Houston Dynamo FC were hoping to finish their road trip with a win at PayPal Park against the San Jose Earthquakes. Unfortunately they had to settle for yet another draw with the final score reading 1-1. The Dynamo are becoming a great defensive team, but are struggling to find ways to get the ball in the back of the net.
Memo Rodríguez tried his luck from outside the 18 yard box trying to get the Dynamo off to a dream start. After Maxi Urruti’s hold up play was disrupted by the San Jose central defenders it fell right to Memo who took a touch to open up a shot, but it was poorly struck and easily saved by Earthquakes’ goalkeeper JT Macinkowski.
A few minutes later Chris Wondolowski earned a free kick in a dangerous place of the field. The kick went near post and as Fafà Picault cleared the ball, he made contact with Wondolowski prompting the home side and the crowd to shout for a penalty, but the center official Ted Unkel was unfazed and said play on.
Just a few minutes later the bizarre happened with San Jose defender Nathan colliding with the center official. Both were down for an extended amount of time before eventually getting up. Nathan continued on, but Unkel had to come off with the fourth official taking his place.
Joe Corona made a great run in the 17th minute after Zarek Valentin spotted his cutting run inside. Corona got around his defender and poked it through to Memo. Memo tried to put the ball around the keeper, but there wasn’t enough on it and it was saved.
Just before the 40th minute Memo was brought down by Nathan in a good spot on the field which gave the Dynamo a free kick. The ball that was sent in was cleared, but not from danger with Matías Vera getting the ball a few yards outside the 18 yard box. He took a touch and smashed a low driven effort into the goal to give the Dynamo a 1-0 lead before halftime.
Put this one on repeat.— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) July 25, 2021
Qué golazo pic.twitter.com/6TzCSffUtV
In stoppage time Griffin Dorsey, who was making his Dynamo debut, fouled Shea Salinas on the edge of the box. Cristian Espinoza sent in a cross, and Zarek Valentin in an attempt to clear it over the goal, accidentally played the ball into his own net tying the game going into the half.
Both teams came out aggressively to start the second half with a higher pressed and more physical style for each side. Memo tried his luck early into the half after receiving the ball at the top of the 18 yard box, but his effort lacked pace and not a problem for Marcinkowski.
The Dynamo were able to find times to hold the ball in the final third of the field for extended amounts of time, but were unable to crack the back line to create a quality shot on goal. San Jose also quickly transitioned the ball, but could not break the Dynamo defense to find the back of the net.
As the game ticked on, the managers made their adjustments to the game. Houston’s offense had been relatively one dimensional in how it attacked; they counter attacked and relied on moving from wide areas into the middle the closer they got to the goal. Darwin Quintero came on and added more creativity which led to the Dynamo earning several free kicks and a little more flair in the final third. In the 83rd minute, Quintero did well to dribble through several defenders and put Urruti in on goal, but it went out for a goal kick.
In the 87th minute, San Jose drilled in a low cross that would’ve been a tap in, but Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić took no chances and somehow got a foot to the ball which swept the ball away from danger.
After a Mateo Bajamich foul set up a free kick in a dangerous spot for the home side, it looked like the Earthquakes had stolen points in stoppage time after finding the back of the net. However, after some confusion, the assistant referee had his flag raised indicating offside much to the chagrin of the home fans.
Just before the end of the game, Maxi Urruti made a tactical foul on Carlos Fierro to slow down the counter attack which resulted in a yellow card for Urruti. However, Fierro kicked out and retaliated after the foul and that got Fierro a straight red for his involvement.
The final whistle would blow with both sides locked at a goal apiece. This was probably a fair result. The Dynamo are increasingly becoming a solid defensive team that needs more support up front, both in numbers and in personnel. Not a bad result on the road, but Houston is becoming more and more desperate for that elusive win.
The Dynamo will be back at BBVA Stadium next Saturday, July 31st, when they take on Real Salt Lake at 7:30 PM CT.
40’ HOU: Matías Vera
45’+5’ SJ: Zarek Valentin (own goal)
53’ HOU: Fafà Picault (yellow card)
57’ HOU: Tim Parker (yellow card)
68’ HOU: Matías Vera (yellow card)
70’ SJ: Nathan (yellow card)
90’+7’ SJ: Carlos Fierro (red card)
90’+8’ HOU: Maxi Urruti (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-4-2): Marko Marić; Sam Junqua, Teenage Hadebe, Tim Parker, Zarek Valentin; Memo Rodríguez (71’ Adam Lundkvist), Joe Corona (90’+1’ Mateo Bajamich), Matías Vera, Griffin Dorsey (67’ Derrick Jones); Maxi Urruti, Fafà Picault (67’ Darwin Quintero)
San Jose Earthquakes (3-4-3): JT Marcinkowski; Tanner Beason, Oswaldo Alanís, Nathan; Shea Salinas, Jack Skahan (62’ Carlos Fierro), Eric Remedi, Luciano Abecasis (72’ Paul Marie); Cristian Espinoza (62’ Cade Cowell), Chris Wondolowski (77’ Andrés Rios), Javier Eduardo López (72’ Florian Jungwirth)