Houston Dynamo FC were looking to follow up their strongest performance of the year in their win over the Vancouver Whitecaps as the Colorado Rapids paid a visit to PNC Stadium. It was a bit of a mixed bag for Houston in the 1-1 draw with the Rapids with both sides really going back and forth for much of the game, but considering the step up in competition from last week this can be seen as a step in the right direction from a results perspective.
The opening minutes saw a lot of energy by both sides with Colorado and Houston pressing high. The Rapids saw less of the ball, but their forwards continued to put pressure on the Dynamo back line to keep the ball moving quickly by the Dynamo defenders. Houston was up to the task and able to find space in transition with several good combinations from the wing.
Colorado would weather some of the early pressure by the Dynamo and take some of the momentum before the 10th minute with their possession increasing in Houston’s half of the field. The Rapids had an excellent early chance in the 11th minute with Keegan Rosenberry expertly crossing the ball to Jonathan Lewis. Lewis took a touch and attempted to hit the back of the net in the back corner, but Steve Clark reacted perfectly and deflected the ball out for a corner.
As the game continued Houston was forced to play more long balls out of the back and stay deeper in the midfield to try and find the forwards on the counter. The Rapids had done well to limit the Dynamo’s possession in Colorado’s half as they continued to keep pressing the back line.
Despite the Rapids largely looking the better attacking team, the defense by Houston was doing a very good job at reading the runs to mark Colorado’s forwards. Teenage Hadebe, who got his first start of the 2022 season, looked impressive as was Adam Lundkvist who was wearing the Captain’s armband.
Although the game had gone back and forth in terms momentum it was Colorado that had looked the more dangerous of the two sides which was punctuated by their opening goal before halftime. In the 42nd minute after conceding another corner kick to the Rapids, a statistic they were firmly in command of, Danny Wilson delivered a perfect set piece back post to an unmarked Mark-Anthony Kaye who tapped in to put the visitors up 1-0.
Mark-Anthony Kaye slots it home just before the break! pic.twitter.com/SIGyMC4OmK— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 20, 2022
The Dynamo had the first good chance of the second half in the 49th minute following some good build up play out of the back through the midfield. Adam Lundkvist played the ball centrally to Coco Carrasquilla who pushed it to just outside of the corner of the 18 yard box to Corey Baird. Baird got his head up and sent in a ball to the run of Sebastián Ferreira, but Ferreira’s header flew over the top of Colorado’s goal.
As the half went on, the Rapids began to sit back more on their lead keeping 4 or 5 back to defend instead of their formation of 3. The result increased possession for Houston, but they had difficulty creating quality opportunities with the substitute Thor Úlfarsson rifling a shot from range and Darwin Quintero doing the same on multiple occasions.
Colorado came close to doubling their lead in the 75th minute. Auston Trusty tried a well weighted through ball intended for Diego Rubio which put him 1v1 with Steve Clark. Clark made the save on the center forward, but was ultimately ruled offside anyways.
As the Dynamo continued to make changes they largely found quality chances from range or attempts from mistakes by the Rapids. One very costly mistake came from Rapids’ goalkeeper William Yarbrough in the 90th minute. A poor long ball out of the back fell to Memo Rodríguez who chested the ball down and fed Tyler Pasher who poked the ball under the on-rushing Yarbrough to level things up 1-1.
The Dynamo thought they had a chance to steal the game at the death with Thor Úlfarsson drawing a foul about 35 yards out from goal. Memo stood over the ball to take the set piece and delivered a low ball into the corner, but it lacked pace and Yarbrough was able to keep it from finding the net.
The final whistle would blow and each side would leave with a point in the 1-1 draw. The result felt fair with Colorado being the stronger side in the first half – not by much – and the Dynamo the stronger in the second half – not by much. The defenses by both sides made things difficult for their respective opponents as the middle channels were often clogged and teams were forced to play off the counter and from the wings.
The Dynamo will get a small break with their next game coming on the road against Eastern Conference opponent Inter Miami on Saturday April 2nd at 7:00 PM CT.
42’ COL: Mark-Anthony Kaye (assisted by Danny Wilson)
90’ HOU: Tyler Pasher (assisted by Memo Rodríguez)
37’ COL: Auston Trusty (yellow card)
45’+1’ COL: Keegan Rosenberry (yellow card)
62’ COL: Diego Rubio (yellow card)
68’ HOU: Griffin Dorsey (yellow card)
78’ HOU: Memo Rodríguez (yellow card)
90’+3’ COL: Danny Wilson (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (4-3-3): Steve Clark; Adam Lundkvist, Daniel Steres, Teenage Hadebe, Griffin Dorsey (72’ Zeca); Adalberto Carrasquilla, Matías Vera (84’ Darwin Cerén), Darwin Quintero (84’ Memo Rodríguez); Corey Baird (72’ Tyler Pasher), Sebastián Ferreira (60’ Thor Úlfarsson), Fafà Picault
Colorado Rapids (3-4-3): William Yarbrough; Auston Trusty, Lalas Abubakar, Keegan Rosenberry; Danny Wilson, Mark-Anthony Kaye (81’ Collen Warner), Jack Price, Steven Beitashour; Jonathan Lewis (65’ Andre Shinyashiki), Diego Rubio (81’ Max), Michael Barrios (65’ Bryan Acosta)