Welcome, welcome. I hope this edition of Dynamo 2sday finds you well. Let's get to it.
Houston Dynamo 2 traveled to sunny California to faceoff against San Jose Earthquakes II for the second time this year. In their first meeting DynaDos hosted the Little Quakes at AVEVA Stadium and that match ended in a 1-0 victory with a goal from Papa N’Doye. It was time for revenge for the Quakes and they would have home field advantage for this match as the game would take place at PayPal Park.
We were able to speak to head coach Kenny Bundy days before the game to see what he expected from this match, given the fact that San Jose was Dynamo 2’s second match earlier in the season. “The key for us is to continually put that pressure on San Jose, that will take away from their build,” Bundy said. “They’re a very good team in possession. They are very good at breaking presses. So making sure that we can dictate the ball for good amounts of time and keep them away from one of their strengths.”
The game started strong for Dynamo 2. Kyle Edwards had a very early chance in the second minute of play, still trying to get his first goal in his short career with DynaDos. As the first 15 minutes of play progressed, it was a game where San Jose held the ball but weren't too dangerous as the Dynamo pressed very high. When the Quakes were able to break through, the Dynamo would close down in the back very well to not let them get a clear chance on goal. The first shot for San Jose came in minute 14.
In minute 21, Edwards kept pushing, and after a great run he dropped the ball to Jacob Evans, who sent the ball inches away from the post. Dynamo 2 kept the intensity up, pressuring the short passes out of the back looking for an error, which came in minute 30. Marcelo Palomino found himself in control of the ball and he nicely chipped it to Edwards, but the striker couldn't finish. Not getting frustrated from the missed opportunities, the Dynamo kept the pressure as Bundy would mention after scouting San Jose. “The one thing about San Jose is they will try to play out of everything,” Bundy said before the match. “Their characteristics are they’re going to try to build they are going to try to keep possession.”
The last 10 minutes of the first half were a little more dangerous for San Jose. The home side created some good chances and made Andrew Pannenberg, the Dynamo 2 goal keeper, work. With Xavier Valdez taking care of business with the Dominican Republic U20 squad, Pannenberg made a couple of good saves to keep this game 0-0 going into halftime. The last chance of the half would come in the form of a shot from centerback Micael dos Santos, who found himself alone at the back post and was able to get a shot off that came close to opening the scoring.
The second half began with Jathan Juarez taking over the left back position for Reese Miller. DynaDos kept the high pressure, with midfielder Brooklyn Raines usually leading the charge on the press and with the whole team backing him. In the 51st minute, after another collective pressure on a San Jose throw in deep in their half, Houston forced a turnover. Raines quickly found the ball and found Palomino. After stepping into the box, Palomino was dispossed but the ball deflected into the path of Kyle Edwards, who did what strikers are known to do which is, PUT THAT BALL IN THE BACK OF THE NET. Dynamo 2 were up 1-0 at PayPal Park.
A couple of minutes after that, the Dynamo 2 defense was put to work as San Jose looked for the equalizer. Pannenberg had a great save in the 54th minute and minutes after that a couple of shots were blocked after a dangerous corner from the Quakes.
In the 63rd minue, we had a little controversy. After a Houston corner kick, Talen Maples found himself on the receiving end of a cross and he put the ball in the back of the net. At first everything seemed normal, but a few second after that, it seemed like the referee saw some type of infraction in the box and invalidated the entire play. The Dynamo were not able to extend their lead.
The game continued on, as both teams fought very equally for the remainder of the second half. Runs and chances one way, and runs and chances the other way. As minute 90 approached and the light at the end of the tunnel was starting to shine, Earthquakes II had a nice cross from the left side of the field that found Will Richmond closing in at the back post. Richmond was able to bend the ball around Pannenberg and take this match to the penalty spot, salvaging a point for this San Jose II team.
The penalty kick takers for Dynamo 2 were Juan Castilla, Raines, Palomino, and D’Alessandro Herrera. All four players had very well taken penalties kicks. For San Jose, things were a little more difficult, as the first penalty kick by Israel Carrillo was saved on a great dive by Pannenberg to set the tone for the remainder of the series of kicks. That wasn’t the only save by the Dynamo 2 goalkeeper. The last penalty by San Jose belonged to Joaquin Eisenberg, who needed to convert to keep his team alive in this match. Eisenberg tried to get fancy with a panenka but Pannenberg read the player and just stood in the middle of the goal to punch the ball away with both hands. The save gave DynaDos the victory in penalty kicks and an extra point from the match.
Dynamo 2 will be back at home this weekend. Real Monarchs will be coming down to AVEVA Stadium this Sunday, the 10th, at 7 PM. Hopefully the field will be ready this time! Come out to support the boys. Lastly, a shout out to MLS NEXT Pro for having a two person stream for this match.