The game in 100 words (or less): Pre-season rust, particularly for the Houston Dynamo. Disjointedness, particularly from the Dynamo. Signs of life and a grander plan, solely from Columbus Crew SC. It’s really tough to dominate a game on the road in MLS, and the Crew did just that — 60 percent possession and 18 shots (to 8), — but one couldn’t possibly foresee the man-of-the-match-type performance from goalkeeper Tyler Deric that was to come. The Crew could have chucked 100 shots at Deric on Saturday night, and they weren’t going to score.
[ READ: PST’s 2015 team-by-team MLS previews ]
Three moments that mattered
24′ — Clark saves Davis’s upper-90-bound free kick — Brad Davis probably still has the best left foot in MLS, and he was one stellar save from Steve Clark away from finding the back of the net for the 52nd time of his illustrious career.
52′ — Kamara’s diving header saved by Deric — Kei Kamara is the most dangerous aerial attacking in MLS, and he’ll score 15 goals this year. He nearly got his first of the season with a diving header from eight yards out. Deric was massive for the Dynamo, singlehandedly keeping them in the game as wave after wave of Crew pressure washed over his defense.
67′ — Houston with the unlikely breakthrough — Deric made a number of huge saves, particularly in the second half, and only because of those saves did Giles Barnes’ finish in the 67th minute matter one iota. Kofi Sarkodie channeled his inner-DeAndre Yedlin with a mazy run into the penalty area, crossed for Barnes near the penalty spot and Barnes hammered it home, over the head of Clark.
Houston Dynamo: Deric, Sarkodie, Rodriguez, Taylor, Beasley, García, Clark, Garrido, Davis, Barnes, Bruin (Miranda 57′)
Goals: Barnes (67′)
Columbus Crew: Clark, Grana, Parkhurst, Pogatetz, Francis, Finlay, Trapp, Tchani (Schoenfeld 80′), Higuain (Jimenez 75′), Steindorsson (Speas 80′), Kamara