There was one common sentiment coming from the Houston Dynamo locker room after Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Columbus Crew SC. From new head coach Owen Coyle to the players, the message was clear. “It’s just the beginning.”
I asked right back Kofi Sarkodie after the game about how importantly it was for the guys on the team to get the first win for new coach Owen Coyle. “It was good. It felt good. We still have a lot of work to do and that’s one thing we talked about when he came in, he addressed the team with some things that we need to do better. It’s a long season, we’ve got some work to do, but it’s a good start.”
Sarkodie picked up a knock when he collided with teammate Raul Rodriguez. According to him, he wore 3 different jerseys and 2 different pairs of shorts during the game because of how much he was bleeding. After putting on a jersey with no number or last name, the Dynamo defender jumped right back on to the field, drove down the right side, and picked out Giles Barnes for the winning goal. On his assist, Sarkodie said, “(Crew left back Waylon) Francis kind of backed up and I went at him…I saw Giles and he had a great finish.”
Barnes’ goal, off Sarkodie’s feed, was a perfect finish. Barnes’ first time strike beat Crew keeper Steve Clark up high and sent the BBVA Compass Stadium Dynamo record crowd of 22,351 into a frenzy. Houston got the breakthrough and were able to preserve all three points thanks to a man of the match performance from goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Deric, in his first full season as the starter, made six saves. At least three were spectacular and at point break range. Columbus forward Kei Kamara, who was denied by Deric on multiple chances throughout the night, took to Twitter to praise the young Houston keeper.
Lookin forward 2 next week Home opener already. It was great 2 be back playing in MLS lastnite. Result will come And Goalkeeper @tyderic
Manager Owen Coyle gushed about Deric in his post-game press conference. “ Tyler made some big outstanding saves which I’ve come to expect after working with him. That’s why you have a top goalkeeper at your club.” Deric was saved by the crossbar on one Crew chance but perhaps it was the karma he had going. Nothing was beating him on Saturday night.
A short week awaits the Dynamo as they welcome expansion side Orlando City SC to BBVA on Friday night. After Saturday’s win Ricardo Clark echoed some of the same sentiments as Sarkodie “It’s a work in progress. We had some bright moments today. There’s still some things we can improve on. It’s good to get a win at the beginning of the season.” Friday is their next chance to continue improving. Some things are different in Houston, some are very similar. One thing we found out on Saturday night, the Dynamo aren’t settling, they want to build and get better as the season progresses and that is going to make them a fun team to watch in 2015.
(image courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)