Houston Dynamo FC opened the season with a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes in front of a limited-capacity sellout crowd of 6,376 fans at BBVA Stadium tonight. The win was Houston’s eighth all-time victory on Opening Day and the Dynamo’s fifth straight win over San Jose at BBVA Stadium.
The Dynamo opened the scoring in the 39th minute through a nifty individual effort from midfielder Memo Rodriguez. The Dynamo Academy alum received a pass outside the penalty area from midfielder Joe Corona and used his body to shield San Jose defender Florian Jungwirth and put himself in alone on goal. Rodriguez beat goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski to the ball and slipped it into the back of the net for the first goal of the season.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 56th minute when forward Maxi Urruti buried a shot from the penalty spot. Forward Tyler Pasher set up the goal, driving hard down the left flank on the counter before picking out Urruti with a low centering pass. Pasher had two other options streaking toward the goal, but Urruti checked his run to create space for himself.
San Jose pulled a goal back in the 74th minute when defender Paul Marie laced a right-footed shot just inside the far post from outside the penalty area. Defender Shea Salinas played Marie in with a diagonal pass from the left flank, and he cut in on his right foot for the shot.
With the Dynamo holding on to a 2-1 lead, goalkeeper Marko Marić came up with the save of the night in the 84th minute. After a Houston turnover in midfielder, San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas got free behind the Houston defense along the right flank, racing in alone on Marić. The big Croatian ‘keeper was quick off his line to cut down Salinas’ angle and denied him one-on-one to preserve the win.
The Dynamo appeared to strike first when forward Fafa Picault stabbed home a centering pass from Pasher, but assistant referee Jeffrey Greeson ruled Pasher to be in an offside position when he received the ball.
Rodriguez nearly bagged his second goal of the night in first-half stoppage time. He found himself facing two defenders near the penalty spot but created just enough space to get off a left-footed shot, but his shot caromed off the crossbar and away from goal.
Urruti nearly picked up his second of the night in the 80th minute when he took a layoff from Pasher and wheeled around a defender for a shot, forcing Marcinkowski to push it wide for a corner kick. The ensuing corner fell to Rodriguez on the second ball, and his volley from the top of the box forced another save for Marcinkowski, nearly resulting in Houston’s third.
Next up for Houston is a trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit the Portland Timbers on Saturday, April 24. Kickoff for that match is set for 9:30 p.m. CDT, and it will air live throughout the Houston area in English on QuestTexas Ch. 55 and in Spanish on TeleXitos Ch. 47.2.