FRISCO, Texas. – What looked to be yet another road struggle for the Houston Dynamo turned into what could be a springboard heading into the final months of the season.
After conceding a deluge of goals with a 1-0 lead, the visiting Dynamo were able to salvage a point against FC Dallas, keep El Capitan in Houston, and boost their confidence playing away from BBVA Compass Stadium.
“It’s about heart,” said head coach Wilmer Cabrera of the club’s 3-3 draw. “They fought that way in the second half, despite conceding another goal. That showed character, that showed good mentality, and the guys came from the bench with that mentality. It helped us a lot.”
Both second half goals following the FC Dallas barrage were scored by Erick Torres – one in the 71st minute assisted by Romell Quioto, and the second on a rebounded shot by Mauro Manotas, off an unlucky Victor Ulloa, with just four minutes left in regulation. The goals were his 13th and 14th of the season, and his third against FC Dallas this year.
“It’s a beautiful sensation since I’ve been able to score in different derbies with Mexico,” Torres said via translator. “And now to score here, it’s just a beautiful sensation.”
Added Cabrera: “It’s so important for him to continue showing why he’s the top scorer of the Houston Dynamo, and it’s a moment of history for him and the franchise. But this isn’t going to stop here. It needs to continue. We cannot be comfortable thinking we’ve achieved what is good. It’s not good enough. We need to continue, and that’s our mentality because in less than three days, we have another final in our home.”
Torres has become a force for the Dynamo this season, even with Cabrera consistently tinkering with the pieces around him.
The tinkering worked in just the first minute of action, with Vicente Sanchez scoring almost immediately off a misplayed ball by FCD defender Matt Hedges. Cabrera said he started Sanchez because it made more sense playing in Dallas on a short flight and on grass as opposed to a longer flight and on Vancouver’s turf.
“It’s fantastic, the mentality that he brings,” Cabrera said of the 37-year-old. “The savviness, because he reads the ball so well and is so experienced – he took advantage right away when everyone was slow starting the game. He was already playing the game the way we needed to play it. That’s why he made a difference.”
Added Torres on the lineup changes: “We’ve meshed really well and come really far. We’re getting it done, and it means a lot to the team to get this result.”
To Cabrera, the point in Frisco speaks volumes about where Houston stacks up with the rest of MLS.
“To show that we’re still fighting, the Houston Dynamo cannot be discharged from the contention of the playoffs,” Cabrera said.