Tag Archives: Tomas Martinez

The Dynamo Bounce Back Big in Toronto

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

As I mentioned in my last article, Houston basketball legend James Harden bought into the Dynamo/Dash organization last week to much fanfare. Fans looking for signs of life in the ownership circle welcomed his willingness to use his media status and hope the change in energy might make some waves among the owners. I’ve tried hard to stay out of the fray of ownership complaints, so when I was a little surprised by Harden’s move I chalked it up to being a less informed fan in that area. 

However, as I watched the Dynamo vs Toronto match from my living room on Saturday night it all became clear. What else does a basketball player recognize more than how to read a bounce? When the Dynamo are at their lowest point of the season, what do they do? They. Bounce. 

Coming into Saturday’s match coach Wilmer Cabrera’s lineup looked a little closer to standard, but some pundits and fans still questioned his choices. Heck, I still questioned some of his choices. But Houston didn’t leave fans questioning long as Tommy McNamara found the back of the net just 4 minutes in.

The team that showed up on the pitch was one that Houston fans hadn’t seen in well over a month as the boys seemed to play with a level of confidence and skill that has simply been missing this summer. Wherever the tactical magic has been hiding, it was back in lockstep as passes linked up through narrow channels and chances were consistent in the first half. Tomas Martinez gave Houston some breathing room in the 23rd minute and they went into the half ahead 2-0. 

Houston is no stranger to the second half choke, so fans were still nervous as the teams took the pitch for the second half – and rightfully so as Toronto subbed in heavy hitters Altidore and Shaffelburg. While TFC had some of their best minutes in the first part of the second half, Mauro Manotas calmed nerves with a third goal as the match neared the hour mark.

Mauro Manotas made a lonely run, shook off all the defenders, and scored in the 57th minute.

Toronto cancelled Houston’s shutout with a goal by Altidore in the 75th minute, but a comeback was out of the question and Houston earned their first road win since March.   

So what was the difference maker for Houston in this magical road win? The biggest stand out in the lineup was the return of homegrown player Memo Rodriguez, who has been battling a leg injury and hasn’t been with the squad since May. Could this relatively young midfield floater somehow be the keystone to the Dynamo’s lineup? One of my go-to Dynamo twitter accounts sees something there. 

Whatever the cause, Houston fans got a great big dose of win this weekend and not a moment too soon. In wider soccer news, Houston’s NWSL team the Dash staged a comeback win against the Washington Spirit and the organization’s USL team the RGV Toros also won on Saturday night.

So whether it is the Harden Effect, the Memo Protocol, or simply Houston’s turn to get back on top, I hope this is a good bounce that lasts at least as long as the drop. We’ll find out when the Dynamo return home to face the Sounders next Saturday. 

Featured image: @HoustonDynamo

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

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The Houston Dynamo Continue Their UnBeaten Streak at Home

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

I AM biased, but it seems that the Houston Dynamo often fail to get the coverage that they deserve in the wider soccer community. This is one of the reasons I was eager to cover my team for MLSFemale.

It’s not just me – evidence continues to pile up that the Dynamo simply aren’t getting a lot of respect with this season’s efforts. Last week, super-fan Web Tilton called out MLS on Twitter with one of their recent snubs, when a review indicated that there were three undefeated teams, ignoring the Dynamo’s undefeated record.

Even among the soccer locals, the team’s successes are misrepresented. As the Team Manager for my stepson’s U14 Dynamo affiliate team, I am often asked to hype upcoming matches to team parents.

Last week, I got the usual request from a staff member with a Quick Facts section ahead of the purchase link “Dynamo – W4-L1-T0”. I responded back asking if he’d like me to correct his error in the record before sending the email out. Last week we were 3-0-1! While I’m sure it was a simple oversight, this mistake stung. How can local soccer professionals overlook our team’s success as easily as national pundits?

Continuing into last weekend’s matches, one my favorite MLS contributors, Laura Gomez, submitted an article about the Dynamo’s Saturday win. The title of the article sounded more like the Dynamo were gifted a favor with the halftime weather delay.
Weather delay gives Houston Dynamo chance to regroup for home win”

Called out for the slight on Twitter, Gomez indicated it was an editorial change to her original title. Perhaps the MLS editor didn’t understand that the delay applied to both the home team and the visiting San Jose Earthquakes?

My own coverage of Saturday’s Dynamo was challenging since my U14 team had their match at the same time as the Dynamo’s. Thanks to Univision, I was able to use my phone to stream the men in orange while keeping a close eye on my boys in orange.  My husband caught me in full soccer-parent-multitasking mode!

Keeping an eye on all the action. Video credit: Brian Lockridge

The Dynamo first team prevailed 2-1 over the Quakes on Saturday (my U14s didn’t fare as well). Fans missed Memo Rodriguez in the starting 11, as his connection with Alberth Elis has been one of the driving forces behind this season’s offensive success. Elis proved his versatility, however, as he paired with Mauro Manotas with nearly as much ease, scoring an amazing goal in the 52nd minute.

While the Quakes answered back a few minutes later, the Dynamo’s Tomas Martinez scored the game winner just behind that – making for a most exciting 8 minutes of play! The rest of the match was chippy with a number of fouls (called and not – for both sides), culminating in a red card to the Quake’s Lopez in the final minutes for a hard challenge to Captain Boniek Garcia.

The Dynamo continue their unbeaten streak (don’t forget, MLS!) and travel for their second road match of the season to face the LA Galaxy this Friday night.     

Featured image: @lesliecphotos

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale