In a game with few chances, one play can turn the tide. Unfortunately for the Houston Dynamo, it went against them in Tuesday’s elimination from the US Open Cup at the hands of the San Antonio Scorpions.
The play that upended the Dynamo on Tuesday: a costly foul in the box on forward Pablo Campos by rookie right back Warren Creavalle. The challenge led to a Hans Denissen penalty kick and a 1-0 win for San Antonio.
“Everything happened so quick, and it was unfortunate that it was a foul,” starting goalkeeper Tyler Deric said. “If it was a foul, it was just Warren going for the ball and wasn’t malicious or anything.”
The penalty was enough to beat Houston on a night where the reserve-heavy lineup were unable to get their attack clicking. Unlike recent MLS and reserve matches where the club has scored at a consistent pace, the Dynamo were never able to put the final ball together.
“We were putting a lot of hopeful balls in the box, some free kicks, it was some decent stuff,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Just getting that guy free was the hard part. They defended well and packed it in and made it difficult for us.”
Despite the outcome, the Dynamo, especially the young players, drew some praise from their head coach after the match. Four players – Creavalle, Brian Ownby, Oscar Recio and Colin Rolfe – all made their professional debuts, and Deric started his first match since last year’s Open Cup loss to Sporting Kansas City.
“Tyler looked pretty good, Warren Creavalle looked pretty good and it was the first 90 for him for the first team,” Kinnear said. “Brian Ownby came on and gave us a spark. Out of the young guys I thought those three looked pretty good.”
Unfortunately for that group, the loss will take an opportunity for competitive playing time away as the Dynamo drop out of the Open Cup in their first match for the second year in a row.
“We just gave it our all and you can’t fault the guys for that but unfortunately we couldn’t get a goal today,” Deric said. “It’s good to get these competitive matches because they don’t come all the time.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.