Houston defense, where art thou? What was once the strength of the Houston Dynamo team seems to have gone missing, maybe a casualty of playing nothing but road games as they wait for the stadium to be complete, but the Houston defense has looked very leaky of late. That continued on Saturday, when even Will Bruin's brace couldn't help salvage a shoddy defensive display in a 3-2 D.C. United victory.
Maicon Santos scored the first goal of the game, but it was largely due to the fantastic ball by Brandon McDonald and speed of Chris Pontius. McDonald's long ball caught the Houston defense napping and Pontius' speed not only got him the ball, but got him around Tally Hall, who foolishly came out to try and collect the ball. Without a goalkeeper in the net, Pontius just had to get a cross to Santos, which he did, for the simple header to put D.C. in front.
That goal kept D.C. in front through halftime, but things got wild in the second half. First, Jermaine Taylor's great run allowed him to get free down the right before crossing to the top of the six-yard box. That's where Bruin met it and the match was even.
Four minutes later, D.C. was back in front. Dwayne De Rosario crossed from the right and the two runners down the middle forced Hall to freeze in the middle of the goal. The problem is that neither D.C. runner got a piece of the ball, so De Rosario's cross curled in, caught the back post and bounced in for the go-ahead goal.
Once again, Bruin wouldn't let that lead last, although Joe Willis helped him out this time. Bruin hopped on a bad giveaway by D.C., and while he hit a hard shot from 20 yards, it was right at Willis. Despite having a simple, straightforward save to make, Willis allowed the ball to squirt through his hands and the two teams were level again.
Santos had an answer for Bruin's brace, though. Daniel Woolard's cross found Santos unmarked in the middle of the box, but he was moving away from goal so it was a tough finish. Santos' header looped up, forcing Hall into a full stretch, and while he did get a hand to the ball, he didn't get enough of a hand to it. It went off the underside of the bar and in for the match winner and Santos' sixth of the year.