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Old hands lead Dynamo back to conference final
by Paul Kennedy, November 4th, 2011 1:22AM
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TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls, philadelphia union


[MLS PLAYOFFS: Houston-Philadelphia] Brian Ching and Brad Davis, the lone holdovers from Houston's first championship season, teamed up for the goal that clinched the Dynamo's 3-1 aggregate win over the Philadelphia Union in its last game at Robertson Stadium.

SECOND BEHIND ONLY DONOVAN. Ching and Davis came to Houston in 2006 when AEG moved the Earthquakes from San Jose and were part of MLS championship teams in 2006 and 2007.

They are back in the MLS conference final for the fourth time in six years after Ching's goal on a header off a Davis free kick in stoppage time at the end of the first half gave the Dynamo a 1-0 win.

The goal was Ching's eighth playoff goal for the Dynamo and ninth overall, putting him second in the MLS record books behind only Landon Donovan, whose penalty kick Thursday night gave him 18 playoff goals.

ROBERTSON STADIUM FAREWELL. Ching scored four goals when the Dynamo beat Colorado in its first game at Robertson Stadium in 2006 and had the winner in its farewell game before 24,749 fans.

The Dynamo will leave the University of Houston's Robertson Stadium next season for its own stadium.

UNION SUPERIORITY. Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak insisted the Union was the better team in both games.

“During this game, we weren’t the worst team,” Nowak said. “Houston didn’t overcome us with something we didn’t know. They didn’t come with anything that showed they were a better team. I think in both games we played better.”

It was a story repeated throughout the second half of the season when the Union's four losses were all by one-goal margins. But it also managed only five wins over its last 25 games.

MLS'S YOUNGEST TEAM. The Union has a lot to build upon. It was the youngest team in MLS.

Nowak started 19-year-old Jack McInerney, 20-year-old Danny Mwanga, 21-year-old Sheanon Williams and 23-year-old twins Gabriel and Michael Farfan in the second leg, and 20-year-old Roger Torres and 22-year-old Freddy Adu came off the bench.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 4, 2011 at 11:42 a.m.
    Coach Novak left Justin Napp on the bench and that may have cost him; Napp makes things happen and Union lacked that aspect of the game...leave it to the pre-game commentary calling Le Toux a GREAT SCORER, simply delusional.

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