HOUSTON – After more than a week of temptation, the Houston Dynamo finally unveiled their two new acquisitions to rave reviews on Sunday.
Newcomers DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido each started and were front and center as the club notched their first shutout win in nearly three months, a badly needed 1-0 win over D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“Phenomenal,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said of the pair. “It was fun to see them step in the field without really a transition period. It's a difficult league to play in, a difficult league to succeed in and I thought they both were very positive forces for us.”
Those forces were felt on both ends of the field, but the Dynamo’s defense took the biggest shot in the arm. After allowing 21 goals during an eight-game winless streak heading into Sunday night, Houston allowed just seven shots and with Beasley locking down the left side of the backline.
Pairing with World Cup teammate Brad Davis, the US legend made sure to play the two-way left back role. While he came close to scoring on a few occasions and his play made an immediate impression on his teammates, he also got a quick reminder of what life in MLS is like when he took a boot to the face from D.C.’s Lewis Neal in the second half.
“It didn’t feel good,” said Beasley, who last played in the league with the Chicago Fire in 2004. “I chipped my tooth. I guess that was a welcome to the MLS. It was good to get back on the field after about a month off I felt good to be back.
“I still need to get my fitness back,” he added. “It’s somewhat a preseason but I can’t say that because we need results. I need to get fit and 100 percent very quickly. As a first game, it was OK.”
While Beasley was a known quantity headed into the game, Garrido’s reputation hinged on surprising guts and guile for a 5-foot-7 midfielder. The Honduran international added the expected bite to the middle of the field, but also showed off a well-rounded game that turned his tough play into offensive chances.
“Great guy to have,” Beasley said of Garrido. “Good player, calm on the ball. He moved it from side-to-side. When he needed to be an enforcer he was an enforcer.
“He doesn’t speak English too well yet, but he knows football, and football knows football,” Beasley added. “It’s great to see he has that knowledge of the game at such a young age and he’s going to do well for us the last couple of months.”
Beasley admitted he is not at 100 percent and both had the usual moments of poor play. But they were part of a shutout effort that the club hadn’t put forth since May 17, and they’ll need to provide the same contributions if the club wants to work back into the playoff race.
But for now, it’s all smiles as a new day dawns in Houston.
“I thought Luis held his position well, won some tackles, kept it simple and I thought DaMarcus got better and better as the game went on,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “The first 20 minutes I was giddy with the way we were playing.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.