent right into the wall and proved to not be a threat for the Houston defense.
Neither side looked settled in within the first 15 minutes, but the Dynamo found a bit of success following a pass by Giles Barnes to Ricardo Clark who earned a corner. The ensuing corner found Brad Davis in a good position, but he was well defended and the ball was soon out of danger. The Dynamo soon found another corner kick as Alex Lopez's delivery found the head of Raul Rodriguez, but his headed effort was off the mark.
Before the 30th minute Ricardo Clark earned a yellow card for an aerial challenge that saw him knee Fatai Alashe in the back. Alashe would have to be taken off and J.J. Koval entered the match for the injured Earthquake midfielder. The brief injury break didn't slow the Dynamo as Brad Davis got the ball to Alex Lopez near the 18 yard box and Lopez played a ball across the goal but there was nobody there to get on the end of it.
Brad Davis had a very close chance in the 34th minute following a cross by Sarkodie which San Jose failed to clear and the Dynamo captained collected the effort and sent it just wide of the net.
Both teams would head to the locker rooms locked at 0-0 to end the first half. The first half saw plenty of chances for each side, but neither side looked convincing in the final third or dominated the game in any one way.
The Dynamo started the 2nd half strong as Ricardo Clark came out and immediately forced a tough save by San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham who pushed it out for a corner kick. Giles Barnes would soon find space behind the Earthquake defense on a breakaway, but his shot was high and there was no call by center official Ricardo Salazar despite being lightly clipped on the ankle prior to his shot.
In the 55th minute San Jose would open up the scoring on a set piece. Adam Jahn would find his head on Matias Perez Garcia's service as the Dynamo defense wasn't on the same page and failed to employ the offside trap. The Dynamo would get their chance to equalize after Boniek earned a Dynamo penalty for getting taken down by Bingham, but Giles Barnes's shot was pushed wide by the San Jose keeper.
Will Bruin, who entered the game for Alex Lopez, had a very close effort in the 78th minute as San Jose couldn't clear a ball from danger and Bruin took the ball and shot through defenders, but his shot went just wide.
The Dynamo would fail to equalize on Jahn's early 2nd half effort and would fall to the visiting Earthquakes. Despite out possessing, out passing, and out shooting San Jose, they were caught sleeping on a set piece which is a no-no against Kinnear teams. Although they were able to move the ball well from the midfield, they couldn't involve their forwards as they heavily favored the over the top ball to Barnes.
A bright spot for the Dynamo was the hustle of rookie substitute Rob Lovejoy who fought hard to win the ball in various places of the field and convert those efforts into offensive opportunities for the team.
Houston will travel across the northern border to play Toronto FC this Sunday, May 10th at 4 PM central in a game that takes on a lot more importance after dropping 2 games in a row at home to Western Conference opponents.