Slumping Dynamo and Timbers play to draw in Houston

DynamoTimbers (USA Today Sports)

By MIKE DONOVAN

The Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo both entered their match Sunday afternoon looking for a victory to put an end to long winless droughts. But after 90 minutes in the hot Texas sun, neither team was able to take the full three points.

Will Bruin gave the hosts an early lead, but Portland’s Gaston Ferandez answered with a first-half strike of his own as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. The draw leaves the Timbers in last place in MLS and winless in their first eight matches to start the season, while Houston finds itself in the midst of a six-game winless streak after victories in their first two matches of the season.

Despite heading into the match without a goal in its last three matches, the Dynamo found the scoreboard just 16 minutes into the match when a Brad Davis cross was headed home by an unmarked Bruin. It was the fourth goal of the year for the Indiana product, but his first since the second week of the season.

The assist went to Davis, who returned to the lineup after missing three games with an ankle injury. Houston has just three goals in their last matches, with all three being assisted by Davis.

Portland found its answer later in the first half, when Gaston Fernandez took a deflected Kalif Alhassan pass and fired it past a helpless Tally Hall. Fernandez, who started at forward over Maxi Urruti, scored his team-leading third goal of the season.

While the Timbers easily won the possession battle (58 to 42 percent), they had few good scoring opportunities with Hall rarely challenged other than Fernandez’s out-of-nothing brilliance. In fact, the second half passed with very few opportunities in the final third for either club.

After playing in three matches in nine days, the Dynamo will next travel to California to take on Chivas USA on Saturday. The Timbers, who join the Chicago Fire as the only MLS teams yet to win this season, will head back to Portland for a three-match home stand that begins against D.C. United Saturday at Providence Park.

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17 Responses to Slumping Dynamo and Timbers play to draw in Houston

  1. Maschu says:

    Another crucial point for Draw City.

  2. mb says:

    why can’t Houston get any fans in the seats? a quality club, well established in the league in a brand new stadium and so many empty seats.

    • Nick F says:

      Not disagreeing with you about the appearance since I didn’t watch the game, but the write up in the Houston Chronicle lists attendance at 20,558. That’s not a bad number for sure.

      link to blog.chron.com

      • Increase says:

        So, Maybe they sell the Tickets but no body goes? That 20,500 is about 1,500 below capacity. That should be full.

        There are always empty seats. I mean Dallas isn’t hitting 20k every week but somehow Houston always feels far more empty….

        • Nick F says:

          I don’t think selling out every game is a realistic expectation in today’s MLS. I think that the Dynamo do a much better marketing job compared to Dallas, have a superior location (relative to downtown), and I think that is reflected in the better attendance numbers. But to suggest that the game should have been sold out on a hot afternoon is still a bit much.

          The Dynamo still need to get better but they are still in the upper echelon of attendance in MLS.

          • Increase says:

            Hmm, When I say that should be full. I mean that it shouldn’t look like there are empty seats when Its 93% full.

            It’s just odd that Visually Houston feels more empty. Dallas is normally around 75% capacity.

        • Drew11 says:

          20k? LOL. MLS is obviously cooking the books.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        there were no were near 20k there.

      • Rowsdower says:

        They always report tickets sold not attendance at the gate. Houston fans also notoriously late in all their sports. Another factor is the seats in the lower bowl on the west side, the 100s (which is seen in almost all tv broadcasts), are relatively expensive and in the sun which means they are almost always empty compared to the 200s.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t usually attend daytime games until October. I’ll go to spring or fall night games, but even then it can be hot. It was a warm Sunday — I was out in the sun playing sports here too — and the place is a radiating sweatbox that lacks the old stadium’s open-cornered air flow.

      I have noticed the open seat phenomenon at bigger games like say Montreal playoff last year, I think it’s season ticket holders picking random games to attend, or maybe people goofing up in the “secondary” market. Once “scalping” became kind of legal I think it’s harder to line people up from end to end without gaps, even when the tickets “sold” in the primary market.

      • NaranjaFanatic says:

        Also, the game always looks empty on the highlights because the Houston crowd is always late getting to the seats (probably because of the tailgating – and because Houston sports fans tend to be that way). Yesterdays crowd was good especially considering it was an afternoon game against a non-conference opponent and the team has been playing like crap. The fact is, the corners were sparse and the open end was light but the rest of the stadium was full. That’s usually how it is.

    • divers suck says:

      What are the demographics of this stadium? I lived in Houston for a while in the late 80′s and remember it as an extremely spread out city with a large geographical area of population. Is the stadium located in an easy to get place with plenty of pubs and other entertainment options to make an afternoon/evening of it, like Portland or Seattle? Just curious.

      • NaranjaFanatic says:

        East side of 59 right by Minute Maid & George R. Brown. Plenty of drinking establishments within walking distance.

  3. Ian says:

    Just copy and paste the headline from the last Timbers game. “Portland Timbers play to draw with ___.”

  4. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Houston deserved more than 1 point, they dominated this game as the Portland midfield was over run.,
    Both teams faded in final 15 minutes as I suppose the afternoon weather killed the last minutes of an otherwise interesting tactical game.
    B. Davis in the middle was a twist, though I think he should have gone outside to give Houston width as Portland packed it in.