ORLANDO – FC Dallas needed a penalty kick shootout to see off Texas rivals Houston Dynamo in the final of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
Second half substitute Chris Seitz saved Houston’s opening penalty shot from Lovel Palmer and Brek Shea netted the fifth and decisive kick for FC Dallas as the defending Western Conference champs avenged a heavy 4-0 preseason loss back on Feb. 12.
Academy products Ruben Luna (FC Dallas) and Francisco Navas Cobo (Houston Dynamo) exchanged goals during regulation, with the Houston youngster netting the late equalizer in dramatic fashion, finding the top left corner with a stunning shot from just outside the penalty area in the 88th minute.
[inline_node:329492]The lone Dallas goal came in the 15th minute as Luna, a Mexico Under-20 national team forward, hit the back of the net for coach Shellas Hyndman’s group. Right winger Marvin Chavez was given all the time in the world to measure his cross into the box and Luna barely had to move from his position near the penalty spot, lofting the ball over Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall and into the right side netting.
Just three minutes after scoring, Luna again proved a menace in the box, lifting an Andrew Jacobson header onto the crossbar.
However, Luna’s shots were the only real opportunities of the first half for FC Dallas, while the Houston Dynamo attacked frequently at full speed and with numbers. Head coach Dominic Kinnear’s men also continued to be dangerous on set pieces with central defender Jermaine Taylor featuring prominently on two occasions, including heading against the left post in the 41st minute.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman had another solid outing in Orlando, coming up with opportune saves on a Geoff Cameron blast in the 29th minute and on a Cam Weaver close range header two minutes before the break.
There was more for Hartman to do in the second half as he foiled Cameron again on a shot from inside the box in the 56th minute. The FCD netminder didn’t have a chance on Palmer’s bicycle kick a little more than 10 minutes later which bounced wide of the right post.
Chavez, one of the top performers for FC Dallas on the night, had the best look at goal for his team in the second half, hitting the side netting in the 59th minute after forward Maykel Galindo did well to intercept a ball in Houston’s half.
Two days after Shea starred for 45 minutes at center back against Orlando City, the regular left winger was again given a full 90-minute spell in the back while Zach Loyd sat out the match with a quadriceps strain. Also missing the match was Houston’s Brian Ching, who is nursing a right hamstring strain.
The two teams will resume their rivalry in league play with matches in May and September.
FCD – Luna (15’)
HOU – Navas Cobo (88’)
Penalty Kick Shootout
FC Dallas (5): Ferreira (goal), Galindo (goal), Avila (goal), Guarda (goal), Shea (goal)
Houston (3): Palmer (saved), Davis (goal), Soto (goal), Bruin (goal)
FC Dallas lineup (4-1-4-1, left to right): Kevin Hartman (62’ Chris Seitz) – Jair Benitez (46’ Moises Hernandez), Brek Shea, Scott Gordon, Jackson – Daniel Hernandez (78’ Bruno Guarda) – Eric Alexander (71’ Eric Avila), Andrew Jacobson (73’ Bobby Warshaw), David Ferreira, Marvin Chavez (78’ Charlie Campbell) – Ruben Luna (46’ Maykel Galindo)
CAUTIONS: Shea (71’), D. Hernandez (74’), Jackson (75’)
Houston Dynamo Lineup (4-4-2, left to right): Tally Hall (60’ Tyler Deric) – Mike Chabala (60’ Jordan Graye), Jermaine Taylor (46’ Andrew Hainault), Bobby Boswell (46’ Eddie Robinson), Hunter Freeman (46’ Kofi Sarkodie) – Corey Ashe (46’ Brad Davis), Richard Edwards (70’ Josue Soto), Geoff Cameron (60’ Lovell Palmer), Danny Cruz (60’ Francisco Navas Cobo) – Jason Garey (70’ Alex Dixon), Cam Weaver (60’ Will Bruin)
CAUTIONS: Navas Cobo (83’)
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel
Check out the Feb. 24 edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, featuring D.C. United's Charlie Davies, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and league executive Nelson Rodriguez talking about the new playoff structure.