A day after announcing that they were ending their relationship with kit sponsor Greenstar Recycling, the Houston Dynamo dropped their final match at the Desert Friendlies in Tucson 2-1 to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The reigning Eastern Conference champs fell to 1-2 in preseason play with the defeat.
Houston initially took the lead in the 30th minute. Earning a free kick outside the Whitecaps penalty box, midfielder Giles Barnes bent the ball in on goal and found Bobby Boswell for a header past Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
It would be a lead held for just three minutes, as Jun Marques Davidson struck a long ball forward in the path of Erik Hurtado, the fifth overall pick in this winter’s SuperDraft. The young winger chased down the pass, keeping it inbounds before laying it off for Camilo. The Brazilian striker stormed into the box, laying it off for Darren Mattocks to finish past Tally Hall for the equalizer. It was Mattocks’ fourth goal in two preseason games following his Jan. 29 hat trick against the New England Revolution.
Soon after the Dynamo beatitudes in Erich Marscheider in goal for Hall, the Whitecaps buried the winner in the 64th minute. Corey Hertzog took advantage of a sloppy back pass by the Houston defense, pouncing on the ball and smoothly rounding Marscheider for the score. New Vancouver signing Daigo Kobayashi, who entered the game at halftime, nearly scored a third in the 75th minute when he connected with a cross just wide, and had a free kick saved in the 82nd.
Vancouver will take on the Arizona Sahuaros of the fourth-tier National Premier Soccer League on Monday in Casa Grande before heading to South Carolina Feb. 16-23 for the Carolina Challenge Cup. The Dynamo return to Houston to regroup before they too head to Charleston for the Carolina Challenge Cup.
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