Welcome 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 drew 2-2 away against Vancouver Whitecaps 2 at Swangard Stadium on Friday night and lost the extra point on penalties, 5-3. Going into the game, Dynamo Dos were without two main key players in the midfield, Juan Castilla and Brooklyn Raines. Both players are with USYNT U-19 camp, along with with Mateo Pinilla from the Dynamo Academy. “The highlight is the amount of players that we have away with Youth National Team Duty, that’s something we need to be very proud of,” said Houston Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy before the game. “They (Vancouver 2) play a very distinct system with 5 in the back and two up front. Those two up front are very dangerous going forward and we need to understand how we are going to do with the press.”
In the opening minutes, it looked like Dynamo 2 knew how to open Whitecaps 2. From a quick corner kick, the ball landed to D’Alessandro Herrera and he took a shot on goal. Vancouver goalkeeper Max Anchor blocked the shot but had the rebound spilled to Papa N’Doye, The Houston striker slotted it in, making it 1-0 in the 2nd minute. It was N’Doye’s fifth goal for the season and much needed for him.
Dynamo Dos controlled most of the first half. At a certain point of the first half, Houston had 84% possession of the ball and had most of the ball in the final third. But, in a quick counter attack, midfielder Ali Ahmed crossed the ball into the path of forward Easton Onogaro who tied the game at 1-1 in the 26th minute. It was a perfectly placed shot, leaving Dynamo goalkeeper Xavier Valdez with no chance.
Dynamo Dos did not give up after the goal. With a foul on Jacob Evans outside the 18 yard box, it set up the perfect position for set piece taker Marcelo Palomino. Palomino lined it up and curved his shot into the top left corner to give Houston 2-1 in the 35th minute. The first half would end with that scoreline.
The second half was more of the same. Dynamo 2 kept the majority of the ball but failed to finish their chances. Houston had 11 shots but only 4 on target. This later came to bite them in the final minutes. In the dying moments of the game, Vancouver pressed the Dynamo 2 defense and through a quick pass from Thierno Bah to Emiliano Brienza, scored the equailzer to make the score 2-2. This forced the game into penalty kicks for the extra point.
Diego Gonzalez, Paulo Lima and Daniel Rios took their chances from the spot for Houston and converted them. Unfortunately, young Forward Joseph Farouz’s effort was saved by the Anchor, allowing Whitecaps FC 2 to grab the extra point.
Overall, it was a tough pill to swallow since Dynamo 2 had the majority of possession and looked the better team. Yet again, they failed to close out the game when leading late. In this month alone, on three occasions, they have allowed the opposition to score in the dying minutes to push the game into penalties. The team is talented and a well oiled machine, but the inexperience and having a young bench can come back to haunt them in the dying minutes.
Despite losing the extra point, Dynamo 2 are siting in third place in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference with 36 points, with 6 games to go. The team has what it takes to finish in the top four and reach the inaugural playoffs. They just need to iron out the finishing touches and we will see this team in the postseason.
In a silver lining, it was released early last week that midfielder Andre Gitau, a Dynamo Academy player in MLS NEXT, has been called up for the first ever MLS NEXT All-Star Game on Wednesday, August 10th in Minnesota. Interestingly, it will be and old style of All-Star Game with West vs East. Andre is the youngest player on the this roster at 15 years old and the only Dynamo player representing the club. Many people are calling for him to take the next step, but it is great to see how the club is helping him grow, and no doubt this game will provide a world-class experience to showcase his talent nationwide.
Houston Dynamo 2’s next game will be at home at AVEVA Stadium on Sunday, August 7th at 7:00 PM CT against Sporting Kansas City II, and will be streamed live on MLSNEXTPRO.com. Please come out and support these lads!! Always remember to Hold it Down and VamosDos!