Houston Dynamo 2 travel to Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas to take on North Texas SC on Friday, July 15 at 8:00 p.m. in the second ever installment of MLS NEXT Pro’s Texas Derby.
The first matchup between these teams was a true barn burner, as the two teams traded goals throughout the contest. The game’s first goal came in the 17th minute for North Texas SC, as Andre Costa received the ball from Mulato in an attacking position. Costa then cut back to create enough space to get a shot off that found the far top corner of the net to put the FC Dallas MLS NEXT Pro affiliate on top 1-0.
Dynamo 2 equalized in the 21st minute, as the team earned a free kick just outside of the 18-yard-box. Midfielder Diego Gonzlez took the shot and curled the ball just over the wall and into the back of the net for the equalizer. This was the first goal in MLS NEXT Pro for Gonzlez, who was making his first start for the team. Dynamo 2 struck once again, this time just before the end of the first half, to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room at halftime. The team drew a corner kick in the third minute of added time, and after a strike from Avila, the shot ricocheted off defender Talen Maples and found the back of the net.
North Texas SC pulled level in the 55th minute, when Jose Mulato received a pass from Hope Avayevu and maneuvered around the Dynamo 2 defense before getting off a shot from distance that found the back of the net to tie the game at two goals apiece.
In the end, it was an 85th minute diving header from forward Beto Avila, who has since signed an MLS contract, that put Houston ahead 3-2 in one of the most tightly contested matches of the season for either team.
Additionally, Houston is looking to build off its success in last week’s 4-1 victory over Real Monarchs which included an offensive outburst in which the team scored three goals in just five members.
That match saw three members of Dynamo 2 score their first goals. This started in the 14th minute when defender Mujeeb Murana capitalized on a deflection from a corner kick to give Dynamo 2 a 1-0 lead. The goal marked the fourth time this season that Dynamo 2 scored in the first 15 minutes of a match.
Real Monarchs found the equalizer in the 23rd minute, when the team got on a counterattack following a Houston corner kick. Pedro Fonseca raced onto a diagonal ball behind the Dynamo 2 back line with just the goalkeeper to beat and slotted a low shot into the net to tie the match.
Dynamo 2 went back on top in the 58th minute, as Raines passed the ball through the box to Evans, who took one dribble before rifling off a shot that found the back of the net. The goal was the first of the season for Evans.
Houston scored again just three minutes later as forward Kyle Edwards was brought down in the box by a Real Monarchs defender to earn a penalty shot. In the 61st minute, Edwards took the penalty himself and converted for his second goal in as many weeks.
Houston made it a three-goal lead in the 63rd minute, as midfielder* Isaiah LeFlore*got in behind the defense and received a pass from Edwards before smashing a shot past the Real Monarchs’ goalkeeper. The goal was the third for the Dynamo in just six minutes of game time.
After this week’s rivalry match, Dynamo 2 will be back at AVEVA Stadium on Sunday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. to take on MNUFC2.
Here are three key points ahead of Friday’s match:
- UNBEATEN AT AVEVA: With last week’s 4-1 win over Real Monarchs, Dynamo 2 extended its record at AVEVA Stadium to 4-0-0, making it the only team unbeaten at its primary venue. Houston has played home matches at two venues this season with four matches at AVEVA Stadium and the other two at PNC Stadium, the downtown home of Houston Dynamo FC and the Houston Dash. Whether it be at AVEVA Stadium or at PNC Stadium, Houston has clearly proven to be a tough environment for visiting teams.
- NO CROSSING ALLOWED: Against Real Monarchs, the Dynamo 2 defense proved stingy, particularly when it comes to preventing quality passing. Over the course of 90 minutes, the Utah-based side only got off two crosses. This number was a season low for Dynamo 2 and was certainly a factor in Real Monarchs ability to generate quality looks on goal, as the opponents finished with just one shot on target in the match.
- EXPECTED GOALS DIFFERENTIAL: Speaking of stingy defense, during the team’s current undefeated streak they have not allowed more than 0.85 expected goals in a single game. Meanwhile, the team has earned greater than 1.05 expected goals in each of these matches, including 2.07 in the victory over Real Monarchs. The 2.07 expected goals mark is the second-highest tally on the season.