Dynamo 2 found itself in uncharted territory in last week’s match against MNUFC2. Heading into last weekend, Dynamo 2 were one of only two teams in the Western Conference that had not faced a shootout from the penalty spot at the end of regulation. This occurs if a game is still tied at the end of the regulation period. In this scenario, the team that wins the penalty shootout is awarded two points while the losing team is awarded just one. That ended over the weekend, as the whistle blew on the full 90 minutes with the two teams tied at one goal apiece.  

To get to that point, Dynamo 2 broke through with a goal in the 54th minute, as defender Talen Maples scored a header after midfielder Jacob Evans passed to Juan Castilla on a short corner, who crossed the ball into the captain to give Houston a 1-0 lead. Then, MNUFC2 tied the game in the 61st minute, as Aziel Jackson got the ball from Nicholas Mendonca on a counterattack and cut back to his left to create enough space in front of the goal to get a shot off and score for Minnesota.  

In the shootout, defender Ian Hoffmann and midfielders D’Alessandro Herrera, Juan Castilla and Diego Gonzalez scored on their kicks, before midfielder Paulo Lima had his shot blocked by the MNUFC2 goalkeeper to give the opponents two points in the match. 


One crucial component of Dynamo 2’s success during their inaugural season has been their stellar defense. While the backline has seen a few different members rotate in and out, the two players that have not changed are defenders Ian Hoffmann and Talen Maples. Both players have started all eight of Houston’s matches this season, and have proven themselves to be high-level contributors in MLS NEXT Pro. The two have contributed to a backline that has only allowed eight goals all season, one of only four teams to have accomplished this feat. Last weekend may have been their best performance all year, as Maples contributed a goal and recorded a season-high six clearances, while Hoffmann recorded a season-best five interceptions.