The Houston Dynamo came into tonight’s preseason fixture with a win over Rio Grande Valley FC Toros and a draw in their Visit Tucson Sun Cup opener with the New York Red Bulls. This time Tab Ramos and the Dynamo faced off against Real Salt Lake and crushed the competition. The Dynamo in the first half controlled the game and in the second half were lethal with their finishing.
The opening minutes saw the Dynamo chippy, committing a number of fouls in quick succession which made it difficult for Real Salt Lake to find their form. After that, Houston began dominating possession in the midfield led by Tomás Martínez checking in and quickly distributing the ball all over the field. Houston found success switching the field and finding space moving the ball from one side to the other, but were not dangerous in their build up once inside the attacking third of the field.
As the game continued on the Dynamo’s possession made it difficult for RSL to find their rhythm with opportunities rare for the Dynamo opponents. While Houston largely controlled the midfield, they lacked creativity in the final third with their first good look on goal coming before the 25th minute. Tomás Martínez won the ball in the midfield as Houston had a numbers advantage going forward. He quickly pushed the ball to Memo Rodríguez who played a ball over the top to Mauro Manotas, but the RSL keeper was quick to get there before the number 9 could play it on target.
Just before the 40th minute the Dynamo nearly opened the scoring. Martínez recovered the ball in a great space and pushed the ball wide. After some good passing to maintain possession around the 18 yard box, the ball was played across goal and José Bizama was able to get on the end of it, but the effort wasn’t enough and was easily saved.
Just a few minutes later the Dynamo had another quality effort on goal, this time coming from a free kick just outside the top of the 18 yard box. Memo stepped up to take it and fired a shot through the wall, but RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath was there to deny the Dynamo before the half.
Real Salt Lake tried to respond with an attacking player laying a well weighted through ball to a teammate, but the following shot was right at Dynamo keeper Marko Marić which hit him in the shoulder and deflected away from danger.
The Dynamo got off to a good start, although there was some confusion surrounding Houston’s opening goal not long after the start of the second half. Martínez pushed the ball wide to Memo who played the ball to Manotas who beat MacMath from around the penalty spot. However, the goal was reviewed for possible offsides. Not that Memo or Manotas were off, but whether or not Niko Hansen interfered while being in an offside position. After the center official looked at it, he came back and ruled that the goal stands.
Houston would double its lead a few minutes later thanks to the Irish Messi aka Tommy McNamara who received the ball with some space, took his touches to close in on goal, and fired one from outside the box narrowly beating the RSL keeper. 2-0 Houston before the 60th minute.
60' - Tommy Mac doubles the lead pic.twitter.com/X0rhdpLHON— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
Niko Hansen made it 3-0 as the game began to open up for Houston with RSL pushing higher up in an attempt to ignite their offense which only created more space for the Dynamo. Hansen won the ball, made a run into the box, cut passed his defender, and coolly beat the keeper.
63' - Niko says we'll take a third pic.twitter.com/lIl7KpzfHG— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
RSL tried to get one back before the 80th minute after LB Sam Junqua slipped which allowed his mark to get free on goal. The player tried to catch Marko Marić in no-man’s land by chipping the Croatian, but Marić was able to rise up and swat the ball away from danger.
Christian Ramirez made it 4-0 after receiving a ball coming from the right side of the field and tapping it in. It was a great run by the center forward who recognized Michael Salazar’s back post run so he pulled his run freeing him from his defender which put him in a position to score. Not long after Houston’s 4th the substitute Marcelo Palomino tried his luck from distance and rattled the top of the crossbar as it skimmed out for a goal kick.
81' - Superman adds a fourth! pic.twitter.com/DLBeiGamW1— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 20, 2020
The Dynamo would go on to win 4-0 over Real Salt Lake in the second match of the Visit Tucson Sun Cup tournament. While the first half lacked a lot of chances the Dynamo certainly dominated in other facets by controlling the game and limiting RSL and their chances. The second half opened up for the Dynamo with the final pass and finishing looking improved.
The Dynamo will next face Columbus Crew SC Saturday February 22nd at 6:00 PM CT to finish up the tournament.
Your Dynamo XI from Tucson— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 19, 2020
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Real Salt Lake: