Minnesota took on the humidity and gave it their all in Houston, earning themselves a win on the road and three points. The biggest concern prior to the match for the visitors was their growing injury list, as Emanuel Reynoso and Justin McMaster were ruled out just before kick.
“I’ve never had it where it’s nearly all forward players were the ones who were injured,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Obviously it’s something that we’re looking at because we’ve got seven attacking players who are in the same boat. It looks like there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. They’re all out on the grass, they’re all training so hopefully by the time we get back and get working, there’s two or three of them that will be able to join in and join the group for Seattle.”
With seven players out due to injuries, Minnesota took the field against Houston. In the first minute of the match, midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla put the Dynamo ahead with his first MLS goal. The Panamanian smashed it home from close range after Minnesota’s defense left him open in the box. The Loons didn’t let Houston stay in the lead for long. Just 15 minutes later Adrien Hunou ended his scoring slump with a ball from teammate Ethan Finlay, finding the back of the net and giving Minnesota the goal to draw level. As the match continued, both teams had opportunities to score and were coming up short until the 73rd minute. Finlay found Hunou once more, inside the box this time, where Hunou tapped the ball in and gave Minnesota the 2-1 win over Houston.
“I’m excited. That’s a huge win,” said midfielder Ethan Finlay. “Ozzie Alonso was telling me, he said it was the third time he ever won here. And that guy, I mean, he’s been in the league for … I mean, I think Houston was moved to San Jose when he first started in our league and then they got back. I don’t how long they’ve been in this league. Geez. That’s saying something for a guy that’s played every game for his whole career, pretty much, in the Western Conference. Take that for what it is and for what it means to the group.”
After a great comeback the Loons deserved a break. As the players returned this week, it was clear the break gave players an opportunity to recover from injuries. Now the Loons head to Seattle to face the Sounders.
“They’ve struggled a little bit at home as of recent and that means they’re going to be extremely hungry and have urgency on that side of the ball for them. We gotta be patient,” said Finlay. “Last time we played them, for 60 minutes we were the better team and we just didn’t put away our chances. This game is going to be similar in the fact that we might control some possession, we might control some of the tempo of the game but it’s what we do with it. I think goals change games and we get a goal in that first game, I think it changes the game. Scoring the first goal on Saturday afternoon will be extremely important for how that game will go.”