Drilling down on: at Houston 1, D.C. United 0

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Man of the Match: The first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium? Yeah, Brad Davis. Who else? He was good in possession all afternoon and, when he found a little space in the 67th minute, he sent everyone home happy from the Dynamo’s big day. And what did Davis think about the moment? “Pure joy obviously. Those moment are tough to put into words. … Obviously, a day I wont’ forget.”

Packaged for take-away:

  • This was always a 1-0 (or even a 0-0) match waiting to happen. With all the extracurriculars around the event, players on both sides looked something on the nervous side early, with crosses overcooked and balls zipped into feet with just a little too much umph. Even after the players settled some, caution generally ruled the approach.
  • Houston right back Andrew Hainault had an eventful day with some good and some bad. He struggled a little against Andy Najar’s speed, and he could easily have been whistled for a penalty kick when he reached out and tugged down Chris Pontius as they both raced for a diagonal ball inside the penalty area.
  • On the other hand, the Dynamo right back was generally sure and confident in his tackles. Very physical, too. In a lot of ways, Hainault’s game is all about how the referee is calling things. If it’s called tight, a lot of his little grabs and holds off the ball could turn into cards. If it’s called loose, he’s a champ out there.
  • With the 70-yard wide field, things remained pretty congested out there. Very “Robertson Stadium” that way.
  • Let’s hope Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear gives the go-ahead to widen that field. On the other hand, his team doesn’t have a lot of speed, especially at forward. And team speed falls even further when Corey Ashe is out of the lineup, as he was Saturday. So … maybe not.
  • Steady United holding midfielder Perry Kitchen left just before the half-hour mark, injured, which hurt the visitors.
  • Houston’s Ja-Vaughn Watson had a glistening chance right at the whistle of the first half. It was really the game’s only great chance before the break
  • Watson did very little on offense in his 70 minutes but did contribute some valuable tracking and helped keep tabs on Dwayne De Rosario.
  • Either Bill Hamid is carrying an injury, or those goal kicks from D.C. United’s No. 1  need a bunch of work.
  • Calen Carr left after 71 effective minutes. In a game without much offensive flourish or much wide play, Carr gave some of both to the Dynamo. Plus, he dropped in reliably to assist Hainault with Najar.
  • Brian Ching missed chances to close out the match three times within the space of about three minutes. That was somewhere north of the 75-minute mark. You have to think he puts at least one away if it’s earlier in the afternoon. At this point of his career, on those kinds of close-in chances, he just can’t get his feet in the right places quickly enough.
  • How did D.C. United manager Ben Olsen think his team handled the moment, with all the hoopla? “Better than we handled the heat,” he said. “It was the first time we hit a little bit of heat, and we didn’t do a very good job with it.”