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  • Matthew Laboissonniere

Houston Dynamo Match Review

Orlando City barely hung on Saturday against Houston and survived with a 2-1 win. Ercan Kara scored the first goal off of a cross/shot from Facundo on the left hand side. Later in the match, Pereyra’s laser was unknowingly deflected off of Kara for the 2nd goal but enough of a misdirection to credit the Austrian with a brace. Houston answered within a minute, and then also equalized at the death, but the goal was taken back for offside. It was essentially the last kick of the game and Orlando got their 7th win on the season.

I thought the first half was a really strong showing from the Lions, despite only scoring one goal. There was good build up play and solid defense to where the Dynamo did not have any really clear cut chances. They pushed harder in the second half, but only managed to cut the deficit to one. However, the finishing has to improve. A controversial call was the difference in this win being a blown draw at home, and then this article has a whole different tone. Putting games to bed is extremely difficult in the MLS and might just be the final hurdle for these Lions.

Match Facts Yellow Card - 14’ - Jansson Yellow Card - 16’ - Avila Yellow Card - 20’ - Lundqvist Yellow Card - 21’ - Vera Goal - 25’ - Kara Yellow Card - 32’ - Yellow Yellow Card - 39’ - Pereyra Yellow Card - 44’ - Hadebe Goal - 58’ - Kara Goal - 59’ - Ferreira Yellow Card - 64’ - Gallese Yellow Card - 87’ - Ulfarsson

Three Things 1. Fantastic Facundo I thought Torres had an excellent match on Saturday and there were two plays in particular where I was super happy with what I saw. On the goal, Torres’s spatial awareness was excellent. He constructed the move, motioning where the first pass should go. Then, he immediately found the space behind him and made a run. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the assist - can’t tell if it was a scuffed shot or not- but regardless it found Kara for the opener. Later in the second half, Kara underplayed a through ball that would have put Torres in on goal. Torres still took an excellent touch, recycled it and slipped in an overlapping Urso for a scoring chance. His patience on the ball and awareness of everyone around him made him stand out Saturday.

2. Yellow Cards and Suspensions Rodrigo Schlegel was absent from this match due to yellow card accumulation suffered on Wednesday vs the Revolution. Then, Jansson received a yellow card and will now miss the next match on Friday. Schlegel will be coming back, but Jansson was the stronghold of this defense with Carlos out. He has the most yellow cards out of anyone in the league and honestly, it’s annoying. I understand you’re defending your teammates but there’s a line and you need to understand if you’re close to crossing it. Constantly putting yourself in that position is dangerous and now Orlando must pay the price without him in the next match.

3. Pereyra Masterclass Really an excellent match from the attacking midfielder on Saturday. He was spraying the ball all over the place and passed with 80% accuracy. He dished a lot of through balls and cross field passes that opened up the width of the pitch and unlocked different avenues for the wide players to attack in. He was also super unfortunate to not get a goal. His shot was deflected off of Kara and the goal was given to the designated player. It was on frame - unsure if it would have found a way in. He played the ball that Torres assisted Kara for, and he also was given an assist for the Kara deflection. A high quality performance from him.

Final Word

You can make a case for it being lucky that Orlando walked out with all 3 points, but they did enough to win. They got their goals, Gallese made some saves, and the defense held strong without some key players. All this makes for a solid win at home in a campaign that will only get more difficult.

Up Next

Orlando will take on FC Cincinnati on the road this upcoming Friday.

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