HOUSTON — Ricardo Clark's 59th-minute goal gave the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, putting a merciful end to an end to a seven-game winless streak for the hosts and a scoring drought that had stretched to 388 minutes.
The Union, meanwhile, saw their unbeaten streak snapped at five games, suffering their first setback since a 5-3 loss at Montreal on May 25.
Houston's goal started with Giles Barnes, who had the ball at the edge of the box. He sent it wide to Jermaine Taylor, who then send a driven cross into the center of the box where Clark elevated to head it inside the far post.
Houston (7-6-5) had multiple chances in the first half to try to break its scoring drought including two by Andrew Driver that went high and wide, and shots by Omar Cummings -- in the eighth minute -- and Warren Creavalle -- in the 16th minute -- that Zac MacMath saved.
Philadelphia's best chances in the first half came in the third minute and right before halftime. Aaron Wheeler had a header saved by Tally Hall in the third minute. Wheeler then charged in from the left box in the 43rd minute and had his shot batted out by Hall before Casey's shot from the penalty area sailed over the crossbar.
A minute prior to his goal, Clark received a pass from Eric Brunner but headed it over the bar from six yards out.
The Dynamo's victory was their first in league play since a 4-0 win at D.C. United on May 8, and first in any competition since beating FC Tuscon 2-0 in the US Open Cup on May 29.
Both clubs were playing without key cogs in their respective lineups. Houston were without Will Bruin and Corey Ashe, who were with the US men's national team at the Gold Cup, and Brad Davis out due to injury. Philadelphia were without Keon Daniel and Jack McInerney on national team duties in the Gold Cup, and Michael Farfan and Kléberson due to injury.
Houston next travel to New England to face the Revolution on July 13, while Philadelphia (7-6-6) host Chivas USA on July 12.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Boniek García||The Honduran midfielder was the game's best player, creating an abundance of opportunities for his teammates.|
|2||Ricardo Clark||Despite missing a golden opportunity, the veteran midfielder scored the lone goal and Houston's first since June 1.|
|3||Zac MacMath||Philadelphia's 'keeper did allow the game's lone goal, but stepped up to make a handful of key saves to keep it close.|