Entering this week the Dynamo hadn’t won a regular season MLS match on the road since July 28, 2012. Looking at the trip they embarked on this week most Dynamo fans would have been happy with two, maybe 4 points. Not only did they finally break their road unbeaten streak but they won twice in four days on both coasts.
The road trip started in Carson, California with a rematch of the last two MLS Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Tally Hall came up huge to deny Landon Donovan’s penalty kick in the first half and Andrew Driver’s goal in the second half was enough for the Dynamo to earn three points at the Home Depot Center. Dynamo fans would much rather have won the Cup Finals but this win has to feel good and exacts a small amount of revenge on the Galaxy.
After beating the Galaxy late Sunday night the Dynamo flew cross country early Monday morning, arriving in the Washington DC area late Monday night. After a day of rest and light training they took on DC United Wednesday night. This match was also a playoff rematch, the Dynamo having beat United in last season’s Eastern Conference Final.
Tired legs could have easily been used as an excuse by the Dynamo but they came out at RFK Stadium and put DC away early. Will Bruin opened the scoring just 16 minutes. Boniek Garcia’s through ball found its way to Bruin and he chipped United keeper Bill Hamid to give the Dynamo the lead. Giles Barnes doubled the lead after some disastrous defending by United. A bad back pass caused Hamid to hit his clearance straight to Bruin, who squared for Giles Barnes to make it two nil.
DC tried to get back in the game in the 63rd but Dynamo defender Kofi Sarkodie was there to save the day. Former Dynamo star Dwayne De Rosario headed a corner to the near post that Sarkodie dropped to his knees to save one the line. The rebound came back to De Rosario and his volley was again stopped by Sarkodie who came all the way across the goal line to the other post to slide and save another shot off the line.
Giles Barnes had to leave the match in the first half with Brian Ching coming on. Ching contributed to the third goal when he flicked on a Brad Davis free kick for Bruin to slam home. Andrew Driver continued his great run of form as he completed the rout in the 88th minute. Bruin got free down the left side after a great lead pass from Driver. As Bruin made his way to the box, Driver continued his run and slotted home Bruin’s cross to make it a four nil scoreline.
Bruin finished the DC match with two goals and two assists making him a leading candidate for player of the week with the weekend matches still to be played. When Bruin is in this kind of form there is no one in MLS beating the Dynamo. Hopefully the injury to Giles Barnes isn’t serious because he and Bruin have linked up so well together this season. The emergence of Andrew Driver along with Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia in the midfield is a beautiful sight for Dynamo fans.
The Dynamo return home Sunday for yet another playoff rematch, this time against Sporting Kansas City, who they beat in the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Sporting is coming off a 1-0 home loss to Seattle on Wednesday but they have been one of the most consistent teams in MLS the past few years and will present a tough test for the Dynamo. Houston will need Barnes and Ricardo Clark healthy. Clark missed the match with DC due to a groin injury. Kei Kamara who was on loan with English Premier side Norwich City, is back with SKC and could make his first start of the season on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kamara, a former Dynamo, is dangerous and will be a handful for the Dynamo defense along with the other attacking threats Sporting have.
The Dynamo will want to play well against an East rival and keep the home unbeaten streak alive. It should be a great match Sunday so get tickets and get out to BBVA if you can. These teams always play exciting matches and Sunday should be no different as the Dynamo look to take their new found road success and keep the momentum going.
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)