The Houston Dynamo Academy teams took on two Colorado-based clubs in a weekend that saw each team take on two different opponents, the Colorado Rapids Academy and Real Colorado.
For Academy Director Paul Holocher, the weekend was a success overall, and demonstrated areas that the teams can continue to improve.
“In our matches this weekend, we played two very tough competitors, Colorado Rapids and Real Colorado,” Holocher said. “Both groups were similar in a direct, physical style of play. We needed to control the tempo and manage the transition and direct play, especially the long ball. There were some very good moments of play over the weekend, including showing grit to come back in a few games, but still many areas to improve like maintaining our concentration and composure and finishing our chances more clinically.”
Here is a rundown of the rest of the weekend’s action from the Houston Dynamo Academy.
In its first match of the weekend, the U-17s took on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. The Dynamo conceded the opening goal after the team mistakenly thought that the referee called a Rapids player offside. Despite this bit of misfortune, the Dynamo tied it up soon after, courtesy of Lalito Moreno, who scored goals in both games this weekend. The match ended in disappointing fashion, with Houston conceding two goals that led to a 3-1 loss.
On Sunday, the U-17s squared off against Real Colorado. Determined to prove that the previous day’s loss was a fluke, the Dynamo got off to a hot start. Once again, it was Lalito Moreno that provided the offense for the Dynamo. Diego Rosas also scored, securing his first goal of the season. Once again, a late run by the opposition proved disappointing to Houston, who conceded two late goals for a 2-2 final score.
The name of the game for the U-15s this weekend was defense. Both matches were tightly contested, low-scoring affairs that saw the Dynamo get the better of the Rapids before finishing in a scoreless draw against Real Colorado on Sunday. Head coach Daniel Roberts described the team’s performance as “gritty” and the opponents as “physical.” The only score that either side saw on the weekend came via a Leo Gitau goal in the first matchup, which finished in a 1-0 victory over the Rapids.
It was a very different story for the U-14s. As opposed to a low scoring, defensive-focused weekend for the U-15 team, the U-14s took part in two high-scoring affairs that each ended in draws. After a delayed start to the game, the Dynamo conceded two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game, however the game was far from over. The team came back and scored three goals in the same half to go up 3-2 into half-time. In the second half, the Dynamo conceded a goal on a turnover to make it 3-3. The team made a strong scoring push towards the end but could not secure a fourth goal. According to head coach Shahad Farahani, the performance “showed great character and grit.”
It was a similar story on Sunday, as the first half was a high-scoring affair that saw the Dynamo go into halftime up a goal, 2-1. The second half once again saw Houston concede an equalizer, and it was only due to some heroic goalkeeping by the opposition that the Dynamo could not find the back of the net, with the match once again ending in a draw. The standout performers from the weekend were Salem Sharif and Javier Caro, both of whom scored in each game.
The only Academy team that did not take on Colorado this weekend was the U-13 team, coached by Tanner Chassman. Instead, the U-13s took on the Dynamo South U-14 team in a friendly. Chassman said the match was a good opportunity to play against a team that’s a year older. The U-13s dominated possession and created a number of chances early on to break down the opponents backline in route to a 6-0 victory.
Next weekend, all four teams will be on the road to take on Louisiana TDP Elite on Saturday.