Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, May 5, 2013, (Photos: Victor Posadas)
When the soccer schedule came out for this year’s MLS fixtures, many people circled the game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. That game would be a much anticipated matchup between last year’s MLS Cup final participants and they were going to play on the same field they battled for the cup, The Home Depot Center.
The game started like many thought it would, with both teams looking to attack and try to take an early lead. Houston Dynamo almost took that early lead when they connected on a corner kick, but Carlos Cudicini was there to block the ball that was headed at point blank range. Cudicini reacted fast enough and even though the ball was headed to where he was standing, it could have still squirted through. Galaxy had some chances with crosses toward Charlie Rugg but they were either too high or Tally Hall was there to block it. In the 23rd minute, Huston committed a foul inside the penalty box that resulted in a penalty kick for Galaxy. Jose Villarreal received a through ball and ran towards goal, but Hall slide feet first and dropped Villarreal resulting in a penalty kick. Everyone in the stadium knew Landon Donovan was going to take the penalty kick and everyone thought he was going to make it. The only problem was that last time Donovan took one, he missed. Donovan set up and shot low and to the right but Hall guessed correctly and was able to block the ball. The score stayed 0-0.
As the first half wore on, Dynamo seemed to move their lines forward and became more aggressive. They would bring in more players on their attacks and seemed into dangerous spaces but Cudicini and the Galaxy defense was there to block and stop each Dynamo attack.
The second half was different than the first half of the game. Galaxy dominated the first half but the second half belonged to Houston Dynamo. Galaxy came out flat, and Houston took advantage of that. They were aggressive and started to control the midfield. They were getting second chance opportunities because Galaxy couldn’t clear the ball out of their zone. Houston was able to get the game winning goal in the 56th minute of play. Bobby Boswell gave a long pass to Giles Barnes who ran up the left flank. He spun around and crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. The ball went towards Andrew Driver who kicked it on goal and scored. Cudicini dove to block the ball but the ball went under his glove. This gave Houston Dynamo and 1-0 lead. They held that lead till the end of the game and was able to walk away from the Home Depot Center with a victory.
Galaxy’s next opponent is the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 11 in Vancouver.