Houston came into this game with a 4-0-1 record at home, but they have a tough challenge against an elite Orlando City team. Houston’s defense needs to play top notch against a tough set of shooters in Cyle Larin and Will Johnson. Dynamo have given up some tough runs that have cost them games in the past, but their dynamic offense has made up for the lacking defense scoring a total of 13 goals this season. Dynamo also welcomed back Romell Quioto to the starting lineup which was a big help for their offense.
Orlando City came into the game with a great 6-2 record, and their offense has looked virtually unstoppable. They have 11 total goals so far this year and Kaká and Cyle Larin is arguably the best duo in the MLS. Orlando’s young defense needing to show up Saturday as they have a challenge against a very prolific offense and even more so with Romell Quioto in the mix. Giles Barnes comes back to Houston since leaving for Orlando City and is always a big part of that fast-paced offense.
The first half starts and right away Orlando City seems more aggressive from the outset. Both teams get close to finishing off drives but neither last. Dynamo controlled the next couple possessions and shot off that was unanswered by Orlando City. Eric Alexander suffered an injury just before the 6th minute of play for Houston which was a significant loss in Midfield for the Dynamo. Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas then earns a crucial penalty kick in minute 12 and misses just right of the post. The Dynamo have had issues capitalizing in clutch moments in the past, and once again they missed a tremendous opportunity. Early on, Houston controlled every aspect of the game and their defense played very well keeping Orlando City back. A big controversial play took place in the 17th minute when Houston midfielder Alberth Elis and Orlando City goalkeeper Joseph Bendik had a big collision. Orlando couldn’t seem to get any offense early on, and Houston took advantage of that in the 23rd minute with a goal by Elis, he now has four goals on the season and has been a tremendous impact on their offense. Elis had another close opportunity but the craft Bendik with a clutch stop. Orlando City still struggled to get any offense being held to almost zero runs and zero shots going into the 33rd minute. Houston’s defense looked like a completely different squad than the rest of the season has shown against one of the better offenses they will face all season. Houston has had numerous opportunities in this half having dominated the Orlando City defense. It had been all Dynamo since the opening whistle and led 1-0 at the half. Houston with six shots and Orlando City had just one for the first half.
Orlando City starts the second half off aggressive once again and gets a nice shot off just two minutes into the second half. A corner kick finally erupts for Orlando City but Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis stayed in there strong with a great save. In the 51st minute forward Mauro Manotas scores a huge goal for Houston and the Dynamo really broke down the defense of Orlando City. The score now improves to 2-0 for Houston. Hoping to gain some offense Orlando City subbed in Kaka in the 58th minute of play. Elis was given a yellow card in the 60th minute, and that is the second yellow card for Houston in the game. Houston forward Romell Quioto was wide open in midfield and had a great run downfield and passed it to Manotas for another Houston Dynamo goal. Orlando City’s Cyle Larin with a close shot on goal that just missed to the outside and another missed opportunity. Houston scores once again in the 74th minute with a goal by Quioto which makes the score 4-0. The second half was more of the same and Orlando City doesn’t seem to have the energy they did when they started the half. Houston has had a lot more runs than Orlando and controlled this game from the start. The game ends with the score at 4-0 and another win at home for The Dynamo who now improve to 5-3-1 on the season and Orlando City falls to 6-3.
Wilmer Cabrera was asked about his preparation for this game, and he said: “We focused on ourselves”. He also continued about his team’s performance on the road compared to at home and he stated that they aren’t as aggressive on the road.
Houston Dynamo are at home next week against Vancouver on Friday, May 12th at 8pm CT. Orlando City is also at home at the Orlando City Stadium against Sporting Kansas City Saturday, May 13th at 7pm EST. Follow @theskyboat on Twitter for updates on both matches.