Recap | Houston Outlasts Loons Late Barrage


As far as the forecast was concerned, it was a beautiful evening for a beautiful game under the lights at Allianz Field. But, with a Houston Dynamo squad boasting one of the better defensive backfields in Major League Soccer, having only allowed six total goals over six matches this season, it looked like it would be anything but smooth sailing for the Loons to find scoring opportunities on the night. Houston’s defense proved to be as formidable as advertised, as both the Loons and the Dynamo spent what felt like much of the first half battling back-and-forth in the midfield, waiting for one team to blink first.

In the 34th minute, it appeared as though Houston took their eye off the ball first, when a poor clearance was taken by midfielder Wil Trapp. His shot would get popped up in the air and land partially on the goal line for what looked to be the first score of the game. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t feel VAR was warranted, and would have the teams play on. If that wasn’t disappointing enough, Houston would be the side to get the first score of the evening just a few minutes later, in the 38th minute of play. A corner kick attempt by Houston’s Amine Bassi would end up deflecting off Loons midfielder Alejandro Bran and into the net for an own goal, and a 1-0 advantage headed into the locker room at the half. 

The second half would see the Loons immediately pick up the pace on the attack, pressing the Dynamo defense. The crowd at Allianz Field is always loud, but with Wil Trapp and others hyping up the Wonderwall, it became a deafening roar. Most of the serenade was directed at Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark. The rat-tailed keeper would be feeling the pressure, as the Loons continued to pepper the net with hopes of bringing the contest level. The 70th minute would provide that, when a Robin Lod run got the Houston defense on its heels and his beauty of a cross to the center of the box would find Franco Fragapane ready to bang home the equalizer. 1-1, even.

Unfortunately, the joy of the moment would be short-lived, as Houston wasted little time reclaiming the lead over the Loons in the 77th minute. MLS SuperDraft Hugo Bacharach, in his first start for the squad this season, got a bit turned around and lost his footing, and Houston midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk would exploit the error, sniping a score past Dayne St Clair from just outside the 18. 1-2, meh.

Coach Eric Ramsay would look to his bench for some fresh legs to try and spark something to bring the contest even by bringing on Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Caden Clark. While this move by Ramsay did keep the pressure on Houston for the remainder of the match, the Loons were ultimately unable to find another late equalizer as they had last weekend. And, even with a robust 10 minutes of stoppage time due to Houston’s many “injuries” that brought match play to a halt throughout the night, Houston’s rat-tailed keeper would make a series of impressive saves against a hard-pressing Loons attack that came oh-so-close to at least taking a point. Instead, the Loons must regroup and refresh as a squad and look ahead to next weekend’s matchup with Charlotte FC.

Next Match:

Charlotte FC vs. Minnesota United FC

Bank of America Field | Charlotte, NC

04.21.2024 | MLS Matchday No. 10 | Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. CT

Watch: MLS Season Pass on AppleTV, ESPN 1500