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Dynamo top Rapids for first 2009 win



Houston Dynamo Logra su Primera Ansiada Victoria



By Dwain Capodice / Staff

HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Dynamo held on for their first win of the 2009 season in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon, beating the Colorado Rapids 1-0 at Robertson Stadium. A Brian Ching header in the 20th minute held up as Pat Onstad made tremendous back-to-back saves late — including stopping a penalty kick — to preserve the clean sheet and the Houston victory.

Entering the game, the Dynamo had gone 234 minutes without scoring a goal. The entire Orange team came out to put a quick end to that trend as soon as the whistle blew to start the game.

After earning their first corner kick less than 25 seconds into the match, the Dynamo poured on the offense as Ching and Brad Davis each forced Rapids ‘keeper Preston Burpo to make very good saves in the first eight minutes.

In the fifth minute, Ching’s first touch was picture-perfect on a seemingly harmless cross, but Burpo slid over to cut off the angle and stop Ching’s attempt. In the eighth minute, the ball was played out to Davis who had space to shoot, and he ripped his effort on goal, but Burpo stuck out his leg just enough to redirect the effort wide.

However, Houston had too much possession early to be held off the scoreboard, and in the 20th minute the Dynamo got a much deserved opening goal in an impressive fashion.

Davis sent a cross into the box toward Ching at the near post. Ching was about 15 yards out, but his header was sent to the far post where Dynamo forward Kei Kamara was making a run. It was unclear whether he was passing or shooting, but the ball went over the ‘keeper and fell perfectly under the crossbar and inside the post to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

After the initial goal, Houston seemed to let off the gas pedal a bit and almost paid the price. In the 40th minute, Conor Casey’s blast from 40 yards missed narrowly.

To start the second half, Houston came out more determined to get a second goal. In the 54th minute, Ching deftly turned Ugo Ihemulo and fed Kamara at the far post. Kamara’s cross fell to Davis, whose shot was blocked by a sprawling Rapids defender, but the ball fell to Brian Mullan. However, his left-footed effort went over the bar.

Colorado kept applying pressure, mostly through Omar Cummings. In the 69th minute, a Cummings blast went just wide from 25 yards out. Then in the 74th minute, Cummings shouldered Boswell off the ball and turned toward goal. Onstad was quick off his line though and intercepted Cummings’ first touch, which got away from him.

Just when it looked like the game was going to finish quietly, Casey beat three Dynamo defenders and drove in on goal. Geoff Cameron slid over and made contact with Casey, resulting in a clear penalty.

Casey stepped up and ripped the penalty, but Onstad made a fantastic diving save. The ball bounced off Onstad’s hand and hit the crossbar, rebounding into the path of Terry Cooke with an open goal. Somehow, Onstad got up and to the other side of the goal to block Cooke’s header to preserve the clean sheet in impressive fashion and earn a standing ovation from the crowd at Robertson Stadium.

Cooke then almost broke the Dynamo hearts in the final seconds of stoppage time. His first effort was blocked by Wade Barrett, but his second effort missed narrowly wide. The final whistle blew shortly thereafter and Houston had gotten its first victory of 2009, putting an end to Colorado’s three-game unbeaten streak.

It was a good sendoff for Houston into a bye week, while the Rapids finally return home after a three-game road swing, playing host to the LA Galaxy next Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


Dwain Capodice is a contributor to


Colorado Rapids (2-2-1) vs. Houston Dynamo (1-2-2)
April 19, 2009 — Robertson Stadium

Scoring Summary:
HOU — Brian Ching 2 (Brad Davis 1, Stuart Holden 2) 20

Colorado Rapids — Preston Burpo, Scott Palguta, Ugo Ihemelu, Kosuke Kimura, Jordan Harvey, Nick LaBrocca (Terry Cooke 68), Mehdi Ballouchy, Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings.

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Dalby, Cory Gibbs, Ty Harden, Jacob Peterson, Matt Pickens, Gregory Richardson

Houston Dynamo — Pat Onstad, Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden, Kei Kamara, Brian Ching (Corey Ashe 86).

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cruz, Andrew Hainault, Tally Hall, Julius James, Craig Waibel, Chris Wondolowski


Houston Dynamo

Colorado Rapids

total shots:


(Brian Ching 3,

 Brian Mullan 3)


(Conor Casey 3)

shots on goal:


(Brian Ching 3)


(Conor Casey 2)



(Kei Kamara 5)


(Omar Cummings 3,

 Ugo Ihemelu 3)



(Brian Ching 2,

 Kei Kamara 2)


(Colin Clark 1)

corner kicks:


(Brad Davis 2)


(Mehdi Ballouchy 1)



(Pat Onstad 3)


(Preston Burpo 2)

Misconduct Summary:

COL — Conor Casey (caution; Reckless Tackle) 25
COL — Colin Clark (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28
HOU — Ricardo Clark (caution; Reckless Tackle) 34
COL — Pablo Mastroeni (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
HOU — Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Tackle) 63
COL — Omar Cummings (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 73

referee: Mark Geiger
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson; Cyril Madukanya
4th official: Landis Wiley
time of game: 1:50
attendance: 12,708
weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 72 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial