Welcome, welcome to a new week and a new edition of our beloved Dynamo 2sday. This is the weekly segment where we talk all Houston Dynamo 2.
This week we will touch on a few different things including the match against Minnesota United 2, give a little love to Beto Avila on his professional debut, and a slight cameo of the great Mr. Asher Mendelsohn. So, let’s get to it. `
Before we start talking about DynaDos, I want to give a huge shoutout to Beto Avila, who after signing his first professional contract (and as our own Billy Mears said “without letting the ink dry”) with the Houston Dynamo, he was able to make his debut in the 2-0 victory over Nashville SC this past weekend. Even with only 12 minutes of play, these minutes will serve as motivation and an example for his “ex” teammates that the road to success is a possible one and hard work pays off. Congrats again to Beto.
Now let’s chat a little about the trip to the land of the Loons. Allianz Arena was the stage for this great match and Coach Kenny Bundy told us it was going to be a tough one. “They press just as high as we do,” Bundy said in his weekly press conference. “System-wise, it’s a bit different but this is a team that again – there’s a lot of teams in this league, that I think you can’t look at their results right now. Because certain things happen throughout the season. But this group will be very good. Mature, they have a lot of experience, they’re very athletic and they play a style that matches all of those things. I’m really excited about it and we’ve talked about it this week with the guys. We trained it today, these are the things that you’re going to see, these are some of the solutions. But I think this game will really come down to what team has the best mentality and works the hardest throughout the game because there’s going to be fluctuations in possession, there’s going to be fluctuations and chances. I have a feeling that this could be one of those games where expected goals are pretty high for both groups but again, this is what we want to do”.
In just the first 3 minutes of play, Minnesota were able to take 2 shots in an early attempt to make a statement against the league leaders, and also recorded 4 corner kicks by minute 16. Most of the game was a midfield battle for both teams and around minute 30, the clearest chance for the boys in Orange came. Papa N’Doye picked up the ball in the midfield and made a 25 yard run through some Loons. He dropped the ball off for Joyner Castillo to put it away and unfortunately he was not able to finish the opportunity. A few minutes later MNUFC 2 rocked the left post of Xavier Valdez with a left footed volley from outside the box. The first half went on scoreless, and the game seemed to be tight for both teams, one where mistakes were going to be a decisive factor for both teams and/or set plays were going to tip the balance either way. As the match played on, that is exactly what happened in the second half.
In the 54th minute, a great “chalkboard” play by DynaDos turned into a goal for the captain Talen Maples. A short corner kick from the left side was played short to Juan Castilla and as the whole MNUFC 2 pushed up away from their 6 yard box, Maples made his way in the box behind the defenders who lost sight of him. Castilla dropped a beautiful into the box for Maples to redirect the ball into the back of the net. The captain added another goal to his personal account and now has 3 goals on the season.
The sweetness of victory would only last a few minutes as MNUFC 2’s Aziel Jackson equalized in the 61st minute. After making a great run behind Jathan Juarez and beating Micael dos Santos to the ball, Jackson attacked the box. With a skillful cutback to his left foot sent Maples in the wrong direction, he finished beautifully to the near post to put the ball pass Valdez and level the match to 1 for each side. The next 30 minutes was a battle for the control of the ball and the mid field.
Both teams created and would continue to break chances down for the opposing team until the end of regulation time would come. The teams would have to split points and head directly to penalties to decide the faith of that last point as Houston Dynamo technical director Asher Mendelsohn watched carefully from the stands. Here is a tweet from Asher to put a little “good” pressure on the boys and let everyone know back in Houston that the pipeline ain’t going dry anytime soon.
Defender Ian Hoffmann and midfielders D’Alessandro Herrera, Juan Castilla, and Diego Gonzalez all scored on their penalty kicks. Midfielder Paulo Lima had his shot blocked by MNUFC 2 goalkeeper Fred Emmings to give the second point to the Loons.
Some fun facts about this match: this was the first time that the team coached by Kenny Bundy went all the way to the penalty shootout to determine a winner. It is also the first time DynaDos lost a match after scoring first (technically they picked upa draw but, lost in penalties. Usually HD2 are able to hold a lead and find a way to end the game in the 90 minutes of regulation time.
The next match for Dynamo 2 will also be a road match, as DynaDos travels to Utah to face Real Monarchs. The boys will look to keep their place at the top of the standings while the Monarchs will be looking to surprise some folks with a their first win in this inaugural season of MLS NEXT Pro. Vamos DynaDos! Vamos Los Pibes!