Houston Dynamo 1-0 Los Angeles Galaxy: Orange You Familiar?


May 17, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo fans cheer after a goal during the second half against the Los Angeles Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It was pointed out by an esteemed reader this week on the Bold Predictions that Brad Davis is not on Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo this week against Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex. on Saturday. The reason? Well, there’s this one global tournament that happens every four years…which the Plex is boldly predicting…the USA will NOT win.

Yeah, you figure that out and see if the accuracy of that prediction rings true in several weeks. Go on. All right, with that said, here’s six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for match between the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

1. Organized defense from Houston early

Early on in the first half, a shot from Galaxy forward Samuel 22 seconds in just missed the far right post. Los Angeles were looking to start fast in order to finish strong. Houston won a corner in the sixth minute, but Oscar Boniek Garcia’s cross was collected by LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

The opening minutes of the contest saw Los Angeles earn a lion’s share of possession, but Houston’s organization defesively made chances arrive at a premium. Penedo bailed Dan Gargan in the 12th minute with a sweeping save on Giles Barnes. A free kick in the 14th minute from Juninho was blocked. Seconds later, a Stefan Ishizaki corner kick was collected by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.

2. Omar Comin’!

Jermaine Taylor was cautioned in the 17th minute for a foul on Robbie Keane, forcing a free kick from distance. Ishizaki’s free kick, intended for Kofi Opare, missed. The aforementioned Boniek Garcia got shaken up in the 18th minute, busting his right hamstring and would be subbed by the speedy Omar Cummings. A 25th minute corner from Ishizaki was headed high by Opare. Juninho suffered a knock in the 29th minute and Samuel nearly got the Galaxy on the board again seconds later.

3. Time for a wide-open game…with shots gone wide

With the scores still scoreless, a wide-open game was in order. Baggio Husidic’s first shot on goal in the 32nd minute went over the bar. Barnes’s next chance in the 35th minute also went over the bar. A shot from the aformentioned Cummings sailed wide left. A shot from A.J. DeLaGarza in the 39th minute was cleared off the line by Houston defender David Horst for a corner. Cummings had another shot in the 44th minute miss wide right.

Houston Dynamo LA Galaxy
5 Attempts on Goal 10
1 Shots on Target 3
3 Shots off Target 4
1 Blocked Shots 3
2 Corner Kicks 4
4 Fouls 2
10 Open Play Crosses 2
1 Offsides 0
1 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
21 Duels Won 30
41% Duels Won % 58%
177 Total Pass 172
75% Passing Accuracy % 74%
51.3% Possession 48.7%

4. Dynamo turn up the heat

Early on in the second half, Penedo and Hall were forced to make collections as both teams looked to establish some sort of composure. Los Angeles started the second half with solid possession, but their inability to finish their looks on goal were destined to somehow add up. A corner from Ishizaki in the 52nd minute was cleared. In the 56th minute, a shot from Cummings in the 56th minute missed wide right. Andrew Driver has had a history of scoring on the Galaxy and in the 58th minute, he should have kept his hotstreak going, but he hit the post.

5. Barnes puts Dynamo on the board

In the 61st minute, Giles Barnes made Jaime Penedo pay for failing to get to his position on time to make it 1-0 Houston. Mark Sherrod took advantage of a gaffe by Penedo and Dan Gargan, passing it to a wide-open Barnes in the box. This is an example of the type of goalkeeping miscues that Japan’s J-League is infamous for, according to Rick Thomas (THOMA GOL) of the BigSoccer Forums.

6. Second half ends…with first half reprise?

A shot from youngster Raul Mendiola in the 72nd minute just missed wide left. It beat Tally Hall, but it also beat the near post. Opare was cautioned for a handball in the 76th minute, forcing a dangerous free kick for Houston just outside the box which was skied by Barnes. A shot from substitute Gyasi Zardes in the 78th minute sailed wide right.

The next several minutes were similar to most of the action in the first half, with the Galaxy’s offensive sequences foiled by excellent defending by the Dynamo midfield and backline. A shot from Keane in the 88th minute hit the side netting, summing up another underwhelming performance for the Galaxy, although to be fair, Houston were playing with a handicap at kickoff. The match statistics will show the Los Angeles Galaxy dominating a number of categories, but the intangibles were in Houston’s favor.

Houston DynamoLA Galaxy
11Attempts on Goal19
3Shots on Target5
7Shots off Target9
1Blocked Shots5
2Corner Kicks6
15Open Play Crosses10
1First Yellow Cards2
0Second Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
41Duels Won60
40%Duels Won %59%
316Total Pass425
73%Passing Accuracy %78%

Houston Dynamo Player Ratings

Tally Hall 7, Kofi Sarkodie 7, Jermaine Taylor 7.5, Corey Ashe 6, David Horst 7.5, Warren Creavalle 7, Andrew Driver 6, Giles Barnes 9, Oscar Boniek Garcia 3, Brian Ownby NR, Omar Cummings 5, Mark Sherrod 8, Will Bruin 6

Los Angeles Galaxy Player Ratings

Jaime Penedo 1, Tommy Meyer 6, Dan Gargan 1, Kofi Opare 7.5, A.J. DeLaGarza 6, Baggio Husidic 4, Robbie Keane 6, Robbie Rogers 4, Stefan Ishizaki 5, Juninho 5, Raul Mendiola 5, Rob Friend 4, Samuel 4, Gyasi Zardes 4