HOUSTON – Will Bruin and the Houston Dynamo sent a warning shot to any doubters on Saturday night, opening the 2014 season by routing the New England Revolution 4-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Bruin scored two goals and assisted on another by Boniek Garcia all inside the first half hour to put the game away early as New England's defense got off to a calamitous start. Omar Cummings deflected a teammate's shot in stoppage time to give Houston a 4-0 result, the third straight year the Dynamo have opened with a shutout.
It took Bruin just 64 seconds to give Houston the lead. After redirecting the ball to the right wing, Kofi Sarkodie sent the ball back to the 6-foot-2 forward. With Revolution centerback Jose Goncalves lunging for the ball and missing, Bruin was left alone to settle and strike a half volley across goal for his 2014 opener.
Just 12 minutes later Bruin struck again and it was another New England mistake that opened the door. Revolution holding midfielder Scott Caldwell played a lazy ball wide that the opportunistic Corey Ashe picked off to ignite a quick attack. The left back sent an arching to the back post for Bruin, who was wide open again, and finished with a sliding effort to make it 2-0 after just 13 minutes.
To complete the first-half Dynamo trifecta, Bruin switched roles, charging up the field while shrugging off two Revs defenders to set up Garcia in the box. The Honduran made no mistake with his finish to make it a 3-0 rout heading into halftime.
The Revs, who struck the post before the break on a set-piece header by A.J. Soares, had a great look in the 60th minute when Diego Fagundez played Kelyn Rowe in front of goal with a cheeky flick, but the effort was for nothing as Rowe's half volley was skied over goal. New England second-half sub Jerry Bengtson did the same just seven minutes later, except his shot came from point-blank range.
With the visitors bringing on yet another attacker in Saer Sene, spaces opened up for Houston and if not for Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, the victory would have resembled a tennis score. Shuttleworth stopped Bruin and Cummings in separate 1-v-1 opportunities, while diving to stop a curling shot by Andrew Driver, who came on for an injured Tony Cascio.
There was nothing Shuttleworth could do in stoppage time when Ricardo Clark’s arching shot deflected off Cummings' head for the final tally.
The Dynamo stay home next week to play 2013 playoff Knockout Round opponent, the Montreal Impact, while New England travel back to the Northeast to visit the Philadelphia Union.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Oscar Boniek Garcia (HOU)||Spectacular performance by the Honduran international who's omnipresent and even more impactful in the center of the field. Made things happen when the ball went through him.|
|2||Will Bruin (HOU)||Responds to the naysayers who question his finishing ability with two fantastic strikes in the opening 13 minutes. Could've had the hat trick on a 1-v-1 in the second half.|
|3||David Horst (HOU)||Got his body — and mainly his head — in front of every ball in his vicinity. The Dynamo have found another one of their prototypical defenders: physical, strong and dominant in the air.|