Houston Dynamo

15th Season First Game Played: April 2, 2006

Hits: 64

2006: Before Houston’s new MLS team played its first game, it was dealing with controversy as their chosen nickname Houston 1836 created an uproar Houston’s Mexican community, who were upset that the name celebrated Texas’s war for independence against Mexico. Eventually, the team would decide to drop the name and chose Dynamo to recognize the city’s energy industry. There would be plenty of energy at Robertson Stadium on April 2nd when they beat the Colorado Rapids 5-2 in their first game ever, as Brian Ching became an instant fan favorite with four goals. The Dynamos would go on to impress their new hometown, being in first place at a couple of points in the year. After flirting with the top seed in the conference, Dynamo would finish in second place with a record of 11-8-13. Their first playoff opponent would be newcomers Chivas USA, and they would drop the first game of the aggregate series, 2-1 after Chivas keeper Brad Guzan stopped a late penalty kick. In the next game at home, the teams were deadlocked in the series with two goals apiece until Brian Ching scored the winning goal very late in stoppage time. In the conference final against Colorado at home, Dynamo would fall behind early to a penalty kick by the Rapids’ Jovan Kirovski. The resilient Dynamo would answer as Paul Dalgish scored two goals to put his team in the lead. Then Brian Mullan scored the clinching goal, and with a 3-1 win, Dynamo finished off the Rapids and won the West.

2006 MLS Cup: Only having to travel 266 miles from Houston to Pizza Hut Park for MLS Cup, Dynamo were confident about their chances, going up against the New England Revolution, a team that had flirted with the title for the past five years. Despite the mostly pro-Houston crowd in the stadium and the hungry Revolution team, neither side could find the net in regulation and would settle for overtime. The first overtime period went by without a goal. But in the 23rd minute of the extra session, the Revs’ Taylor Twellman ran down the Dynamo defense and took a shot that went in the net, and Dynamo looked to be defeated. But in the blink of an eye, Brian Ching responded and caught New England still celebrating, heading a cross in less than a minute after Twellman’s goal. This would propel the two teams to the first penalty shootout in the 11-year history of the MLS Cup. Holding a 4-3 lead in the final round of the penalty session, Pat Onstad would come up huge, saving Jay Heaps’ kick, clinching the championship for the men wearing orange in their first season in Houston. For his tying goal in overtime, Ching was voted MVP.

2007: A hangover from the title seemed to be in place as the Dynamo won only two of their first nine and sat in the West cellar for the first two months of the season. But showing they had the mettle that is needed to be taken seriously as defending champions, Dynamo went on a surge through the All-Star break, going on an 11-game unbeaten streak that included a record-destroying 726 shutout minutes. In the playoffs, second place in the West with a record of 15-8-7, the Dynamo lost the first leg of their series to FC Dallas, 1-0 before crushing them 4-1 in the next match at home to move on. In the conference final at home in front of 30,972 appreciative fans, a 2-0 win, thanks to goals by Nate Jaqua and Dwayne De Rosario, propelled the Dynamo to another Western Conference championship.

2007 MLS Cup: November 18th at RFK Stadium in Washington DC was the Dynamo’s second straight visit to MLS Cup, and again, they would earn a date with the New England Revolution. To repeat as champions, the Dynamo would have to win without Brian Ching, who was nursing an injury sustained in the playoffs. Early on, the Revs controlled the game and went in front after 20 minutes on a goal from Taylor Twellman. Houston seemed to let chances slip away in the first half as they trailed by that 1-0 score at halftime. Then the Dynamo were revived in the 61st minute on a goal by Joseph Ngwenya following a missed opportunity to clear by the Revs’ defense in the box. With the momentum shifted to their side, the Dynamo made it count in the 74th minute. A cross from Brad Davis was met by the team’s magician, Dwayne De Rosario, and he headed it into the goal. Pat Onstad would make a string of saves the rest of the way, and in as many seasons in Houston, the Dynamo made it two-for-two in titles, becoming the first team since DC United to repeat. De Rosario predictably earned MVP honors for his game-winning goal, the first multiple winners of the award.

2008: After winning the MLS Cup in their first two seasons in Houston, more greatness was expected for the dynamic Dynamo. In the regular season, they did not disappoint as they finished in first place in the Western Conference posting a solid 13-5-12 record, which had them fall just six points short of the Supporter Shield for the best record overall in the MLS. However, in the playoffs, the Dynamo were stunned by Red Bull New York, who barely squeezed into the playoffs as the eighth seed—losing the aggregate score series 4-1, losing 3-0 in Game 2.

2009: After starting their season winless in their first four gamers, the Dynamo would find their stride winning eight of their next ten matches. Although they would alternate wins, losses, and ties the rest of the year, that streak would help them to second place in the West with a record of 13-8-9. In the first round, they would need extra time in the second leg to knock off the expansion Seattle Sounders. But they would then fall to the LA Galaxy 2-0 in the conference final.

2010: The Dynamo would have a yo-yo like the first half of the season, following up a win with a loss just about every week before slogging through a three-match losing streak in June. Despite finishing off the season with two wins, the Dynamo would watch the playoffs from home, sitting in seventh place in the West with a record of 9-15-6.

2011: Following the arrivals of Portland and Vancouver, the Dynamo made the move to the Eastern Conference and made the most of it. The club would go through a tough stretch during the summer before turning on the jets in the latter half of the season, winning eight of their last sixteen games to finish in second place in the East with a record of 12-9-13, two points behind Kansas City. In the playoffs, the Dynamo would easily handle the Philadelphia Union, 3-1 on aggregate to move onto the conference final. There, the Dynamo would take care of Sporting Kansas City 2-0 behind goals from Andre Hainault and Carlo Costly to reach the team’s third MLS Cup.

