The reconfigured Houston Dynamo continued to turn heads on Saturday, hammering Columbus Crew SC 3-1 at rainy BBVA Compass Stadium via well-taken goals from all three of their frontrunners – Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis and Erick "Cubo" Torres.
Quioto got the hosts off to a dream start as he opportunistically exploited a slack pass from Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen to open the scoring just two minutes into the game. Elis doubled the lead before halftime with a nimbly-taken side-volley of a corner kick delivered by Alex, who was dominant in central midfield all night.
Cubo capped a festive evening in the Bayou City with a gorgeous transition strike, running one-on-one at Columbus fullback Connor Maloney and curling a cool finish into the far top corner of the net. The visitors' misery multiplied when Jonathan Mensah earned a late red card for a studs-up challenge on Alex, though Ola Kamara tapped home an injury-time consolation goal.
- Crew SC will be "accountable" after loss at Houston, says Berhalter
- Baer: Another disappointing day for Crew SC - can change be far behind?
- 2' – HOU – Romell Quioto Watch
- 35' – HOU – Alberth Elis Watch
- 65' – HOU – Erick "Cubo" Torres Watch
- 93' – CLB – Ola Kamara Watch
- TEXAS TRIDENT: It's still very early in the year, but Houston's frontline is showing the potential to be one of the most dangerous in MLS. Elis and Quioto are quick, skillful and eager to beat defenders, while Cubo is doing everything required from a modern No. 9. One thing is clear already: They're fun to watch.
- CREW SC DISMAY: Columbus suffered some bad breaks in this one, not least of which were these three key early saves by Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric that blunted their strong response to Houston's early lead. But their struggles in central midfield and the intriguing substitutions made by Gregg Berhalter hint at some important problems to be resolved.
- ALEX B. BALLIN': Sometimes good players get lost on bad teams, and so it may have been for the Dynamo's Brazilian central midfielder, who appears reborn in 2017. He was imperious in the engine room on Saturday, doing the hard work off the ball, spraying deadly long passes to spring counters...and even leading a few defenders on a merry chase:
They Said It
.@erickestefano15 with the ridiculous touch and finish! Wilmer Cabrera + Cubo= . ¡DIOS MÍO!— herculez gomez (@herculezg) March 12, 2017