- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 13, 2008
- 0 Comments
- Game Recaps, MLS Primetime Thursday
Leave it to New England to continue their winning ways tonight in Houston. The Revs were able to give the Dynamo their first home loss of the season thanks to two first half goals by Steve Ralston and Kheli Dube.
With the win, New England extended their unbeaten streak to six games and are now well atop the MLS standings with 26 points after 13 games.
Matt Reis again was huge in goal for New England, with a few saves on the night. The biggest came late in the game when Reis fended off a Stuart Holden penalty kick.
Both clubs entered the match missing key players due to national duty in World Cup qualifying. New England was without midfielders Kenny Mansally (Gambia), Khano Smith (Bermuda) and Shalrie Joseph (Grenada). Houston was missing forward Brian Ching (USA), as well as goalkeeper Pat Onstad and midfielder Dwayne De Rosario (Canada).
The early goal from Steve Ralston was an initial shock for the home side, as Houston was dominating the early possession until New England was able to find the back of the net. Early goals continue to be tough to over come this season. I’m pretty sure the majority of clubs who’ve scored in the opening 10 minutes have gone on to win the game thanks in large part to the early goal.
For a tough defense like Houston it was surprising to see them give up such a quick strike early on. It definitely left the door wide open for New England to strike again, which they did with Kheli Dube late in the first half. Dube took a nice corner from Mauricio Castro.
The more I see Dube, the more I keep thinking Steve Nicol has done it again in finding fresh new talent each year. Dube was a Supplemental pick this year no less. Finding talent that works out this well in that draft is very tough to come by and Nicol is looking very smart for it.
Even though New England won the match, Houston still had plenty of chances. You can’t knock them for Matt Reis having another stellar night in goal for the Revs. Had both clubs not had all of the international callups that they had I think this could have been a very different game with the recent for of Houston.
I don’t think this knocks the Dynamo down all that much here. I think they will bounce back in their next game when they get Ching, De Rosario and Onstad back in the lineup. But it did show their lack of depth in certain areas that we all know about. Its obvious how much they need another striker. I just wonder if they are serious about making a move to make up for it at this point.