Houston Dynamo FC

Houston Dynamo FC earn 13th clean sheet of the season


Houston Dynamo FC played in-state rivals FC Dallas to a scoreless draw earlier tonight to record its league-leading 13th clean sheet of the season. Houston improved its record at Shell Energy Stadium to 14-3-5 (WLD) and will end the night as high as fourth in the Western Conference standings.

Goalkeeper Steve Clark was called into action in the 10th minute, after Alan Velasco went direct for goal from a free kick. The veteran goalkeeper made his first of three saves of the night, beating the ball to the bottom right corner of the frame. Clark is tied for first in MLS with 12 clean sheets this season. That mark also ties the team record for most clean sheets in a single season.

Houston mounted an attack in the 11th minute when defender Erik Sviatchenko’s shot from outside the box got caught up in the feet of forward Corey Baird. The ball then bounced to forward Iván Franco, who struck a ball that was blocked by the Dallas backline.

The Dynamo had another look at goal in the 15th minute when captain Héctor Herrera delivered a dangerous ball onto the edge of the six-yard box from a free kick, but the ball was deflected just out of danger by the Dallas backline. The Mexican international created three chances on the night and was named the Player of the Game.

Franco took his chances from the edge of the penalty box in the 23rd minute. Despite being on his back foot, the ball carried just over the top left corner of the frame, almost beating goalkeeper Maarten Paes.

Defender Brad Smith almost opened scoring in the 33rd minute after pivoting and striking the ball from the edge of the penalty box after forward Amine Bassi, who created a team-leading four chances tonight, passed him the ball. The attempt made Paes dive full stretch to the right side of goal, but the ball found its way outside of the post anyway.

The 35th minute saw another chance for Houston, as Baird put the ball across the face of goal inside the six-yard box from the right side. The ball eventually fell to Franco, whose shot was blocked over the crossbar.

One minute later, Bassi was fouled on the edge of the penalty box, and Herrera’s ensuing direct free kick forced a punch away from Paes.

Another free kick delivery from Herrera in the 51st minute found the head of Franco, but his attempt floated just past the far post.

Midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla chipped a ball to defender Franco Escobar running into the right side of the penalty box in the 64th minute, but Paes beat the Argentinian to the ball before he could get a shot off.

Forward Nelson Quiñónes tried his chances from outside of the box in the 79th minute, slotting a shot between the legs of a Dallas defender, but Paes managed to corral the shot in the middle of goal.

A dangerous chance arose for Houston in the 83rd minute when Carrasquilla broke free from his defender running into the right side of the penalty box. The Panamanian international crossed the ball into the six-yard box with the ball bouncing off the hands of Paes, but there were no black shirts in the area to kick the ball goalwards.

Defender Teenage Hadebe had a key defensive header in the 87th minute to put behind goal on what would have been a free header for Paxton Pomykal. The Zimbabwe international ended the night with two clearances on the night.

Houston found themselves on the break in the 89th minute, which started with Herrera, who switched play to Bassi on the left side of the pitch. Bassi found Carrasquilla running into the right side of the penalty box, but his first-touch strike carried just over the crossbar after Paes got his fingertips to the ball. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball eventually fell to midfielder Artur, whose strike from outside the box carried wide of the right post.

The Dynamo next travel to Canada to face CF Montréal on Wednesday, Oct. 4, with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.