Houston, TX – Ricardo Clark’s goal in his first game back from a hamstring injury proved to be decisive as the Dynamo grabbed all three points with a 2-0 win against a tough Vancouver Whitecaps side at BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday night.
Lining up in a 4-4-2 in lieu of Coyle’s normal 4-5-1 with Cubo Torres getting his first start playing behind Bruin. The Dynamo came out fast and furious, earning two corners in the opening minutes setting the tone for what was to come.
Demarcus “Run DMB” Beasley being subbed off to be replaced by midfielder Luis Garrido in the first half due to injury, which puts his international call-up in question, was the only thing to not go the Dynamo’s way. Alex was forced to left-back while Garrido positioned himself in front of the back four to break up plays in a more holding midfielder role, giving Ricardo Clark freedom to get into the attack.
Vancouver had a descent chance in the 24th minute when Menneh found Darren Mattocks on the left side one on one with Raul Rodriguez who stood him up, forcing him to slow his run allowing Tyler Deric to cut the angle and make a huge save as Mattocks put his shot straight into Deric keeping the scoreline level.
The first breakthrough came in the 34th minute, Sheanon Williams put in a cross from the right side Cubo, brilliantly got a touch on the ball leaving it for Ricardo Clark who slid in to just get a foot on it and slot it past Vancouver’s keeper David Ousted giving the Dynamo a 1-0 lead.
The Dynamo were a bit lucky to keep the lead going into halftime after Alex denied Mattocks with a defensive header and Brad Davis clearing the ball off the line from the ensuing corner kick.
The second half started same as the first with the Dynamo pressing Vancouver in the 56th minute that pressure paid off as Vancouver started to crumble.
A hard challenge on Giles Barnes while he was making a run on the left flank, saw Kendall Waston receive his second yellow card leading to him being sent off and Vancouver down a man. Vancouver’s troubles didn’t end there.
Another reckless challenge leading to a Red Card, this time by Matias Laba on Sheanon Williams after he received the ball from an amazing defensive tackle by Luis Garrido leaving Vancouver with only 9 men in the 65th minute.
All that was left for the Dynamo was to see the game out. For the remainder of the match much of the ball was in Vancouver’s half as the Dynamo looked for a second.
In the 87th minute the Dynamo finally put the game away when Brad Davis put an in-swinger from the corner finding Raul Rodriguez who expertly headed the ball across goal from the near post into the open net making it 2-0 and sending Vancouver back to Canada throughly defeated.
This is exactly what the Dynamo needed after a string of poor performances on the road and questions of whether they would be able to bounce back were laid to rest.
The international break will give the Dynamo a chance to regroup and get fully fit before welcoming another Western Conference rival in Real Salt Lake to BBVA Compass Stadium on Sept. 12th.
Erick “Cubo” Torres got a call up to the Mexican National Team which Owen Coyle was happy about,”It’d help the Dynamo since we all want the same thing, we want Erick at his maximum cause when he’s at his maximum he’s such a wonderful talent…”
After the match Brad Davis took over the microphone to give an impassioned speech to the crowd acknowledging the importance of this win, the hard work this Dynamo team puts in week-in and week-out, and imploring the fans to stand behind them as they make the final push for the playoffs. You couldn’t help but feel that this could be the turning point of the season and that this team is ready and determined to not allow our season to end in October.
As Owen Coyle said at the press conference after the game, ” When we have our best players available we can go toe to toe with anybody.”
Dynamo/Real Salt Lake
BBVA Compass Stadium