Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Houston win sets up showdown with Chivas USA
by Ridge Mahoney, October 16th, 2007 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Whether it beat or tied Real Salt Lake Monday, the Houston Dynamo went into that match knowing that nothing less than a victory Sunday can earn the Western Conference crown.

In this case, four points from a tie and a win doesn't equal four points from a win and a tie.

By beating RSL, 1-0, Houston - which trailed conference leader Chivas USA by four points at kickoff -- shaved all but one point from that lead and will claim the conference title by winning at Home Depot Center, which no Chivas opponent had been able to do until Colorado did it last Sunday.

Had the Dynamo tied RSL, a win against Chivas USA would leave the teams as co-leaders with 52 points, but having already won the season series, Houston would take the conference title on the head-to-head tiebreaker. Now that it has beaten RSL, if Sunday's game ends in a tie, Houston will remain one point behind Chivas USA, which would win the conference with 53 points to the Dynamo's 52.

In MLS, if nowhere else, one plus three doesn't always equal three plus one.

Missing the suspended Ricardo Clark, the Dynamo (15-8-6) left Dwayne DeRosario and Brian Ching out of the lineup yet still had enough firepower to get the goal it needed and defensive resilience to fend off numerous RSL attacks. Stuart Holden scored in the 66th minute when his cross grazed the gloves of Nick Rimando as the goalie backpedaled furiously to reach the dipping ball.

Minutes earlier, a superb reflex save had denied Holden. His sharp header from a Brian Mullan cross caught Rimando scrambling against the grain, yet still the keeper stabbed out his left glove to turn the shot away. Late in the first half, Mullan had drilled a shot off the crossbar.

RSL gave effort, guile and pluck. What it didn't get was luck in the attacking third.

Yura Movsisyan hit the post after Alecko Eskandarian had pounced on a Houston miscue, and twice Kyle Beckerman drove shots certain to beat Pat Onstad, only to watch Wade Barrett and Richard Mulrooney bail out their goalie with clearances.

The victory came with a cost, however. Defender Eddie Robinson, who was just one caution short of his third suspension, instead got sent off for tripping Beckerman -- or so referee Tim Weyland ruled - just outside the penalty area. He will miss the Sunday showdown at HDC.

Two minutes later, Mulrooney cleared away Beckerman's low shot, and two minutes after that, the teams were level at 10 men apiece.

Onstad edged in front of Movsisyan to punch away a high ball and as the players cleared the area and Movsisyan approached him, Onstad leaned his shoulder toward the RSL forward, who shoved the keeper with both arms. Onstad went down and bounced back up, players from both teams swarmed in, and Weyland brandished the red card yet again.

RSL outshot Houston 14-9 but lost out to the whims of fortune. In the final home MLS game for veteran defender Eddie Pope, RSL (5-15-9) had done its best to play spoiler.

It can reprise that role to the fullest Saturday at Colorado, which can only qualify for the playoffs by winning and getting a few breaks with other results. It might be RSL due for a good bounce this time.

GAME SUMMARY:
Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City

Real Salt Lake 0 Houston 1. Goal: Holden (Mulrooney) 66.
Real Salt Lake - Rimando, Wingert, Kirby (Espindola, 79), Pope, Kotschau, Sturgis, Talley, Williams (Beckerman, 46), Brown (Watson, 46), Movsisyan, Eskandarian.
Houston - Onstad, Waibel, Cochrane, Robinson, Barrett, Mullan, Holden, Mulrooney, Davis (Ianni, 75), Jaqua, Ngwenya (Ashe, 78).
Yellow Cards: Real Salt Lake - Williams 42, Movsisyan 45; Houston - Cochrane 43.
Red Cards: Real Salt Lake - Movsisyan 77; Houston - Robinson 73.
Referee: Tim Weyland.
Att.: 14,587.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
Newly acquired Jack McInerney scored two goals as the defending champion Portland Timbers defeated their Cascadia ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 5-6)    
Walker Zimmerman is back with FC Dallas. The 22-year-old defender whose late goal kept it in ...
What They're Saying: David Wagner    
"It wasn't a surprise for me. I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann maybe a year ago and ...
TV Report: NBC Sports Group to air Olympic qualifying    
NBC Sports Group will air all 15 matches from the Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship that ...
USA-Canada International Friendly Player Ratings    
The USA closed out its winter camp with a 1-0 win over Canada on a late ...
UCLA lands Pugh and Fleming in recruiting coup    
UCLA has signed U.S. women's national team player Mallory Pugh and Canadian Women's World Cup veteran ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 4)    
Columbus Crew SC now has Ola Kamara to go along with Kei Kamara. The 26-year-old Ola ...
USA-Canada Preview: Youngsters should get second look    
Jurgen Klinsmann says he has two short-term goals for the USA's second and final test of ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Naturally, we're upset. The players are very, very upset. We feel disrespected. We feel that our ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Kiesewetter    
"I always did [feel like an American]. My mom always told me about my dad, about ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives