MLS: Houston Dynamo vs. Monterrey CF -6/29/2018
The Dynamo took a break from MLS and U.S. Open Cup action this weekend to take on a bigger and better cause: charity. Houston held it’s BBVA Compass Charities Cup this Friday against Monterrey CF from the Liga MX in Mexico. The Dynamo started the usual cast, minus Boniek Garcia and DeMarcus Beasley, but there was liberal substitution throughout the game on both sides.
Monterrey Starting 11: Barovero, Sanchez, Basanto, Medina, Vangiani, Molina, Ortiz, Pabon, Pizarro, Hurtado, Benitez
Dynamo Starting 11: Sietz, Donovan, Fuenmayor, (C)Senderos, Lundkvist, Alexander, Wharton, Martinez, Quito, Manotas, Elis
Monterrey were easy favorites to pick before the game and they came out of the gates ready to show that. By the 4th minute, the Rayados attack already had a headed ball towards goal and looked primed to take control of the game from there. But the Dynamo still seemed to be enforcing their style of play on the pitch while repelling a couple of solid buildups from Monterrey. This dichotomy, the Dynamo enforcing their game plan well and Monterrey still breaking through to the goal, would be the narrative of the game. In the first 45 minutes, Rayados’ Hurtado must have taken 3 shots on goal with nothing to show for it. The Dynamo only took one serious shot on goal during the first half when Elis took a shot outside the box and Barovero almost bobbled the ball enough for Alexander to sink it. By the end of the first half the Dynamo were definitely hanging in there but they hadn’t done much with their set pieces.
In the second half, all of that changed, when in the 48th minute Conor Donovan tapped a ball into the net. Donovan was set up by a well placed Luis Guil shot that was never completely secured by Barovero. The goal wasn’t particularly pretty, but it got the job done. For around 15 minutes it seemed as though that might be enough. But in the 63rd minute, Monterrey was awarded a freekick that was inches outside of the box. Substitute Alfonso Gonzalez absolutely nailed the shot, weaving the ball beautifully in between defenders. After that, the match stayed tense, the Dynamo were able to stay on the ball in Monterrey’s half. They were actually able to stay in the Rayados’ half a lot of the time but just couldn’t complete the last leg of any buildup schemes.
After the 85th minute, the game seemed to be in anybody’s hands but the Rayados turned the attack full throttle. Taking a couple of shots on goal before getting a corner kick in the 90th minute, which ended up sealing the deal. Luis Guillermo Madrigal deserves an immense amount of credit for the amazing shot on goal that he put up. There really was no way that Chris Seitz was ever going to get to that ball. A 1-2 loss certainly wasn’t the result that Houston was looking for but they played really well especially given the caliber of opponent. Either way, they’ll take the lessons from this match into next weeks fixture against LAFC on 7/3