Welcome back to another edition of Dynamo 2sday where we cover the Houston Dynamo’s MLS NEXT Pro club, Houston Dynamo 2. We had a much longer recap on Sunday’s match ready to go for you, but then technology happened. So, now we have a shorter recap for you, but still with our photo gallery from our great photographer Billy Mears! There’s always a silver lining!
Houston Dynamo kept their unbeaten run at AVEVA Stadium going on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Minnesota United FC 2. Defender Jathan Juarez scored his first professional goal and Dos recorded their seventh clean sheet of the season. Dynamo 2 are now 5-0-0 at home and sit in third place in the Western Conference of MLS NEXT Pro.
Juarez got the game’s only goal in the second minute of first half stoppage time. The Dynamo defender received a pass from midfielder Brooklyn Raines at the top of the box. Juarez was able to get free from his defender and get off a shot from distance that beat MNUFC2 keeper Alec Smir into the bottom corner.
Juarez talked about his goal and how it went down after the match. “A big goal, it was a good read for me. It all started with our forward pressing the keeper, which then gave us the idea of what they’re trying to do. So, the defender wasn’t going to step. So, I got in front of him to bring it back on my right foot. It goes in, that was priceless, because it was my first professional goal.” He was also very happy to score with his family in the crowd for the match. “I saw their faces. Once I scored it, my mom was jumping up and down, it just made me so happy because I was waiting for this day to come.”
Dynamo 2 had 17 shots in the match, but only the one goal. It was enough however, as the defense posted another shutout in front of goalkeeper Michael Nelson. Dynamo defender Ethan Bartlow played his first match with Dos since the opening match of the season and helped the team post the clean sheet. “The backline, the whole team is well coached,” Bartlow said after the match. “Kenny (Bundy) is a good coach. They’ve been working hard since February, March and it’s paid off well. I just tried to bring a sense of calmness on the ball, off the ball, a couple of passes I missed tonight and that didn’t lead to calmness but you try to sturdy the ship.”
Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy was not too happy with the lack of urgency early but was happy with the team’s fight. “We did really well. We stuck to the plan, Dan (Roberts) put together a great scout,” Bundy said after the match. “Obviously, everything that we thought was going to happen, happened. We lacked a little bit of urgency when we created some more chances early on in the first half. Even midway through the first half, I thought we had a good run of play. It was just a little bit of lack of growth, energy or that cutting edge to go and really score that goal. You know, the great thing about the team is, it’s not a lack of effort. It’s not a lack of belief. It’s just sometimes when you’re playing well, you don’t necessarily get lulled into comfort. Scoring the goal right before halftime with the way that we pressed you know, that’s a goal we talked about, Jathan (Juarez) scores a great goal. It starts from Kyle (Edwards) pressing the center back to a turnover. We talked about that all the time, these goals, they come from other things, that it’s not just one person doing it. So, it was a great motivating factor to go into halftime and talk to the boys about what we saw. There were moments where I think fatigue set in a little bit. We had guys going down or not feeling well, with cramps. Heat, as you can tell right now. It might not be as hard as it has been. But the humidity really kicked in. We fought to get the second goal, but another big thing is the clean sheet. Michael Nelson has to do two or three really big actions in the game. That’s his job. Other than that, we protected it. So, really happy.”
Dynamo 2 are next in action on Friday when they travel north of the border to take on Whitecaps FC 2. That game will kick off at 9:00 PM CT and will be streaming on mlsnextpro.com. Until then, enjoy Billy’s great photos from the match below and we’ll see you next week for another Dynamo 2sday!