Dynamo preseason victory over the UTRGV

EDINBURG, Texas (Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020) - The Houston Dynamo opened their preseason slate with a 3-0 victory over the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) at H-E-B Park earlier this evening.  

This was the first full-squad scrimmage for Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos, who used two different lineups for each half.  

Forward Niko Hansen gave Houston the lead in the 14th minute after the Vaqueros lost the ball outside their box. Hansen capitalized on the defensive error and beat the UTRGV goalkeeper at the near post for the first goal of the game. 

Forward Darwin Quintero doubled Houston’s lead three minutes later with a shot from distance.  Midfielder Boniek Garcia found Quintero about 35 yards away from goal and he unleashed a right-footed shot that beat the Vaqueros goalkeeper at the near post.  

The final goal came in the second half when forward Christian Ramirez pressured the backline and won the ball outside the six-yard box. Ramirez squared a ball to Victor Cabrera who finished at the near post. 

The Dynamo dominated possession in both halves and Houston forced three saves in the first 20 minutes of play. Defender Adam Lundkvist beat a UTRGV defender to the touchline in the fifth minute and found Quintero inside the box, but his effort was cleared by the Vaqueros shot stopper.  

Six minutes later forward Mauro Manotas forced a save with a shot near the penalty spot. Houston once again forced a save in the 20th minute when midfielder Matias Vera found Memo Rodriguez at the edge of the box, but his effort was handled at the near post.  

Dynamo Academy product Marcelo Palomino maintained the pressure in the second half as he forced a save in the 47th minute off a pass from fellow Academy alum Nico Lemoine. Ramirez forced a save 10 minutes later off a pass from Lemoine at the near post.  

Forward Michael Salazar drew two defenders to create space for a pass to Ramirez at the top of the box, but his effort was saved by the Vaqueros goalkeeper in the 70th minute.  

The Vaqueros’ best opportunity came towards the end of the second half when they forced a save from goalkeeper Cody Cropper at the near post in the 78th minute.  

Palomino forced a save in the 80th minute when his effort from the top of the box just missed the inside of the near post. Houston’s final opportunity came seconds from the final whistle as Ramirez laid the ball off to Salazar who was denied by the crossbar.  

The Dynamo return to H-E-B Park on Saturday to face their USL Championship affiliate, Rio Grande Valley FC, at 7 p.m. The scrimmage is free and open to the public. Houston kick off their 2020 campaign on Saturday, Feb. 29 when they host their longtime rivals the LA Galaxy on Opening Day presented by BBVA. 

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