The center of the Houston Dynamo defense is in very capable hands.
Filling the center back spot next to Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor made his presence felt all night as the stout Jamaican international provided the type of sideline-to-sideline coverage that normal starter and Stoke City target Geoff Cameron displays.
“He’s been good all year,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “I think he’s just up for the challenge. He hasn’t played for Jamaica by mistake. He’s strong, quick and a good passer of the ball. Last year, we didn’t see the best of him because he picked up an injury, but this year we’re seeing the best of Jermaine.”
When he was not cleaning up the space in front of goal or combining with his backline teammates – who all put in solid performances as well – the talented defender was showing off his distribution skills. Those efforts were highlighted by a through ball that released Boniek García, who if not for asave by a sprawling Jimmy Nielsen would have given the Dynamo an early lead.
HIGHLIGHTS: SKC 0, HOU 0
“That’s a part of my play and it’s something I look forward to whenever we move the ball,” Taylor said after the match. “I saw Boniek García out wide and tried to get the ball to him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the shot in.
“I wanted to do my best to try and keep a clean sheet because whenever you do that it gives you something positive to build on. That’s all I’m doing right now which is trying to be good coming out of the back.”
The Dynamo received a big lift in the final 25 minutes with the introduction of subs Brian Ching, Brian Ownby and Warren Creavalle.
While both sides were losing energy in the intense heat, the trio came on and instantly breathed life into the game. Houston created five chances after their inclusion – after mustering just two in the first hour – and two of those opportunities came from the burgeoning rookie relief core of Creavalle and Ownby.
“When we brought those subs on they had a lot of energy,” said Boswell. “I felt like we were pushing a little more than they were at the end and I think it was the fresh legs. Sometimes it’s hard to prepare for guys coming off the bench. You’re not seeing these guys a lot and hopefully they keep playing the way they are.”
Let’s do it again soon
If the scoreless draw left either team thinking about things they could have done differently, they will get their chance to remedy them soon as the clubs will meet at BBVA Compass Stadium for a midweek clash later this month on July 18.
“I can’t promise it’s going to be any cooler,” said Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. “It is going to be a tough match again.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.