Houston Dynamo 1, LA Galaxy 1 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
The match served as Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s official Galaxy debut, and also was Tab Ramos’s competitive debut as Houston’s head coach.
The Galaxy rushed out to a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, when Pavon scored a jaw-dropping curler from atop the 18-yard box. The Argentine winger collected a long punt from his goalkeeper David Bingham, dribbled past several Houston defenders and left Dynamo netminder Marko Maric with little chance on a bullet to the far post.
But the Dynamo stayed resilient and drew level in the 54th minute, when Manotas gathered a through ball from right back Zarek Valentin. The Colombian striker hit a low, driven shot to the far post and past Bingham that made it 1-1.
There were several promising chances aside from the goals, including a header from Galaxy winger Aleksandar Katai that rattled off the near post in the 2nd minute. LA midfielder Joe Corona also couldn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity in the 66th minute, with his first effort blocked off the goal line by Dynamo center back Aljaz "Kiki" Struna.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Great hype surrounded Chicharito’s MLS debut with the Galaxy, but the Mexican striker couldn’t find a goal or an assist. His industrious work rate helped LA, but there’s hope for a greater impact. From a Dynamo perspective, this is a solid building block as the Tab Ramos era officially gets underway. They outplayed LA for stretches, and accomplished that without the attacking forces of Alberth Elis and Darwin Quintero.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Cristian Pavon, my word. His golazo spread quickly on social media, and provided a particularly good omen for how his 2020 season could go. A confident, in-form Pavon is a scary thought for opposing defenders.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Aljaz Struna gets the nod here for his efforts in corralling Chicharito and being an adept passer out of the back. His goal-line block of Joe Corona in the 66th minute was monstrous, too.