The team's designated player contributed to the win over Kansas City.
After last weekend’s poor performance on the road in Chicago that saw the Dynamo fall 2-0 to the Fire, Houston responded at home on Saturday night with a thorough defeat of the Kansas City Wizards. The 33rd minute red card of Wizards midfielder Davy Arnaud helped the cause and have the Dynamo plenty of space to exploit for the final 57 minutes of the game.
The final score of 3-0 really didn’t reflect the way the Dynamo dominated play, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Multiple chances from various Houston players in the second half failed to find the net either from near misses or excellent plays by Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Brian Mullan, Brad Davis, Lovel Palmer and Luis Angel Landin all had great chances to pad the Dynamo’s goal differentia,l but none were able to take advantage of the opportunities.
Despite the missed chances, the three points and strong play from his team had head Coach Dominic Kinnear in good spirits following the match.
“Very happy.” Coach Kinnear said during his post-match press conference. “Great turnaround from last week. Scoring the goal early on like we did gave us a lot of confidence and a fortunate red card went in our favor and we took advantage of it.”
The combination of Luis Angel Landin and Dominic Oduro gave Kansas City trouble all night and left Kinnear with a lot of positive things to say about his two forwards play on the night.
“I thought Dominic was very good all night,” said Kinnear. “His speed, his stretching of the field and his decision making was excellent and Luis was a good body in there for us to hold the ball up and combine at times. I thought both those guys played pretty good.”
After receiving a great deal of criticism from fans and the media, Luis Angel Landin stepped up with his best performance of the season scoring the opening goal and assisting on the second Houston goal. If not for a point-blank save by Wizards keeper Jimmy Nielsen in the second half, Landin likely would have gotten his second on the night. As Landin received treatment after the match on his leg, his teammates praised his work ethic and performance.
“I’m proud of him, he’s been working hard.” Defender Mike Chabala said of Landin. “Everybody doesn’t really see it but he’s in here sometimes before everybody else working on his body. He’s a good friend and I’m proud and happy for him that he got a goal today and hopefully the momentum carries on in to Wednesday.”
The feel good story of the night came in the 88th minute when Samuel Appiah, who was drafted in the third round of the 2010 MLS Super Draft by the Dynamo, scored his first career MLS goal in his first career MLS appearance. After coming on for the injured Landin, Appiah received a pass from Dominic Oduro on the left wing and took advantageof the empty space around the Wizards goal putting his shot past Nielsen.
“I was asked to come in to the team and contribute and that’s what I did.” Appiah said after the match. “I just wanted to thank everybody for accepting me; all the guys have been real supportive.” When asked about his lack of a goal celebration, Appiah said he would have something for "next time”.
The Dynamo now look forward to their second and final match against in-state rival FC Dallas on Wednesday night at Robertson Stadium. The match will the second of four games in 13 days for Houston and starting the run with three points will give the team a great deal of confidence moving forward.