Houston Dynamo FC were on the road in Chester, Pennsylvania Saturday night, looking to pull off a big road upset against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union. Philly scored three first half goals and never looked back, dominating the Dynamo in a 6-0 win. The 6 goal defeat is the biggest loss in Dynamo club history.
Philadelphia spent the first 10 minutes of the match firmly on the front foot. A teasing ball from Kai Wagner on a free kick was probably the best chance from a lot of build up play that couldn’t produce any real threats. Goalkeeper Steve Clark commanded his area, coming out on multiple occasions to contest the ball. 13 minutes in, Clark came to punch a ball into the box and had to receive treatment after coming up in pain. Clark would stay in the match after a brief check by the Dynamo training staff.
After 19 minutes, a good buildup in the box got Jack McGlynn into a shooting spot. Center back Daniel Steres laid out to block the shot but was called for a hand ball, and the Union were awarded a penalty. After a long review by VAR and a check of the monitor by referee Kevin Stott, the penalty was waved off. The ball looked to come off Steres lunging leg and then deflected on to his upper arm. The game remained scoreless.
The Union didn’t take long to get their goal that they were denied minutes earlier. A great move down the Houston right was squared to the top of the box for captain Alejandro Bedoya. The former US international picked out a perfectly weighted pass to Daniel Gazdag and the Hungarian blasted the opener past Clark in the 23rd minute. Unfortunately, for Houston this was Clark’s last involvement in the match. He was unable to recover from his earlier injury and Michael Nelson took over in goal.
The Dynamo nearly got an equalizer, well against the run of play. In the 33rd minute, Fafa Picault, in his return to Philadelphia, got behind the Union defense and was able to beat goalkeeper Andre Blake on a breakaway. The celebration was very short lived as the flag came up for offside. Houston got another chance in the 37th when Coco Carrasquilla lined up a blast from outside the box, but the shot was blocked by Jack Elliott and sent just over Blake’s goal.
Homegrown player Jack McGlynn put his stamp on this match throughout, and his spectacular free kick in the 41st minute showed just how special a player he might become. McGlynn lined up his kick straightaway from 22 yards out and whipped a perfect shot with his left foot into the top left corner out of Nelson’s reach. The homegrown picked up his first MLS goal, and he may not have one as good for the remainder of his career.
The Dynamo looked to go into halftime just trailing by two but Philadelphia had other ideas. The Union got their third, putting the match out of reach, in the first minute of first half stoppage time. Right back Olivier Mbaizo was allowed to get to the box and send a cross in to the oncoming Mikael Uhre. The Danish Designated Player needed just one touch to beat Nelson and send the Philly crowd into their third DOOP celebration of the first half.
The Dynamo came out in the second half and, well, nothing changed. Uhre got behind the Houston backline after a lovely through ball from Bedoya and slotted away Philadelphia’s 4th of the night.
Houston had a great chance to get a goal back in the 54th minute. Coco floated a ball over the top to Picault and Andre Blake came out to smother the shot. The flag was up for offside anyway, summing up the Dynamo’s night. Just a minute later Philly got their 5th. Zeca looked like he was enjoying the Union attack instead of actually defending them as Bedoya found Julian Carranza in the 6 yard box. Carranza had all day to turn and beat Nelson, giving Bedoya his 3rd assist of the night.
Quinn Sullivan came off the bench and joined in the party, making it 6 for Philadelphia in the 89th minute. The 18 year-old got a pass from McGlynn in the box and laced an effort to the back post to beat Nelson. That was that.
The Dynamo were completely played off the field by a team that, honestly, looks like they play in a different league. What the Union have built with head coach Jim Curtin, a number of uber-talented homegrowns, and DPs to complement them, is something the Dynamo should be looking to mimic. The Union didn’t get here over night but they are here, Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup front-runners. The day will come again when Dynamo get there again, but on this night, that day might be impossible to imagine.
The Dynamo will be back on the road for a Friday night context when they travel to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on August 5th at 9:30 PM CT.
23’ PHI: Daniel Gazdag (assisted by Alejandro Bedoya)
41’ PHI: Jack McGlynn (unassisted)
45+1’ PHI: Mikael Uhre (assisted by Olivier Mbaizo)
48’ PHI: Mikael Uhre (assisted by Alejandro Bedoya)
55’ PHI: Julian Carranza (assisted by Alejandro Bedoya)
63’ HOU: Matias Vera (yellow card)
26’ Michael Nelson on, Steve Clark off
59’ Griffin Dorsey on, Zeca off
59’ Tyler Pasher on, Sebastian Ferreira off
73’ Darwin Quintero on, Coco Carrasquilla off
73’ Darwin Ceren on, Matias Vera off
66’ Cory Burke on, Mikael Uhre off
77’ Paxten Aaronson on, Daniel Gazdag odd
77’ Jesus Bueno on, Alejandro Bedoya off
85’ Quinn Sullivan on, Julian Carranza off