[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE]
As an organization and as a team, the Houston Dynamo has a curious method of enduring congested schedules, acts of nature, and occasional
Everybody concerned just gets on with it. Since MLS and Anschutz Entertainment Group uprooted the team from San Jose and moved it halfway across the country, it has won two
league titles and performed well in international competitions with nary a complaint.
So about a week after returning from a road trip to patch up and clean up at home in the wake of
Hurricane Ike, the Dynamo traveled to Panama City for its Concacaf Champions' League opener Tuesday against San Francisco FC and came away with a 0-0 tie.
Coach Dominic Kinnear
mindful that his team will play four games in the next 12 days and a match every three days for the next month or so, rested several regulars but was able to field defender Craig Waibel
who has played only 13 league games this year partially because of injuries. Eddie Robinson
, who was suspended in Houston's last league match and is ineligible for the MLS game Saturday
in Toronto, did not play as Kinnear gave a start to Patrick Ianni
in central defense alongside Bobby Boswell
Houston's defense bent a few times without breaking. Alberto
twice breached the Quakes in the first half yet failed to score. He turned and fired a volley that keeper Pat Onstad
stretched to turn away, and a few minutes later his sharp
header on a Manuel Torres
free kick came back off the crossbar.
A rare Onstad fumble, as Wess Torres
challenged his leap for a free kick, yielded a shot from Juan
that Onstad pushed over the top. Onstad finished the match with seven saves. Geoff Cameron
shot low just past the far post with one of the Dynamo's few good chances.
Second-half substitutes Dwayne DeRosario
, Brian Mullan
and Brian Ching
gave Houston more of an attacking presence but despite good possession in the middle third Houston's
rare opportunities came on set plays. Ching headed a Stuart Holden
corner kick on frame that San Francisco goalie Carlos Valdes
San Francisco FC, which
tied UNAM, 1-1, in its opener last week, leads the group with two points from its two ties. Houston heads to Mexico City to play UNAM next Tuesday; Pumas hosts the fourth team in Group B, Luis
Angel Firpo of El Salvador, Wednesday in Mexico City.
The other MLS representative in the group phase, D.C. United, plays at Honduran club Marathon Wednesday. United lost at home to
Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa, 2-0, last week.