2011 MLS Cup: Taking on the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, the Dynamo must have felt at a home field disadvantage as the sellout crowd was clearly behind the Galaxy and their star-studded roster. The Dynamo, with some icons of their own, were determined to put up a good fight. As it was, the Galaxy controlled the tempo of the game the entire night and had the most chances, all of which were squandered until LA’s Landon Donovan buried a breakaway shot in the 72nd minute and the defense kept the Dynamo off the board as the visitors were forced to watch the hometown heroes celebrate a title with their fans.

2012: Coming off their disappointing loss in MLS Cup, the Dynamo looked to make it right as they won their first two games and seemed to be in good shape. The christening of BBVA Compass Stadium came on May 12th with a 1-0 win on a goal by Brad Davis. The rest of the way, the Dynamo would alternate wins and losses and would slide to fifth place, but it was good enough for a playoff spot at 14-9-11. In the East knockout game, The Dynamo traveled to Chicago and put out the Fire 2-1 on goals by Will Bruin. In the East semifinal round, the Dynamo made quick work of Sporting Kansas City, shutting them out 3-0 on aggregate. In the East final, the Orange would have an easier time with DC United, beating them 4-2 on aggregate for their second straight Eastern Conference crown.

2012 MLS Cup: In the same scenario as 2011, 2012’s MLS Cup was at the Home Depot Center, where the Dynamo were in a rematch with the Los Angeles Galaxy. With thoughts of sweet revenge spurring them on, the Dynamo controlled the tempo in the first half, and Calen Carr made it count on a goal in the 44th minute to give his team a lead going into the second half. But it all came apart for Houston in the second half as Omar Gonzalez scored on a cross in the 60th minute for LA. Then Landon Donovan confirmed the momentum shift as he converted a penalty kick in the 65th minute after a handball infraction in the penalty area. As the clock wound down, Houston pushed forward, but a foul by goalkeeper Tally Hall gave LA a penalty. Robbie Keane made the kick, and the Dynamo lamented consecutive championship losses in LA to the Galaxy.

2013: After two consecutive disappointing MLS Cup losses to the LA Galaxy, the Dynamo hoped to make it back and have the third time be the charm. The club did start the year well, winning four of their first six matches and sat in first place. But after that, the Dynamo would see their top players either injured or called up for World Cup Qualifying and a seven-match winless streak in the middle of the season, and a four-match streak near the end caused the team to slide to fourth place at 14-11-9. The Dynamo would seem to return to form in the East’s knockout match, shutting out the Montreal Impact 3-0 as the French Canadian side saw three men sent off. In the next round, the Dynamo conceded the first two goals to the New York Red Bulls but stormed back to tie the first leg with a stoppage-time goal by Omar Cummings, who then knocked out the Red Bulls in the second leg to win the round 4 goals to 3. But the Dynamo’s two-year reign as conference champs came to an end in the East Final, getting beaten by Sporting Kansas City 2-1.

2014: The Dynamo would begin their season with two wins, and things appeared to be looking up. But following that, difficult times fell on the club as the Dynamo would win only three of their next 18 matches, including a winless stretch from May to August. The club would fittingly wind the year down with three straight losses to end up in eighth place at 11-17-6.

2015: Will Bruin would do all he could to lift the Dynamo back over the playoff line with his eight goals through the year. It wouldn’t do the club any good as they started the season winning only two of their first ten matches and couldn’t put together any sustained winning runs on the way to an eighth-place finish of 11-14-9.

2016: Without a discernible path to help lead them up the standings, the Dynamo struggled badly, winning only three of their first twelve matches against seven losses and continued imploding from there. Things would get so bad that Owen Coyle departed as coach at the end of May, replaced by former Dynamo player Wade Barrett. He would fare no better as the team ended in the West basement at 7-14-13.

2017: To start the Wilmer Cabrera era in Houston, the club won two of the first three games of the season and showed competitive spirit as a force to be reckoned with. The Dynamo would set several club records along the course of the season and would do their best to help their city in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey at the end of August. The Dynamo would finish the season unbeaten in their last six matches to end up in fourth place at 13-10-11 and end their four-year playoff absence. In a tense Knockout Round game against Sporting Kansas City, a 94th-minute goal by Alberth Ellis propelled the team to the next round where they would take on the Portland Timbers and win 2-1 on aggregate thanks to goals by Dylan Remick and Mauro Manotas in the second leg. That’s where the turnaround would conclude as the Seattle Sounders ran all over the Dynamo 5-0 on aggregate.

2018: Coming to within a round of MLS Cup, the Dynamo retooled looking to make the next step. The season started promising enough with a 4-0 shutout win over eventual champions Atlanta United FC, which led to four more wins in their first eleven matches. But then a tough summer in which they only won once doomed the Dynamo and they couldn’t regain momentum, winding up in ninth place with a 10-16-8 mark. A silver lining to the season was the team’s first-ever US Open Cup championship, which included a dramatic semifinal win over Los Angeles FC before blanking Philadelphia in the final.

2019: In what could only be characterized as a roller-coaster season, the Dynamo started off their schedule fabulously, winning six of their first eight matches to propel them to the top of the West. And then came a huge drop-off. In their games between May 11th and August 31st, the club would lose fourteen matches and win only three times. This stretch confirmed the Dynamo to be a non-factor in the playoff race as they finished up in tenth in the West at 12-18-4, wasting a nice 13 goal campaign from Mauro Manotas

©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Stephen Mulvoy, all information, and team names are property of Major League Soccer. This site is not affiliated with the Houston Dynamo or the MLS. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on June 9, 2006. Last updated on August 4, 2020, at 11:30 pm ET.