for this game

Dynamo survive weather and D.C. United

Jul 24, 2008 - 7:08 AM
By Todd Jacobson PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Dynamo and D.C. United endured pouring rain and a power outage, and after two previous failed attempts, they finally completed an official Major League Soccer match scheduled for nearly two months ago. But just barely.

Thanks in part to a 20th-minute goal by midfielder Brian Mullan, Houston escaped RFK Stadium with a 2-0 win over United on Wednesday.

The teams only made it through 53 minutes before a torrential downpour and a power outage stopped play. The rain never subsided and the game was delayed nearly three hours before resuming on a field deemed nearly unplayable.

""It's been a weird date on the schedule," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Anything that could've happened, happened - thunder, lightning, rain, and then a power outage. I'm just glad that we got it in, and even more glad that we got a win."

United had several chances to tie the match after play restarted, but Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad stopped its best try, diving to save a blast from the top of the penalty box off the foot of Clyde Sims in the 70th minute.

Brian Ching gave the Dynamo an insurance goal in the 79th minute, heading home a free kick from Brad Davis to give Houston its second win over United in less than a week. The Dynamo posted a 3-1 win in a SuperLiga qualifier on July 19.

"It was probably the easiest thing," Ching said. "You don't have to dribble. You don't have to work with the ball on the ground. I know Brad serves in probably one of the best balls in the league and I just held off my defender to kind of put it away."

The teams' latest match was eerily similar to the June 4 meeting that triggered an unlikely series of events. United and Houston played 16 scoreless minutes on that evening before a deluge washed the game out, marking the first time in MLS history a game was abandoned because of weather.

A makeup was scheduled for Tuesday, but power problems in Southeast Washington postponed that game.

The rain held off for the first half, and the Dynamo (5-4-8) dominated. Fresh off a 2-1 performance in SuperLiga 2008 play, Houston fired off 12 shots in the first half and earned four corner kicks to control play.

United goalkeeper Zach Wells made five saves to keep his team in the game, but Mullan helped Houston break through in the 20th minute, right-footing a feed from Geoff Cameron across the goal mouth for his second goal of the year.

United (7-8-1) came out inspired in the second half, forcing two corner kicks early, but its momentum was short-lived.

"Just as a whole, that was bad," United coach Tom Soehn said, promising changes after the MLS All-Star Game on Thursday. "We're going to make our team stronger and we're going to get back to basics. They outworked us -- period -- all over the field."

Just as the half started, a heavy rain began to pour. The teams played on as the rain intensified, but 8:26 into the half, all but one of the stadium's light standards went dark, casting an eerie shadow on the playing field.

As players from both teams left the field, most of the 14,660 fans headed toward shelter, but dozens of United fans from the La Barra Brava fan club stayed, bouncing up and down in the stands. A brave few sprinted onto the soaked field, belly-flopping in the pouring rain - at one point, diving into the Houston goal - to the delight of the rest of the fans that had scurried to find cover.

The lights returned about 20 minutes later, but the rain didn't let up, leaving huge lakes dotting the field.

  • MLS

    Jul 24 12:26 AM

    HOUSTON GOAL: Brian Ching in the 79th minute

    Dynamo 2, D.C. United 0  2nd - 79'Jul 24 12:17 AM

  • MLS

    Jul 23 8:27 PM

    HOUSTON GOAL: Brian Mullan in the 20th minute

    Dynamo 1, D.C. United 0  1st - 20'Jul 23 8:00 PM