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United blanked by Dynamo, 1-0
Houston played its first seven games on the road as it waited for its long-awaited new home to reach completion.
The Dynamo dominated the game, outshooting D.C. United 10-1 and controlling possession throughout the second half.
Houston (3-3-2) snapped a five-match winless streak, while D.C. United (5-4-3) lost for the second time in five games.
The Dynamo had played in run-down Robertson Stadium, on the University of Houston campus, since moving here from San Jose in 2006. The new stadium on the city’s east side will also be the home for Texas Southern football games, concerts and international soccer matches.
But it belongs to the Dynamo, and their orange-clad supporters loved the atmosphere on Saturday. The opener drew a sellout crowd of 22,039, nearly all of them clad in orange.
“This is the best day ever,” said Oscar Leon, a season-ticket holder. “You can’t wipe the smile off my face. It looks fantastic.”
Fans set up tents in the parking lot across from the field, and some waved flags and pounded drums as they filed in. The stadium has 36 luxury suites and has design aspects similar to soccer-specific venues in Europe.
“They did it the right way, you can already see that,” said Johnny Andersen, 59. “What you want to do is you want to build it close to the field. When you build it close to the field, you can get an enormous atmosphere for making noise. I’m looking forward to this.”
Minority team owner Oscar De La Hoya, former Dynamo President Oliver Luck and former Houston Mayor Bill White were introduced before the game. MLS Commissioner Don Garber and BBVA Compass CEO Manolo Sanchez shook hands at midfield as the Dynamo’s championship banners were uncovered on the stadium’s south canopy.
“There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan,” said Luck, now the athletic director at West Virginia. “A lot of people deserve a lot of credit for this building opening up today. It’s just nice to see it happen.”
Two orange Coast Guard helicopters thundered over the field at the end of the national anthem and fireworks exploded as the game began.
Dynamo forward Will Bruin got a clear shot from outside the goal area in the 31st minute and D.C. Unitedgoalkeeper Bill Hamid went low to scoop it up. Houston’s Bobby Boswell tested Hamid a minute later, redirecting a deflection toward the crossbar.
Hamid made four saves in the first half, then leaped to intercept a cross by Calen Carr early in the second half, as the Dynamo kept D.C. United on the defensive.
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