Who would have thought that the defending champs would be the MLS team left scoreless at the start of the season? To be fair, they did lose two productive forwards - Joe Ngwenya and Nate Jaqua, plus the semi-productive Paul Dalglish.
Is it evil of me that I'm really happy this match is on Telefutura? Some of the MLS announcers in English pay so little attention to the game. I find the small talk really annoying. At the same time, I once got an email from someone telling me that every time they listen to a woman talking about soccer (I'd just done a radio guest spot) it irritates them so much they have to change the station. Anyway, let's just leave it at I'm happy to listen to Telefutura's announcers for a change. Another big difference for me is that they're usually intrinsically more excited and emotional about the game.
Since I'm a bit early for this rb - any predictions from Houston or Dallas fans out there?
Yay, Dom! It's great to hear the MLS coaches who speak Spanish. Quick - who can answer without looking it up - which team did Dom play for in Mexico?
1- DeRo tests Sala early on. Sala's up for it, though.
Hey, Davino is playing. Nice hair.
7 - Midfield battle for the teams, but the Telefutura announcers are on a roll. They covered the goalkeeping injury of Josh Lambo, Sala's Colorado fight and suspension last year, Rico's suspension and the cause, the record thus far of both teams, injury updates and roster changes for both sides and the CCC update for Houston.
* 44 - Dario Sala (GK)
* 4 - Duilio Davino
* 6 - Pablo Ricchetti
* 8 - Juan Toja
* 11 - Andre Rocha
* 12 - Arturo Alvarez
* 13 - Dax McCarty
* 14 - Drew Moor
* 15 - Adrian Serioux
* 23 - Blake Wagner
* 33 - Kenny Cooper
11- "Great intensity, little soccer" says the announcer. Apt description. It's helter-skelter on the field.
13 - Coop bangs a shot off Boz for a CK. WOW. Looked like a sure goal twice, but the crossbar and Pat Onstad combined well to keep the ball out.
15 - Dallas gets a FK - now Pat punches it out. CK. Cleared. FC Dallas is knocking on the door, though.
* 18 - Pat Onstad (GK) -
* 2 - Eddie Robinson
* 8 - Richard Mulrooney
* 10 - Franco Caraccio
* 14 - Dwayne De Rosario
* 16 - Craig Waibel
* 20 - Geoff Cameron
* 24 - Wade Barrett
* 25 - Brian Ching
* 26 - Corey Ashe
* 32 - Bobby Boswell
17 - Cameron gets Houston back to the offensive side of the field, but his shot goes wide.
19 - Weak Dallas clear falls to DeRo, who takes a low, hard shot in the box - Sala gets down low and hangs on in the fetal position to deny a rebound.
22 - Arturito Alvarez! He gets a ball in the box and tries to sneak it past Onstad, but Pat denies by grabbing the ball to his left.
GOAL! Hard luck for Dallas. Corey Ashe dinks a pass in front of the goal, and Brian Ching crashes into Dario Sala going for it, making it hard for Dario to make the grab - Caraccio heads it into the net. 1-0 Houston.
24 - Not sure if it's payback, but Onstad goes down hard on the other end is is down for a bit.
26 - Newsflash. Corey Ashe is fast. "un dolor de cabeza" for Dallas.
28 - Pat seems to have suffered a shoulder injury. He's coming off. Tony Caig is coming in.
31 - Coop loses the ball. He drops so far back to get it, that he has a long away to go if he tries to dribble. He'd be much more effective if he could hold the ball and wait for help.
33 - If you haven't heard of Caig, he's actually a vet of many years, and was last with Gretna in Scotland.
34 - Ok, Houston had about four chances in and around the box just now. Shots bounced off defenders every time. Pinball. Dallas escaped unscathed.
35 - GOAL! Coop! Yay! He's my fantasy forward, so I'm extra excited. Yay Coop. It was actually a semi-distance goal - he split defenders on the break and caught Caig off his line with a looping shot. 1-1 All square.
38 - Waibel with a shot from close range, hits the outside of the post. Dario cut off most of his angle, but Waibel still came close.
44- GOAL! FC Dallas on the counter, led out by the inimitable Toja. He drives into the box and lays the ball off for Coop, who fires first time - Caig parries it, but the ball squirts through his grasp and into the net. 2-1 Dallas.
45 + Cameron beat his defender near the box and had three teammates waiting, but his cross was way high and far.
Like RSL in the second half versus Chivas USA last night, Houston had the better of play until the effective Dallas counter.
Tough times for Houston - Onstad injured really changed their fortunes, though they were playing well in spurts even after that. It didn't quite pay off, though, and Dallas cashed in the chances they had.
2nd half. Lunchbreak. I was watching, but fingers were on food instead of keyboard.
57 - GOAL! DeRo looks like he fell in the box, but he gets up and continues the attack, which culminates in a pass in front of goal to Ching, who slide-kicks past Moor to put the ball in. 2 -2 Tied up.
60 - GOAL! Arturito's turn to split the defenders. This time Caig won't be chipped, he comes out, but Alvarez slots it past him. 3-2 Dallas.
65 - "Flecha Roja" one announcer terms Dax after he cleans out Ashe with a sliding tackle. It means "Red Arrow". They say he only plays one way, Dax, all-out.
Sala saves a shot in the box. Houston is charging hard, putting pressure on.
66 - Brad Davis on the sideline with Kinnear - Davis has been injured, but it looks like he's going to be the sub option Dom will turn to.
68 - Houston pushing hard, but Dallas holding on and even slowly, slowly, breaking the pressure of the Dynamo.
69 - Toja gets a yellow for a semi-from behind tackle on Mulrooney.
73- Barret pushes out Cooper on the sideline - gets a yellow
74 - Dax is the last man back, but he holds off a Houston attack by his lonesome. The announcers are duly impressed.
76 - Cameron slides a ball in front of the box. "He's searching for an orange foot - but only finds the white gloves of Sala!" The announcers love imagery.
78 - Davino wins a duel with his commercial co-star, Ching. CK Houston. Cleared.
80 - Davis in for Barrett, Houston pushing hard, Red Arrow clears out for a corner kick. Cleared out for a counter led by Oduro, who shoots, Caig parries while the announcers scream and abuse Oduro for not passing to an open Alvarez.
82 - A Dax outside shot gets parried by Caig.
84 - A Rocha FK snagged by Caig. The announcers agree Caig started off poorly, but now is merely not horrible.
85 - Sala is furious at the CK call, because the ball went off Houston. FC Dallas withstands the CK, though.
87 - Here's another CK for Houston. Mulrooney takes it, Sala snags it in a crowd.
88 - Anthony Wallace coming in for FC Dallas. Cooper comes out. Rocha goes down, a DeRo high kick. Houston repulses the FK.
89 - A Houston FK has the crowd on their feet, pleading for a last attack to deny FC the win. It's cleared and FC Dallas counter right up the gut. It's 3 versus one defender and Caig. Caig dives and saves it and Houston comes right back up the field.
90 - GOAL! Cameron opens his MLS account and sends the Houston faithful into a frenzy of celebration. The ball squirts free at the top of the box and before Serioux can clear, Cameron unloads straight into the net. 3-3 Dallas still hasn't won in Houston.
Robinson is against the boards as time ticks down. He looks hurt, but Abbe blows the whistle to end the match. Barnburner of a game - six goals and a last-gasp equalizer.