Houston Dynamo assert state dominance with 2–1 win over Austin

The Houston Dynamo came back from a one goal deficit to beat state rivals Austin FC 2–1 and take the Copa Tejas in front of 16,055 fans at the Shell Energy Stadium.

Currently sitting in the Western Conference’s table midpoint in seventh place with 18 points, the Dynamo have a right to believe in securing a playoff spot.

“It’s nice to be above the playoff line,” said head coach Ben Olsen after Saturday night’s home win. “It’s nice to be up there. We want to keep pushing. We want to not just live in there, we want to keep going.”

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Olsen’s boys overcame a 22nd minute goal from Gyasi Zardes – his 100th in MLS – with goals by Designated Player Héctor Herrera and Paraguayan Iván Franco. The Dynamo have been on a tear, winning five of seven regular season matches at the Shell while outscoring their opposition 9–2. They also trounced Minnesota 4–0 during a US Open Cup match this past Tuesday at home.

All this screams “new car smell” with the Dynamo’s new ownership and staff giving the team that psychological boost that usually occurs during these leadership transitions. And Olsen’s remarks on getting fans back onboard with the team’s positive streak are giving off serious Minecraft vibes.

“We’re protecting this place, we’re winning games here, we’re getting results here, which is one of the things we emphasized,” he said. “Hopefully how we’re winning is entertaining in a way, and we’ve got some personalities out there. I think we’re a fun team to watch. We’d love to see more fans in the stands. We’d love to get back some people that used to love this team ten years ago or five years ago that lost interest.

“Win at home and get people back in there. We’ve got to earn that,” he added. “Hopefully by winning at home and putting these types of performances on… hopefully that brings people back.”

Doing so over state rivals was certainly a good way to consolidate those feelings, especially when it’s the second time in six tries to do so, pushing Austin down to the 10th spot with 16 points.

“They’re a good team,” acknowledged Olsen. “We haven’t seen their best punch. It’ll be interesting to go there in a few weeks. It is nice to go above them now, and that’s what it’s about.”

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