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Preseason Cup Final Recap: Houston Dynamo Fall to New England Revolution on Penalties

The Houston Dynamo lost out to the New England Revolution on penalties in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup Final

MLS: Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are coming off a 1-0 win over Phoenix Rising which saw the Dynamo through to the Mobile Mini Sun Cup Final against the New England Revolution. This is the second year that the Dynamo have gone to the final and are back defending their preseason title.

In the midweek match against Phoenix Rising, the Dynamo largely fielded reserves as they opted to rest many of their starters against the USL side. This week, the Wilmer Cabrera showed a lineup closer to what we’ll see when the season kicks off next week.

The first half starters were:

(GK): Chris Seitz

(DF): Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Philippe Senderos, DaMarcus Beasley

(MID): Eric Alexander, Juan David Cabezas, Oscar Boniek García

(FW): Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas, Andrew Wenger

Early into the match the Dynamo were the aggressors as Alberth Elis pounced on a poor ball backwards by the Revolution, but as he looked to spring Mauro Manotas on goal, the pass was poorly weighted (and in the air and not to Manotas’s feet) and the Dynamo came up short. In the 16th minute, the Dynamo had another opportunity to go up as the Revolution failed to clear a ball. Mauro Manotas somehow came away with it and got loose on the corner of the 18 yard box, but his pass across the goal was well defended and was cleared from danger.

The Dynamo continued to knock on the door as a perfect long pass out of the midfield connected with Elis as he easily brought the pass down and looked to go in on goal. He was shoulder to shoulder with the Revolution central defenders and went down, but center referee signaled for Elis to get up.

In the 25th minute, Houston would continue to look dangerous, but unable to break through. Elis nutmegged a Revolution defender inside the 18 yard box and he squared a pass to Mauro Manotas. Manotas, who should have one touched it into the net, took a touch which gave the Revolution time to close in. As he tried to step around his defender the ball popped up and caught Manotas on the hand ending another good run.

The Revolution would have their own chance as Scott Caldwell fired off a shot from the top of the box, but Philippe Senderos was there to deliver a sliding block on the effort. The ball fell to defender Andrew Farrell, but his shot went over the top. Shortly after, Gabriel Somi got free down the side and was able to get his own shot in on goal, but Kevin Garcia was there to deflect it out for a corner kick.

Boniek García would see a deserved red card for a challenge on Diego Fagúndez. Fagúndez earlier had a tackle on Elis that looked like a foul, but there was nothing called. Boniek, in a payback attempt, put in a late challenge on Fagúndez and he had his elbow up high to send a message to Fagúndez. Because this is a preseason tournament, the Dynamo were allowed to put a player on to replace the red carded player which saw Arturo Álvarez enter the game.

Not long after Boniek’s red card, the halftime whistle would sound and both teams would head to their locker rooms locked at 0-0. Both sides have had their chances and arguably should have put them away. The Dynamo have had the greater number, but poor passing in the final third has hurt them.

The New England Revolution would be the first ones to go on the scoreboard as Juan Agudelo fired a shot that deflected off the post which fell to a wide open Krisztián Németh. Németh looked up and picked out his spot and put it past an outstretched Chris Seitz in the 48th minute.

Houston was close to equalizing as Arturo Álvarez found himself behind the Revolution defense, but instead of taking a touch or playing the ball across goal to Alberth Elis, he opted for the long shot on his left foot which was very off target. Not long after, Elis rose up to head a ball into the post, but had the ball gone in it wouldn’t have counted as the referee blew the whistle for a foul against Houston on the play.

Alberth Elis would earn a penalty and level the game 1-1 in the 63rd minute. A perfect through ball by Memo Rodriguez, who came on for Andrew Wenger, saw Elis 1v1 with the Revolution goalkeeper. He took a touch to go around the GK who brought Elis down. It was not a red card worthy foul as Elis took the ball away from goal, but it was ruled a penalty. Elis stepped up to take the penalty himself and rolled a slow moving ball down the center of goal to equalize the game.

Elis nearly got a second goal in the 67th minute. A free kick by Memo Rodriguez saw the ball bounce around, but it fell to Elis with his back to goal. He took a touch, turned, and fired a shot, but it was saved by the Revolution goalkeeper. The saved shot rebounded to Mauro Manotas who blasted his own shot from a tough angle, but it was too tough an angle to sneak through.

The Dynamo nearly got on the board again, with Elis (also again) leading the way. A well placed cross saw Elis get up forcing a save, but (also again) the goal would not have counted as the referee thought Elis was a little too physical with his defender as he went up for the ball.

Kelyn Rowe was inches away from putting the game away for the Revolution. He got free on goal and was 1v1 with Joe Willis, who had come on for Chris Seitz, and Willis got just enough of the shot to keep the game level in the 89th minute.

After 90 minutes the game would go to penalties.

HOU - Memo Rodriguez: GOAL

NER – Kelyn Rowe: SAVE

HOU - Darwin Cerén: GOAL

NER – Scott Caldwell: GOAL

HOU - Tomás Martínez: GOAL

NER – Teal Bunbury: GOAL

HOU - Arturo Álvarez: SAVE

NER – Chris Tierney: GOAL

HOU – Alberth Elis: MISS

NER - Krisztián Németh: GOAL

4-3 Revolution

The Houston Dynamo would fall to the Revolution on penalties. After an initial save by Joe Willis on Kelyn Rowe, it looked like the Dynamo were sure to get the win. However, Álvarez’s saved penalty and a very poor penalty by Elis were enough for the Dynamo to miss out on back-to-back Mobile Mini Sun Cup Final victories.

The regular season is back next week and the Houston Dynamo will kick things off against Atlanta United FC at BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday, March 3rd at 2:30 PM CT.