The Houston Dynamo were back on the road following their 3-1 win over New York City FC last week this time kicking things off at Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo winning streak was short lived with RSL besting Houston 1-2 in a close match.
The Dynamo have been shorthanded with injuries hitting the back line and midfield particularly hard and to make matters worse center back Alejandro Fuenmayor was handed a two game suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee which paved the way for Jared Watts and Adam Lundqvist to make their Dynamo debuts.
Real Salt Lake would get the first good look on goal with Brooks Lennon sending in a cross to an unmarked Sebastían Saucedo whose header glanced off the top of the crossbar with Joe Willis just getting enough on it to push it over. On the following corner as Joe Willis punched a ball away he came down with his elbow on the head of Jared Watts. Watts would stay down for an extended amount of time, but he would come back on to continue.
As the game progressed the home team appeared to be in control as their fullbacks pushed high up the field taking away some of the Dynamo’s ability to counter attack with Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto defending more. RSL fans would want a penalty in the 15th minute when Jefferson Savarino went down after some contact with Adam Lundqvist, but the center official said play on.
Not long after that Romell Quioto would get free down the left side of the field and would use his strength and composure to see Brooks Lennon fall to the ground trying to go shoulder to shoulder with him, but his cross went right to RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Real Salt Lake would try to answer on the other end with Saucedo getting free down in the box, but his pass across the mouth of goal would be well defended by DaMarcus Beasley who was taken down by Damir Kreilach. Beasley would stay down for awhile following the challenge, but he was able to get back in the game without lingering effects.
Saucedo was back at it in the 22nd minute as he cut in well against Lundqvist to open up a shot, but it was pushed away by Joe Willis and cleared from danger.
Joe Willis with a BIG left paw. #RSLvHOU https://t.co/2FS2KXc44L— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 31, 2018
Mauro Manotas got free through the center as he closed in on goal. His last touch was a little too heavy and Nick Rimando would get to it, but the ball was still not cleared from danger. Quioto got to it, but his effort would go into the side netting.
The home team opened the scoring in the 34th minute with Brooks Lennon switching the ball to Sebastían Saucedo who had been dangerous all night. Saucedo had enough space to play a cross into Luis Silva who was left open and he headed it far post passed a diving Joe Willis. 0-1 Real Salt Lake.
Houston would try to get one back, but were denied by Nick Rimando in the 42nd minute. The ball fell to Mauro Manotas on the end line close to goal and he played the ball into the 6 yard box. Tomás Martínez got to the ball first and got a shot off, but Rimando parried it away from danger.
The halftime whistle blew with RSL still in the lead. Overall it had been all RSL in this game with the home side pressing Dynamo defenders and midfielders which hurt our ability to get the ball up the field. They also went at Adam Lundqvist and Jared Watts often with them having the least chemistry on the team and Lundqvist playing out of position at right back. The Dynamo would get chances late as they didn’t sit as deep, but so far Nick Rimando has kept them off the score sheet.
Kevin Garcia replaced Jared Watts at halftime and the beginning of the second half did resemble the end of the first with the Dynamo getting some chances including a pair of set pieces that Alberth Elis earned.
As the game wore on, it seemed to wear on both teams as the home side looked to sit back on their lead a little bit, but the energy had been lacking for the visiting Dynamo with passes just too slow to each other. Real Salt Lake would get a few good looks on goal, but one effort banged off the side post and another was blocked by Kevin Garcia.
The Dynamo finally beat Rimando in the 75th minute. A rare poor cleared kick by Rimando fell to Arturo Álvarez who picked out Oscar Boniek García. Boniek got his head up and found Romell Quioto who took his space and played a perfect ball into Alberth Elis to level the game at a goal apiece.
Joe Willis kept the game level in the 82nd minute after denying Joao Plata 1v1, but the game would not stay tied for long. The following corner kick saw Kyle Beckerman wide open back post and he easily beat the Dynamo keeper with Eric Alexander missing his marking assignment. 1-2 to Real Salt Lake.
The Dynamo nearly got a second equalizer in the 85th minute following a set piece opportunity. A ball was floated to Luis Gil who headed one towards the lower corner of the goal, but Nick Rimando was able to make a full stretch grab to deny his former teammate. Elis wanted a penalty not long after Luis’s header as there was a lot of contact on him, but the center official confirmed no penalty via VAR.
The final whistle would blow with Real coming away with the three points. The Dynamo have again conceded late on the road, but despite some long lulls in the second half, there were some good chances including the initial equalizer. I particularly liked the fire and passion from Romell Quioto down the stretch.
The Dynamo now make the long trip over the border to face the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo this Saturday at 6:30 PM CT.
34’ RSL: Luis Silva (assisted by Sebastían Saucedo, Brooks Lennon)
75’ HOU: Alberth Elis (assisted by Romell Quioto)
82’ RSL: Kyle Beckerman (Assisted By: Damir Kreilach, Sebastián Saucedo)
28’ HOU: Tomás Martínez (yellow card)
70’ HOU: Eric Alexander (yellow card)
90’+6’ HOU: Romell Quioto (yellow card)
90’+7’ RSL: Marcelo Silva (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Joe Willis; DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Jared Watts (HT Kevin Garcia), Adam Lundqvist; Oscar Boniek García, Eric Alexander, Tomás Martínez (83’ Luis Gil); Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas (66’ Arturo Álvarez), Alberth Elis
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Nick Rimando; Danilo Acosta, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Brooks Lennon; Sunny (64’ Kyle Beckerman), Damir Kreilach, Nick Besler; Sebastían Saucedo, Luis Silva (67’ Corey Baird), Jefferson Savarino (76’ Joao Plata)