CORPUS CHRISTI - The Houston Dynamo earned a 2-1 friendly win over the Laredo Heat of the Premier Development League Thursday night before a crowd of 6,111 for the friendly played at Whataburger Field, home of the AA baseball Corpus Christi Hooks.
Houston trailed 1-0 at halftime but outshot Laredo 25-4 for the match and scored two goals in the final 22 minutes for the win. Brad Davis converted a penalty kick after Brian Mullan was fouled to tie the game in the 68th minute. The winner came in the 85th minute, when Lovel Palmer played in
Dominic Oduro on the left, and from a bad angle the forward bent a right-footed shot just inside the far post and underneath the crossbar for the winning goal.
Felix Garcia, a 19-year-old Laredo native whose MLS rights are retained by the Dynamo as he continues his amateur career, stunned Houston with a goal in just the second minute on a well-hit long-range shot.
The Dynamo used Ghanaian midfielder Anthony Obodai for the first 61 minutes, his first of two friendly appearances during his two-week trial.
Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric (Klein High School), the first player in Houston history promoted from the Dynamo Academy to the first team in 2009, played the second half and made one save to earn the win. With fellow Dynamo Academy product Francisco Navas Cobo playing the entire match, Houston had two Academy players in competitive action for the first team for the first time in team history.
The game included three red cards in the first half, with Houston taking a man advantage when Laredo’s Ezual Lewis was ejected in the 17th for his second yellow card. Both teams lost a man in the 41st minute, when Laredo captain Dany Galvan was shown a straight red card and Houston defender Mike Chabala received his second yellow.
The match was the first soccer game ever held at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, home of the AA Corpus Christi Hooks baseball team. The game was played with an unlimited number of substitutions but no re-entry. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Coastal Bend Youth Soccer Association.
Thursday’s match was the first competitive meeting between the Dynamo and Heat, although they did play in a scrimmage on April 25, 2009, with Houston taking a 4-0 win.
The game occurred during the Dynamo’s three-week break from MLS regular season play during the group stage of the World Cup, resuming on June 26 against the Colorado Rapids. In the meantime, the Dynamo will play another friendly against Salvadoran club Aguila on June 19 in the second annual Dynamo Charities Cup at Robertson Stadium.
The Dynamo traveled to Corpus Christi without midfielders Geoff Cameron and Danny Cruz; defender Adrian Serioux, and goalkeeper Pat Onstad.