Houston Outplayed By Toronto FC, Fall 2-1

The Houston Dynamo look to rebound from their midweek loss to the Colorado Rapids against Eastern Conference rivals, Toronto FC. The men in orange will be without captain Brian Ching, but will get to see Sergio Koke start.

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Final: Houston Outplayed By Toronto FC, Fall 2-1

Don’t be fooled by the 2-1 final score…it was never really that close.

The match got off to a “great” start with an inexplicable decision by Jorge Gonzalez to deny the Dynamo a clear advantage and instead whistle play dead for a free kick. His quick whistle cost Houston a 2 on 1 break on goal. Yet another example of the incompetence of USSF officials and how find new and better ways to drag down the level of play in MLS week in, week out.

While Toronto was able to generate a few good chances, along with a couple that tested Tally Hall, the Dynamo didn’t seem all that dangerous in the final third. Despite having several good build-ups, they all fizzled thanks to less than stellar crossing.

Sergio Koke was very active in the first half, being allowed to move around the pitch and drop back in to the midfield to pick up the ball and move forward. Within the first 15 minutes or so, Koke had at least one run of possession on the left and right sides of the pitch. If anything, you got the feeling that Koke wasn’t seeing near enough of the ball.

Koke was clearly frustrated by the referee on several occasions though as Gonzalez did his best to destroy the flow of the match by whistling ticky-tack fouls and allowing obvious, harder fouls to go unpunished. It’s the same type of behavior that helped lead to Javier Morales’ injury earlier in the day in Salt Lake.

There really wasn’t much else to discuss from the first half as neither team was passing very well and were unable to get in to any kind of rhythm both due to poor play and generally piss poor officiating.

The Dynamo got themselves in trouble early in the second half. After Eddie Robinson’s pass was intercepted by Nick Soolsma, the Toronto forward dribbled in to the box and was barely contacted by Andre Hainault. Soolsma went down like he’s been hit by a sniper and conned the officials in to awarded a penalty. Rookie Joao Plata scored the PK, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute.

Really strange moment in the 61st minute when Plato broke down the wing and Tally Hall came in and poked the ball away from Plato. Initially, the referee carded Hall and awarded a PK, but after talking with his assistant referee, he reversed his decision. Replays showed it was the right choice as Hall got to the ball first and Plato dived.

Toronto got their second goal to finish off the Dynamo as Joao Plata made an excellent pass to find Santos who beat Tally Hall. Poor defending really.

The Dynamo finally got on the board in the 87th minute. Nice play by Je-Vaughn Watson to find Lovel Palmer who fired a nice shot past Toronto keeper Stefan Frei. Despite the late rally, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Toronto lead and the match finished 2-1.

Why it took a two goal deficit for the Dynamo to finally wake up shows there are still issues with this team. Instead of continuing to improve, the Dynamo are in full reverse, making mistakes and showing all the same tendencies that haunted them throughout the 2010 season. Still a lot of work for the team to do this season to truly be considered a playoff contender.

Match report from Dynamo Theory.

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Goal: Lovel Palmer Makes Things Interesting Late

Lovel Palmer scored off of a shot from outside the box late in the second half to bring Houston a goal closer. The match is now 2-1 with the advantage to Toronto with just over five minutes to play. Can Houston do enough to leave Toronto with a draw?

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Goal: Maicon Santos Gives Toronto Two Goal Lead

Maicon Santos came off the bench to five Toronto FC a two goal lead over the visiting Houston Dynamo. Santos received an excellent through-ball from Joao Plata and created enough space from defender Corey Ashe to slot a shot home past Tally Hall.

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Goal: Plata Hits One In From The Penalty Spot

Toronto FC forward Joao Plata gave Toronto a 1-0 lead over the Houston Dynamo early in the second half after blasting a shot past Tally Hall from the penalty spot.

The penalty was called after a bit of contact in the box with Dynamo defender Andre Hainault.

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Half Time: Houston And Toronto Battle In Foul Fest

It has been a truly boring first half in Toronto as the Houston Dynamo take on Toronto FC in an Eastern Conference clash.

Neither team has been able build any momentum and both teams have been limited to just one or two chances total. Due to the high number of fouls and attempted long balls, both teams have struggled to maintain possession and neither team has controlled the match.

Tally Hall was forced to come off of his line midway through the half and came up with a nice save from a Julian de Guzman long range effort a few moments later. Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was only called to action on Dynamo set pieces.

Adjustments will need to be made at halftime and Houston seem likely to bring Will Bruin on for Cam Weaver early in the second half.

Check back here for all the action from the second half from Toronto.

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Line-Ups: Toronto FC v. Houston Dynamo

Here’s your starting line-up for Toronto FC.

F: Soolsma
F: Stevanovic
M: Cann
M: Williams
M: Eckersley
M: de Guzman
D: Tchani
D: Peterson
D: Plata
D: Yourassowsky
GK: Frei

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Line-Ups: Koke Gets His First Start For Houston Dynamo

Here’s your starting line-up for the Houston Dynamo, who take on Toronto FC tonight in Toronto.

F: Cam Weaver
F: Sergio Koke
LM: Brad Davis
CAM: Geoff Cameron
CDM: Lovel Palmer
RM: JeVaughn Watson
LB: Andre Hainault
CB: Bobby Boswell
CB: Eddie Robinson
RB: Hunter Freeman
GK: Tally Hall

Subs: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Kofi Sarkodie, Corey Ashe, Colin Clark, Jason Garey, Will Bruin

The big news from tonight’s line-up is that Eddie Robinson and Sergio gets their first starts for the Dynamo in 2011, JeVaughn Watson starts ahead of Colin Clark and the injured Danny Cruz, and Andre Hainault moves from center back to left back, pushing Corey Ashe to the sub’s bench.

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Dynamo Take On Toronto FC After Quick Turn Around

Just three days after falling late to defending MLS Champions, the Colorado Rapids, the Houston Dynamo will travel to Toronto to take on Toronto FC.  Prior to the loss to Colorado, the Dynamo were riding a six-game unbeaten streak and were showing hints of how good this team could be.  

Wednesday night's match against the Rapids was Houston's ugliest of the season, and the men in orange lost after a gaff from Tally Hall and a defensive breakdown late in the match.  Dynamo captain Brian Ching returned to the starting line-up for Houston, but ended the game after picking up another injury, forcing him out of tonight's match.  Central-midfielder Geoff Cameron was a late scratch from the game, still having not recovered from his shin injury picked up against DC United, with JeVaughn Watson filling in in his absence.  Newest Dynamo signing, Sergio Koke, saw extended minutes against the Rapids, and show flashes of brilliance.  Dynamo fans are all curious to see what he can do with a start, something likely for Saturday night's match.  

Check back here closer to game time for full line-ups and in-game thoughts, opinions, analysis, and more. 

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