The Houston Dynamo showed plenty of promise in a 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution. I didn't have much hope going in, but they surprised me with more offensive talent than I expected.
Giles Barnes impressed in his first game as captain, Cristian Maidana proved his worth in Houston as a central attacking midfielder and Andrew Wenger, who scored along with Barnes and Maidana, looks to have sealed up his spot as starting right winger. The defense could have used some work–giving up three goals at home is never a good thing–but overall, a draw against one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference is encouraging.
The Revolution got off to a quick start with a highlight-reel goal from Diego Fagundez in the third-minute, but after almost 40 minutes, the Dynamo responded thanks to Maidana. The clubs traded goals five minutes later, and with the score tied at two, Barnes seemingly gave the home side the victory by finishing off a brilliant team move in the 79th-minute. But just as referee Jose Carlos Rivero looked at his watch and thought about blowing play dead, Daigo Kobayashi rescued a point for New England and sunk the Dynamo.
But as mentioned before, this draw is a perfectly acceptable result, as Owen Coyle reiterated.
Today on Dynamo Film Session, we analyze Fagundez's crazy long shot and the beginnings of how it happened.
We begin with the ball flying toward the Dynamo backline where Charlie Davies is wrecking havoc:
Jose Gonçalves had just booted the ball up field. Davies appears to be battling for position with David Horst (circled in blue), who does a good job of moving with him and preventing him from being able to hold up play.
In the process of doing this, however, he loses his ability to get good enough contact on the ball to get it out of harm's way. That's why Jalil Anibaba (in red) steps up and helps out.
Anibaba's decision to help was a good one, as he clearly is in a better position to clear it. But his execution turns out to hurt him in the end as he fails to substantially clear the ball (circled in orange at the top of the box).
Fagundez (circled in black) sees the flubbed clearance immediately and takes advantage of the large amount of space in front of him. The rest of the Dynamo weren't expecting the ball to come to that area, so they aren't in position to defend the Uruguayan.
When the ball gets to Fagundez, he is decisive. He immediately thinks shoot, and sets up for a long-range volley. The Dynamo backline, at that point consisting of Anibaba, Horst and Raul Rodriguez, had instinctively backed up when the clearance fell short, giving the shooter all the more room.
Davies is currently running back from an offside position and Lee Nguyen and Kellyn Rowe are jogging forward, ready as options for Fagundez. But the striker has only one thing in mind: get the ball in the goal.
The shot is unleashed with essentially zero pressure. Rodriguez makes a feeble attempt at blocking it, but it is too little, too late.
It would zip into the bottom corner leaving Joe Willis absolutely no chance at saving it and vaulting Fagundez into the Goal of the Week conversation.
This goal could easily have been prevented, but that shouldn't take anything away from how amazing it was. Fagundez took advantage of the mistake and showed off some incredible skill with a memorable blast that put the Revs on top early.