First career starts for Tally Hall and Danny Cruz lead to a Houston win.HOUSTON, Tex. – The typical athlete and teammate will put the team’s performance ahead of individual accolades. On a night when a goalkeeper gets a clean sheet in his first career MLS start, you might understand if someone was a little over excited. Despite just that performance by Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall in a 2-0 win over D.C. United, he was quick to point out that it was not about him.
"I'm more happy for the team, we needed that win," Hall said after the match. "It was really important to get three points and jump up the table."
When Hall was asked what a clean sheet in his first start meant to him, he was reserved and quick to point out there is always more work to be done.
"I am pretty happy with that. Still some things that I want to work on, but that comes with time and experience. Right now I’ve got 90 minutes and no goals against, that makes any keeper happy."
Head coach Dominic Kinnear was clearly pleased with his goalkeeper’s effort and gave him a glowing review in his press conference.
"Tally made some good saves," Kinnear said. "There was a play in the first half where D.C. ripped the ball across at he got a touch on it before the D.C. guys. It was a pretty brave save from him. Anytime you get a shutout and some saves, you’ve had a good night."
Hall wasn't the only Dynamo player who had two career firsts on the night. Midfielder Danny Cruz made his first MLS start and capped it off by scoring his first MLS goal as well. After an aggressive and active start to the match, his effort paid off in the 10th minute when forward Luis Angel Landin found Cruz open on the right. Cruz quickly controlled the pass and drilled it past D.C. goalkeeper Tory Perkins, getting some help for the post.
"The goal is special for me and hopefully for the guys," Cruz said. "It was important to me that I celebrate with everyone because I truly felt like everyone contributed to me getting where I am today and hopefully where I can go in the future."
Cruz's spot in the starting lineup may of came as a surprise to fans at the start of the match, but anyone who doubted Kinnear's decision was quickly won over by Cruz’s play on the pitch.
"He had a good second half against Salt Lake, he's been training very well and I felt he deserved a chance to start," Kinnear said after the game when he was asked about the decision to start Cruz. "He took full advantage of the opportunity and looked dangerous right from the beginning of the match."
Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro got on the scoresheet as well, scoring a tremendous one-touch goal off a cross from Luis Angel Landin. Without letting the ball touching the ground, Oduro sent it past Perkins and in doing so submitted a legitimate contender for Goal of the Week.
“It was a through-ball from Landin on the sideline," Oduro said about his goal. "I saw him go into the box, I ran in to the box, made eye contact, great hit, there you go."
The partnership between Landin and Oduro was once again on display for
the Dynamo as the two forwards worked well together generating multiple scoring chances. Landin assisted on both Dynamo goals and looked strong in his first match back since suffering a concussion against the Kansas City Wizards.
The Dynamo play the Philadelphia Union next weekend at Robertson Stadium and will attempt yet again to win back-to-back games for the first time in the 2010 season.
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