Welcome all to another edition of Dynamo 2sday. It’s always a pleasure to be with you all on this wonderful Tuesday to talk about Dynamo Dos. So put down that taco and let’s talk about this weekend’s action.
Houston Dynamo 2 played soon to be MLS expansion team, St Louis City 2 this past Saturday at Ralph Korte Stadium. Before the game, head coach Kenny Bundy mentioned something interesting about the team before the game: “I think this will be one of the strongest tests we’ve had, specifically in the way that they set up defensively and how stingy they are in certain aspects of the game. But they’re also very dynamic and they’ve got some senior players. They’ve got some really good players that have a lot of experience.
At first glance, you would say that Houston Dynamo 2 have what it takes to beat a team that sits back and makes the game hard for them. We need to take in consideration that some notable players were away for international duty this weekend, such as Juan Castilla and Brooklyn Raines for USMNT U-19 and Cesar Cordova and Daniel Rios for El Salvador U-20. (Quick Update: Brooklyn Raines started against England U-19 Squad and got a 2-1 result on Monday morning. Juan Castilla was subbed on and got the assist for one of the goals.) As Kenny has mentioned time and time again, it’s the next guy up!
The game went exactly how Bundy knew it would go. Dynamo Dos had the majority of the ball, ending the first half with almost 68% possession. St Louis City 2 showed why you can’t always rely on what the league table says. Their counterattack seemed too much to handle for Dynamo Dos for certain parts of the game. Their pressure lead to Vitor Dias opening the scoring in the 28th minute and Célio Pompeu adding a second in the 55th minute. STL2 had 14 shots with 7 shots on goal. If it wasn’t for Xavier Valdez in goal, this game could’ve gone from bad to worse.
The team showed bright spots in the game, especially from strikes Papa N’Doye who had his shot saved by STL2 goalkeeper Ian McGrane in the 2nd minute. Captain Talen Maples continues to show his leadership both on defense and offense, and he came close to scoring again with his header that was saved in the 88th minute.
All in all, this game showed that the depth in this team is great. Even with the loss on Saturday, Dynamo Dos sits in 3rd place in the Western Conference. Their record after 10 games is, 4-0-0 at home and 3-2-1 away.
The season is still early and Coach Bundy knows this. Bundy spoke before the game about the team continuing to learn and improve every week, “It’s an ongoing process. I think if ever I were to sit here and say, ‘we figured it out. We were getting what we want out of all the guys,’ then we should worry. So really, it’s just an ongoing process and every game is an evaluation on what we can train more. What details can we focus on a bit more. And those go throughout the week for us.”
We can see that Bundy is starting to use new players from the academy like D’Alessandro Herrera, Joseph Farouz, and this week saw the debut of defender Bryce Barnum. This is the beauty of MLS NEXT Pro. New players will come in and have a part to play in this team to prove they have what it takes. These kids have the backing to grow, and it shows!
Houston Dynamo 2’s next game will be at PNC Stadium on Saturday at 4:30 against Sporting Kansas City 2. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the senior team who will be taking on Atletico San Luis from LigaMX in this year’s Dynamo Charities Cup. Please come out and support these lads!! One ticket will get you into both games. The game will also be streaming at MLSNEXTPro.com. Always remember to Hold it Down and VamosDos!