The Dynamo come back to MLS play in style

The Dynamo come back to MLS play in style
The crowd goes wild after Smith's goal!

Written by David Garcia

The Houston Dynamo have bounced back strongly after the break by defeating the Portland Timbers 5-0 in a match where all three forwards scored, Franco Escobar netted his second goal of the year, and Brad Smith scored his first for the club.

Griffin Dorsey went down in the box in the second minute and initially, nothing was called. Soon after, referee Marcos DeOliveira went to check VAR for a potential penalty. Amine Bassi would step up for the Dynamo and he would convert his 6th penalty of the year. Whether it would have or would have not counted, Corey Baird nearly doubled the lead in the eighth minute after rounding the keeper but his shot was saved by Defender Miguel Araujo. The pressure continued and shortly after in the 11th minute, Coco Carrasquilla’s cross would find Hector Herrera’s head. His header pass would fall to Nelson Quinones and his volley found the back of the net doubling the lead. Three minutes later, Coco would play a beautiful back heel pass to Corey Baird who chipped Aljaz Ivacic for the third goal. The birthday man, Quinones, nearly had his brace in the 38th minute but his shot hit the crossbar. Bassi also nearly had his brace in the 41st as a cross from Escobar found him wide open but he missed his header and missed the open net. After five minutes were added to stoppage time, it seemed as if the match would enter the half 3-0 to the Dynamo. That was until Escobar began an overlapping run from near the halfway line and a quick give and go with Baird had him in a one versus one against the keeper and he did not miss, giving the Dynamo their fourth goal of the match. Shortly after the goal, the match entered the half 4-0 to Houston.

To begin the Second Half, Portland made four substitutions. Although Portland modified, the Dynamo kept possession and kept controlling the match. Three substitutions would come on for the Dynamo in the 61st minute, one of those being Brad Smith. About a minute later, Steve Clark would find Brad Smith off a goal kick and his excellent control with his chest was able to give him space for a shot. His beautiful shot found the top corner, marking the fifth goal of the match for Houston. New signing, Sebastian Kowalczyk would make his debut for the club in the 73rd minute. The Dynamo would make their final substitution in the 77th minute. The Dynamo had a couple of more shots and in the 90th minute, things got chippy but only two yellow cards were shown for Portland. Shortly, DeOliveira blew for the end of the match.

We asked Ben Olsen how the match boosted the team's confidence. He stated that “It is rare for us to be that efficient in front of goal. Just a lot of good, good performances tonight. I was happy that we saw the game out in a mature and disciplined way. So that's growth for us”. We also asked him about the team's grit. He told us that they want to win games at home, entertain, and put points on the board to stay above the playoff line. He added that they need to take the victory in a humble way because RSL have a different mentality and that with their new additions, he believes they are one of the better teams in the league. In addition, we asked Quinones what it meant for him to stay in the club. He mentioned that he is now more motivated and that it is a major opportunity to continue growing his career. He believes that he can leave a good picture here and he is happy to be able to stay. Another question we had was about Wednesday’s semifinal. He emphasized the importance of the game and the team wants to advance to the final and win the cup.

The men in Orange will now have a busy week as they will face Real Salt Lake twice, first on Wednesday, August 23 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals before traveling to Utah for MLS play on Saturday, August 26.