The Houston Dynamo opened their preseason trip to Arizona with a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup at Kino Sports Complex this evening.
The Red Bulls took the lead in the 12th minute off Kaku’s corner kick, which curled inside the near post past Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić. The ball appeared to take a deflection on its way in, but Kaku was officially credited with the goal.
Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez equalized for Houston in the 58th minute. Forward Mauro Manotas played a square ball that was cleared by the Red Bulls defense inside the box, and the ball fell to Rodriguez, who beat the New York goalkeeper with a blast to the far post.
Houston nearly completed the comeback with a game-winner in the 84th minute when midfielder Marcelo Palomino whipped in an inch-perfect free kick that found forward Michael Salazar at the back post. Salazar’s diving header seemed destined for the back of the net until Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara denied him with a point-blank save.
Marić made a point-blank save of his own early on, denying New York midfielder Florian Valot inside the box. Forward Daniel Royer found Valot with a cross, creating the opportunity, but Maric was up to the challenge with a quick reaction save. The Red Bulls pressure continued as Royer got a touch on a cross in the eighth minute, but just missed the inside of the far post.
Manotas forced a save in the ninth minute after he dribbled into the box off a pass from midfielder Tomás Martínez. A minute later, the midfielder spun around two defenders at the top of the box and played a ball to Manotas near the six-yard box, but Manotas’ effort went wide of the far post.
Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist stretched the field with a long pass to Manotas in the 37th minute. Manotas held the ball outside of the box, drew a Red Bulls defender and played Rodriguez inside the box. The Dynamo Academy alumnus dribbled toward the heart of the area and played a ball to Martínez, who missed the equalizer with a shot that went wide of the near post.
New York almost doubled their lead in the 51st minute off a cross that found midfielder Josh Sims in front of an open net, pressure from Dynamo defender Kiki Struna forced the forward to shoot the ball over the crossbar. The Red Bulls knocked on the door a few minutes later as forward Mathias Jørgensen forced a save from Maric.
The Dynamo won a free kick in the 57th minute after a Red Bulls defender committed a foul on Rodriguez. The El Campo native took the free kick and found Struna at the far post and the Slovenian international headed the ball back across goal, but the ball was soon cleared by the Red Bull defense.
The Dynamo made wholesale changes in the 63rd minute and forward Nico Lemoine generated Houston’s first opportunity under the new lineup. The Academy product dribbled to the end line and Salazar at the far post and the Belize international won a corner kick after his shot was blocked by a Red Bulls defender.
Earlier in the afternoon, Houston fell to Real Salt Lake 1-0 in a 45-minute scrimmage at Kino Sports Complex. Salt Lake capitalized on back-to-back corners in the first five minutes to take the lead. Defender Kyle Adams cleared the first corner kick, but Salt Lake was able to score a minute later with a shot from inside the box at the near post.
Lemoine and Palomino combined for pressure three minutes later, but Salt Lake’s goalkeeper held firm inside his box.
The Dynamo and Real Salt Lake will square off in a full 90-minute match on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. CDT. That match will be streamed on HoustonDynamo.com/Live.