HOUSTON – Even in the middle of a great run of form, you can find something to work on. And for the Houston Dynamo, that has been getting off to better starts.
If that was a point of focus coming into Friday night’s match with the New York Red Bulls, the Dynamo got the message loud and clear. Jermaine Taylor scored his first goal of the season 72 seconds into the match, the second fastest goal in Dynamo history, and put the visiting New York Red Bulls in an early hole from which they would never emerge.
The early start paid off as the Dynamo never came close to giving anything back against MLS’ most expensive team in what turned into a 2-0 victory that puts Houston in pole position in the Eastern Conference.
“We’ve spoke about it lately that we haven’t started too well, even though we’re getting results,” midfielder Adam Moffat said after the match about getting the early advantage. “It sets the tone. If I’m the opposing team coming in here and in the second minute you’re down a goal, you’re thinking ‘it’s a big uphill climb from there.’”
Highlights: HOU 2, NY 0
It proved just that for the visitors as the Dynamo stepped on the gas pedal and made sure to not allow New York back in the match.
Making matters rough for NYRB were the weather conditions. With starting temperatures on the field hovering around 97 degrees, the Dynamo put New York, who were coming off a Tuesday friendly against Tottenham, in a position to chase the game. That's not so conducive to visiting teams at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“This is probably the hardest place in the league to give up a goal early because it’s so hot out there and guys die,” Houston defender Bobby Boswell said. “For us to get out there and get it done, [head coach Dominic Kinnear] called us out on that the last couple of games and we’ve responded pretty well. We’re being stingy with the goals and it helps to get an early one.”
Things went from bad to worse for New York in the 28th minute when Calen Carr doubled the Dynamo's lead on a header. Houston only gained more confidence to finish off a convincing performance.
“Dom has made sure to get on us about [starting quick],” Carr said. “For us to come out and get an early goal shows how we can respond to that as a group. And hopefully we can keep that going and add that to our momentum and the good things happening here.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.