Houston Dynamo 2 returns home for a two-game homestand starting with a matchup against Sporting Kansas City II at AVEVA Stadium this Sunday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Following last week’s 2-2 draw with Whitecaps FC 2, Houston is currently on a six-game unbeaten streak that extends back to June 19. This run has seen Dynamo 2 solidify its place in the Western Conference playoff picture, as the team currently sits in third place in the table with 36 points, five points ahead of fifth place Earthquakes II.
During last week’s matchup in Canada, it looked early on as if Dynamo 2 would leave with yet another three points on the road. Forward Papa N’Doye opened the scoring in just the second minute of the match as he found a rebound off a shot from midfielder D’Alessandro Herrera.
Whitecaps FC scored the equalizer in the 26th minute as Ali Ahmed crossed a ball to Easton Ongaro, who put a shot past goalkeeper Xavier Valdez to tie the game at 1-1. Dynamo 2 scored in the 35th minute off a free kick from midfielder Marcelo Palomino. Midfielder Jacob Evans drew a free kick in front of goal just outside of the 18-yard box, and Palomino lined up to lay down a strike that went straight into the top corner of the net to give Houston a 2-1 lead.
GOAL: Marcelo Palomino with a stunning free kick for Dynamo 2!
Whitecaps FC 2 scored again in the 4th minute of added time in the second half as Thierno Bah found Emiliano Brienza for the equalizer and forced penalty kicks.
In the penalty shootout, midfielder Diego Gonzalez, midfielder Paulo Lima, and forward Daniel Rios converted their penalty kicks before forward Joseph Farouz’s shot was saved to give Whitecaps FC 2 the two points.
After this Sunday’s match, Dynamo 2 is once again back in action at AVEVA Stadium on Sunday, August 14 against Colorado Rapids 2 at 8:00 p.m. CT.
Here are three key points ahead of Sunday's match:
- PALOMINO FROM LONG RANGE: With his goal in the 35th minute of last week’s game, Palomino took his goal total on free kicks this season to three. His first such goal came in the first ever Dynamo 2 game, when he hit a shot in the 20th minute that ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal. Palomino had a similar situation, albeit much later in the game, when he blasted in a free-kick goal in the 88th minute against Tacoma Defiance on June 26, in a match that finished 1-0. With this past weekend’s goal taking him up to three goals outside the 18-yard box on the season, the homegrown midfielder is now tied for the league lead in goals scored outside of the penalty area.
- NOT SEEING RED: MLS NEXT Pro recently implemented two new rule changes. One of these changes regards the implementation of red card suspensions. A player will no longer serve their suspension in the following match, but rather in the next match against the team that they committed the infraction against. This, however, is not something that Dynamo 2 has had to worry about. Houston is currently one of just three teams in the league that has yet to receive an ejection this season.
- CONNECTION WITH SPORTING KANSAS CITY II: This weekend’s matchup may carry some added importance for members of the Dynamo organization, as the ties between Houston and Kansas City are extensive. On the pitch, midfielder Isaiah LeFlore is facing his former club for the first time in a Dynamo jersey, as LeFlore played for SKC II for two seasons from 2020-2021. During his tenure with the SKC II, LeFlore 26 appearances and 15 starts. Additionally, Houston Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura came to Houston in the offseason from Sporting Kansas City II.