Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
Second-half surge sends Dynamo past KC
by Ridge Mahoney, November 7th, 2011 12:25AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls, sporting kansas city

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PLAYOFFS: Kansas City-Houston] The Houston Dynamo, which won the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup as the Western Conference representative, took the Eastern Conference slot in this year's championship game by beating Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, Sunday. The Dynamo will face L.A. for the 2011 MLS crown.

Houston won its third straight playoff game, and second on the road, to reach MLS Cup thanks to second-half goals by Adrian Hainault and Carlo Costly.

NO DAVIS, NO PROBLEM. The departure because of a quadriceps injury in the 39th minute of playmaker and MVP candidate Brad Davis, who registered two playoff assists after leading the league with 16, didn’t deter the Dynamo.

To fill the hole at left mid, Coach Dominic Kinnear moved left back Corey Ashe – who played midfield most of his pro career before being moved back by Kinnear – upfield and brought in Jermaine Taylor to take over in the back line. In the absence of Davis, center mids Luiz Camargo and Adam Moffat took on more of the playmaking duties, and their service set up the Dynamo’s two goals in the 53rd and 87th minutes.

From a free kick on the right side of midfield, Moffat bent a serve deep to the back post that Taylor headed on goal from a sharp angle. Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen saved it with his knee, but the rebound dropped in front of goal for Hainault to smack into the net. Hainault leads the team with two playoff goals after also netting against Philadelphia in the conference semis.

Camargo had set up a chance for Brian Ching with a cleverly scooped ball early in the match, and squandered an opportunity for a clinching goal two minutes after Hainault scored when Matt Besler’s sliding tackle thwarted him from point-blank range. With three minutes,  he slid a through ball that split open the SKC back line for substitute Costly to dribble into the penalty area and drill it off the inside of the post.

STRONG AT HOME.  SKC opened its new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park, in June and lost only two home games while surging to win the Eastern Conference regular season title. Most of its games were sellouts or near-sellouts. SKC attracted a record crowd of 20,839 fans Sunday, just four days after drawing 18,565 for the second leg of its conference semifinal against Colorado.

Houston’s road record of 2-6-9 was among the worst in the league, and it played 15 straight road games without a win before beating FC Dallas and Portland at the end of the regular season. Then it beat Philadelphia, 2-1, at PPL Park in the first game of the conference semifinals. SKC hadn’t been shut out at home since it opened Livestrong with a 0-0 tie against Chicago June 9.

BRAVO BENCHED. SKC coach Peter Vermes elected to leave attacker Omar Bravo on the bench to start the match, and didn’t bring him in until the final minutes with SKC trailing, 1-0.

Bravo missed both legs of the conference semifinals series against Colorado with a strained abductor, yet SKC won, 4-0, on aggregate with Graham Zusi taking much of playmaking burden and delivering effective service on set plays.

Against Houston, Camargo and Moffat were able to quash much of what SKC tried to generate in midfield, which deprived the three-man front line of Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong and Teal Bunbury of service. Balls lobbed into the box were repelled by the centerback pair of Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron, and outside backs Hainault, Ashe, and replacement Taylor kept the corners secure.

Though SKC took 13 shots to just six for Houston, much of its buildup play was sporadic and frantic, and only a couple of furious goalmouth scrambles stretched Dynamo keeper Tally Hall.

Vermes replaced Roger Espinoza with captain Davy Arnaud in the 75th minute, and seven minutes later switched out holding mid Julio Cesar with Jeferson.  In the 85th minute, with his final sub, Vermes took out left back Seth Sinovic to insert Bravo, but two minutes later Costly scored to clinch the victory.

“We did everything to get ourselves in this position, but maybe just a little bit too young still with the group that we have.” Vermes said to mlssoccer.com.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USA-Mexico watched by almost 4.5 million fans    
Wednesday's USA-Mexico game averaged almost 4.5 million viewers on Spanish-language networks UniMas and UDN and Fox ...
NWSL Weekend: Sky Blue FC aims to extend streak    
It's a big weekend for pro soccer in the New York metropolitan area. New York City ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos greats return for Raul home debut    
The New York Cosmos open their third season at home on Saturday, and they'll have special ...
USL Thursday: Sounders 2 fall, Rhinos impress on road    
Sounders FC 2, one of three unbeaten and untied teams in the USL, dropped its first ...
What They're Saying: Luis Figo    
"When some speak and others are silenced, democracy and football lose." -- FIFA presidential candidate Luis ...
What They're Saying: Joey Saputo    
"You can't go in with the attitude that we have no chance. We're here. We didn't ...
What They're Saying: Adrian Heath    
"We went on preseason to Charleston and we hired a few vans to transport everyone around. ...
MLS Preview: Red Bulls in good mood; Beckerman 'fine'    
With Montreal skipping the next two MLS weekends to prepare for the Concacaf Champions League final ...
MLS Thursday: Late show is bad news for NYCFC    
C.J. Sapong's equalizer in the 86th minute -- his first ever goal for Philadelphia -- gave ...
Video Pick: Copa Libertadores golazo by Omar Perez    
In the penultimate round of Copa Libertadores group play, Colombia's Santa Fe took the Group 1 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives