Friday night’s Texas derby leg of MLS rivalry week was marked by incessant rain, six yellow cards (three for each team), and plenty of scoring chances for both sides. FC Dallas won the first 2015 meeting between these growing rivals 4-1 at Houston on May 1. However, Houston has enjoyed more success since that loss, earning 10 points while FC Dallas entered this match winless in their previous six games.
For the second time this season, violent thunderstorms delayed the start of the match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. Lightning delayed kickoff 75 minutes and Toyota Stadium’s brand new turf (the installation of which was the reason for Dallas’ five consecutive road games – the longest road streak in franchise history) was tested by steady rain for the entire match.
Both sides found mild chances in the opening minutes, but the action quickly picked up speed, a surprise considering the wet conditions. The Dynamo’s best scoring opportunity of the first half came in the 11th minute when midfielder Luis Garrido arced a perfect pass over the Dallas defense toward onrushing forward Will Bruin. Zach Loyd dove in at the last second, heading the ball out just ahead of Bruin’s right foot.
After the initial back and forth, FC Dallas gained the possession advantage, sending Fabian Castillo on multiple left-wing forays into the box. In the 28th minute, FC Dallas pled for a penalty when Castillo ran onto a long ball into the box and was knocked down by David Horst, but the referee deemed it a fair shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. Five minutes later, Castillo capped one of his solo runs with a pass across the face of the Dynamo goal, which ricocheted off Houston defender Jermaine Taylor for an own-goal.
FC Dallas’ second goal came in the 42nd minute via a give-and-go exchange between Castillo and Diaz, with Castillo sliding the shot to the left of goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Houston mounted one more counter-attack just before halftime, capped by Demarcus Beasley’s solid shot from a tough angle that Dan Kennedy deflected, then rushed to smother the loose ball.
Early in the second half Deric maintained Houston’s hope for a comeback with gutsy one-on-one saves against David Texeira and Castillo. Houston then found their attacking legs with Brad Davis (who replaced the injured Rob Lovejoy in the 29th minute), Giles Barnes, and Ricardo Clark. Barnes barely missed wide left from a free kick at the top of the box. In the 57th minute Alexander Lopez found Ricardo Clark in the box who blasted an uncontested shot on goal, which Kennedy saved. Clark’s effort would be the Dynamo’s best chance of the night.