TUCSON, Arizona – The Houston Dynamo had several golden chances in the second half but couldn’t capitalize in a 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids to open the Desert Diamond Cup on Saturday night at Kino Sports Complex.
Next up, the Dynamo face the New England Revolution on Wednesday in a preview of the March 6 season opener at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dynamo had opportunities in an energetic start to the second half. First, Giles Barnes cut to his right at the top of the box and smashed the crossbar from 17 yards with an effort that was past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Then, two minutes after entering the game as a substitute, Mauro Manotas drew a penalty kick, pushed from behind by Bobby Burling as he fought for Jalil Anibaba’s cross. Ricardo Clark took the penalty kick but missed above the upper corner for Houston’s second penalty miss of the preseason; Barnes was denied against San Jose on Feb. 6.
In between those chances, Will Bruin had two opportunities. First, he completed a Dynamo counterattack with a look at goal, but his shot was denied by a late block. Then, a minute later, Bruin timed his run well to slip behind the Colorado defense, but a long touch was cleared by MacMath 12 yards from goal.
Manotas had an opportunity for his sixth preseason goal, finding himself in space on the right side of the box, but pulled wide of the far post.
Later, Leonel Miranda and Manotas worked a clever one-two and Miranda took a two-foot sliding challenge from a Colorado defender that did not draw a whistle for a penalty kick.
Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric made three memorable saves to keep the clean sheet. First, he came off his line well to deny Dillon Serna in the 12th minute. Then, after a turnover from Anibaba, Deric moved to his left to palm Dillon Powers’ corner-bound effort wide for a corner kick. In the second half, he reacted well to push Dominique Badji’s cross-turned-shot away from the upper corner at the last moment.
In the first half, Andrew Wenger was active on the right side, finding space in the box in the seventh minute before his cross was cleared by Colorado.
Later, Barnes made a good run up the left flank, slipping a short through ball in the path of DaMarcus Beasley. A Rapids defender played the ball back to MacMath, but the possible back pass was not whistled.
Other chances included Bruin heading a corner from Maidana at MacMath and David Rocha missing wide from 23 yards. Near halftime, Anibaba floated a cross to the back post and Barnes headed to the top of the box, but no support arrived.
Head coach Owen Coyle deployed a veteran starting lineup featuring seven returning players along with defender Agus Garcia and midfielders Wenger, Rocha and Maidana.
At halftime, David Horst and Clark entered for Garcia and Rocha.
Seven more players entered later in the second half: Abdoulie Mansally, making his Dynamo debut, Sebastien Ibeagha, Boniek Garcia, Zach Steiberger, Erick Torres, Miranda, and Manotas. Anibaba replaced Sheanon Williams in the 16th minute as an injury precaution.
Owen Coyle postgame quotes
“I thought for large periods, we dominated the game. Obviously we missed a penalty, and should have had another one, and created a lot of chances. But to be fair to Colorado they had one or two in the first half that Tyler Deric made good saves because he is a top goalkeeper. Overall, I was very pleased with the exercise. For us, it’s that competition for places, and day by day trying to step up. I thought our sharpness was better from our previous games.
“Because of our competitive nature, everybody wants to win every game they play in. The important thing tonight was individually and collectively, we understand what’s asked of us within the team framework and build those partnerships and I think they are coming together nicely.
“If there was one aspect I’d want us to be better in, it was the finishing department. Obviously a glaring miss with the penalty, but there was another two or three occasions that a little bit more finesse in front of goal would have resulted in goals.
“There were a lot of good moments. I think the longer the game goes, players then begin to tire and space open up, and that’s why you see late goals in a lot of games. For that part, defensively we looked very sound all over which is important, because if we have the platform with the shutouts, we know we have goal scorers in the club: Barnes, Bruin, Manotas, Torres, Maidana, boys that can create, Wenger will score goals.”
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
February 20, 2016 – Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, Arizona
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams (Jalil Anibaba 16), Raul Rodriguez (David Horst 46), Agus Garcia (Sebastien Ibeagha 77), DaMarcus Beasley (Abdoulie Mansally 62); Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 73), Alex Lima (Zach Steinberger 77), Giles Barnes (Boniek Garcia 62); Cristian Maidana (Erick Torres 70); Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 62)
Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath; Dennis Castillo, Bobby Burling (Stephen Keel^, 71), Axel Sjoberg (A.J. Cochran^, 71), Eric Miller (Marc Burch, 71); Jared Watts (Brad Spencer^, 71), Micheal Azira (Sean Keith, 71); Dominique Badji (Zach Pfeffer, 71), Dillon Powers (Caleb Calvert, 71), Dillon Serna (Luis Solignac, 71); Kevin Doyle (Conor Doyle, 71)
2016 MLS SuperDraft pick