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Dynamo Kick Off the New Season By Shutting Out the Columbus Crew

Dynamo Kick Off the New Season By Shutting Out the Columbus Crew
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By Rad Rich

It does not feel like it but it’s time for Major League Soccer (MLS) as they celebrate their 20th season.

Opening day in Houston for the Houston Dynamo brings a lot of change. This past Saturday’s matchup was the debut of the their new coach, Owen Coyle, and the opening of their 10th season against the Columbus Crew. This was the first time in Dynamo history that they were under a new coach after being led by Dominic Kinnear since the club’s beginning.

Kinnear chose to leave the club and return to the Bay Area to coach the San Jose Earthquakes. Coyle, a Scotland native, comes to the club after success in England and Scotland.  This will be his first season in MLS after spending most of his career as a player and manager in Great Britain, having most recently managed the English club Burnley.  After missing the playoffs for the first time last year, he hopes to bring his magic to the club as he did with Burnley.

Also new, the Dynamo move back to the Western Conference of Major League Soccer after spending four years in the East. Returning to the club is Will Bruin, Brad Davis and Ricardo Clark. Also Tyler Deric taking over full goalkeeping duties from Tally Hall who left the club to go to the expansion Orlando City FC. The sell-out crowd of 22,351 expected nothing but the best.

The first half ended 0-0 with the possession being even but with Columbus having more shots on goal with four to Houston’s two, and controlling most of the possession.  Kofi Sarkodie was hurt after being hit in the head. Blood spiralled from the top of his head and he had to change into a clean jersey. The scary moment did not take him out of the match, though, as he is known as being one of the most dedicated players on the field.

In the second half, Giles Barnes scored the first goal of the season for Houston in the 66th minute with an assist by Kofi Sarkodie.  Barnes took a Sarkidie pass after he beat Columbus Crew’s Waylon Francis on the right edge of the penalty area. Tyler Deric kept a blank sheet with six saves and the man of the match.

Columbus controlled the ball for the most part, but where not able to beat the Dynamo defence. Deric made some outstanding saves at the end of the match to keep the score 1-0, giving manager Owen Coyle and the Houston Dynamo their first win of the season.

After the match manger, Owen Coyle was very happy with the performance of the team. “In terms of individual performance,” he said, “we had a array. Tonight every one of them showed commitment to their teammates.”

Coyle also added that having players who were committed to improving shows how great the team is.

“We still have some things to improve, but we will be back at it on Sunday to get ready for next week. I am happy that players come to me and ask what they can do to improve.”

“It was great to get a shutout to start off the season,” Man of the match Tyler Deric said afterward.

Coming in after Tally Hall was injured last year late in the season brought a lot of pressure on Deric going into this season, but he proved himself in his first match as he kept the team in the game with some super saves.

Koffi Sarkodie stayed on the field even after being injured.

“It felt good to get that first win,” Sarkodie stated after the win. “It’s a long season and we have a lot of work to do.”

Coyle and others on the team said what a tremendous talent Sarkodie is, as he is always the last one off the field after practice ,working on his play.

“Our back four and Tyler kept us in the game,” said Demarcus Beasley. “It’s a team effort, we don’t have a star player of a certain number 10. We have a team and we need everybody at 100% and Tyler was that man tonight. We have a lot to improve on, but at the same time it’s a great feeling to get the win.”

Beasley the star United States International was present on the left wing the whole night, and in the 81st minute his shot went high over Crew Goalkeeper Steve Clark.

The Dynamo have little time to sit on their win, as they are at home this Friday night at the BBVA Compass Stadium  against the expansion Orlando City FC. Match time is 7:30 PM.