In the season opener for 2-1 win for Houston Dynamo FC against San Jose Earthquakes, every player gave 100%. But a few looked like they gave even more.
One hyper-contributor is Houston Dynamo FC forward Tyler Pasher. He left more than everything on the pitch because he traveled all the way from USL to get there.
Pasher inked his name into the weekly MLS record book with four key passes in the game, making him an early league leader opening weekend.
Dynamo scouts promoted Pasher’s concentration and left-footed ability as working for what the team wants to achieve this season. Head coach Tab Ramos agreed, looking also at the player’s speed, attack, and technical skills.
He had very little on the MLS books since making his 2017 debut for Sporting Kansas City. But checking him out closely based on his USL work with Indy Eleven, Houston was confident in starting him and with his corner kicks and passes.
In one run, instead of a pass, Pasher got first-game jitters and caught a through ball, taking it in himself. It at first looked like a goal but he was called offside in the 11th minute.
He made up for that in the 56th minute when one of his key passes gave striker Maximiliano Urruti a right-footed shot to the bottom left corner of the net. That was the deciding goal.
So Pasher performed above expectations to help Dynamo meet the team objective. So did midfielder Joe Corona.
He was signed primarily for his defensive skills. And in this first game, he got in two tackles, a clearance and a blocked-shot.
In versions of the 4-3-3 formation, such as Houston went to often against the Earthquakes, he’d been considered strongest in the middle. Ramos started him on the left. One post-game scouting sheet rated him highest on the pitch opening night. He was just a bit higher than goal-scorer Urruti.
While he gets paid for midfield defense, Pasher has never passed up a chance at offense when he sees it. He created two chances and assisted on the 39th-minute goal by midfielder Memo Rodriquez.
It was a hardscrabble, one-score win. San Jose Earthquakes players had a lot to say about that face. Striker Shea Salinas subbed in for the visitors in the 60th minute. He soon assisted on the team’s goal by defender Paul Marie, also a sub, in the 74th minute.
The tension grew from the 29th minute. That’s when new Houston attacker Fafa Picault decided to demonstrate his team’s frustration about frequent falling down and writhing by Quakes.
He walked to a downed player and rapped on his back with a knuckle as if to see if he was home. But instead, a referee answered at knock with a yellow card.
By final stoppage time, each team wore three yellows.
Yet, only in the 50th minute did it boil over into a group shoving match. Each team earned a yellow in that one.
Those yellow cards can turn to red in the next several games. Both Quakes and Dynamo players need to manage the tension better.
It would be a shame to take a red and waste those outstanding offensive and defensive performances, such as Tyler Pasher and Joe Corona gave Houston Dynamo in this match.
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