The Houston Dynamo 2 clinched their playoff berth Saturday night with a 1-0 win over St. Louis City 2. The win moved Houston into a second place tie with the Tacoma Defiance in the Western Conference table. With two regular season games left, Houston is fourth overall in the MLS Next Pro league.
The win gives Houston a measure of revenge against St. Louis City City 2. St. Louis defeated the Houston side 2-0 in June 4th at Ralph Korte Stadium. City 2 came to play with five players expected to be on the parent club when they join Major League Soccer next season as an expansion club.
Houston was strong throughout the match posting 27 interceptions, winning 12 of 17 tackles and getting a third clean sheet in its last four matches. The Dynamo 2 scored the only goal of the match on a Mujeeb Murana header in the 58th minute. Head coach Kevin Bundy said the match is indicative of how much this team has grown.
“They've created a culture of wanting to win games – no matter what. It hasn't been perfect throughout the season," said Bundy describing the character of his club.. We've been up a goal with five minutes left in the game and conceded, we've lost the game that way, we tied games that way. What they've done is they've learned. You can see when there's five minutes of extra time, no one panics. Then the referee adds three more minutes because of substitutions. There was no panic, there was no arguing, it was get on with the business. To me the culture that they've created to do that is something special, that they believe in that, and there's a lot of things that we can always fix as coaches, right as a staff. We can sit here and say oh, we could do this better. We could do this better. Trying to teach mentality and trying to teach that togetherness and that willing to win is something that's very difficult. The fact that they buy into that and they lead each other through that is really special.”
Houston follows up the win Saturday night traveling to Denver to meet the Colorado Rapids 2 on Sunday, September 11th. Houston and Colorado fought to a 1-1 draw on three weeks ago in a game that Colorado win the extra point on penalty kicks. The loss on PK's is the only home blemish all season for the Dynamo 2. They close out the season at AVEVA Stadium against their in-state rival North Texas State.