Houston Dynamo FC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at PayPal Park earlier this afternoon in a U-23 pilot game as both clubs prepare for a new youth development league that MLS announced in April.
Forward Daniel Rios gave Houston a 1-0 lead late in the first half after the Homegrown player capitalized on a loose ball inside the penalty area.
Midfielder Juan Castilla sparked the goal that doubled Houston’s lead in the final minutes of the first half. The midfielder headed a corner away from the Dynamo goal and the ball fell to forward Mateo Bajamich near midfield. The Argentine forward dribbled into the box and beat the San Jose goalkeeper at the near post.
San Jose pulled a goal back in the final minutes of the second half to deny Houston the clean sheet.
The Dynamo knocked on the door early after Jathan Juarez crossed a ball into the box that just missed the right foot of Cesar Cordova. Juarez got behind the Earthquakes backline again two minutes later and found midfielder Ian Hoffmann near the penalty spot. The 19-year-old created space for a shot, but his effort was off target.
Dynamo goalkeeper Xavier Valdez finished with two saves beginning in the 24th minute with a comfortable save inside his six-yard box. Defender Reese Miller pressured a shot from a Quake attacker two minutes later that forced a save from Valdez at the bottom corner of the near post.
Juarez, Kieran Sargeant and Logan Erb were three of the Dynamo Academy players that joined the First Team for preseason earlier this year. Sargeant almost found the back of the net in the 75th minute when his effort from outside the box forced a save at the near post.
Erb and Valdez each finished with 45 minutes under their belt in goal for the Dynamo.
The Dynamo traveled with a mix of U-19, U-17 and U-15 Dynamo Academy players that joined Bajamich, Castilla, Hoffmann and Rios for the first of two pilot U-23 games this season. The team was coached by U-19 head coach Kenny Bundy. Bundy was also joined by the director of the Dynamo Academy, Paul Holocher, the director of high performance, Tony Vigil, and the club director of goalkeeping, Jason Grubb. Houston is scheduled to travel to Montreal in Nov. for the second pilot game of the year.