Saturday, August 04, 2018

Houston Dynamo drops 1-0 decision to Kansas City in red-card laden match

Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera
was ejected from the match at halftime for
"irresponsible conduct."
File photo by Robert H Kelly

Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved
By Jennifer Edwards
Special Corespondent for Soccer
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 4, 2018) The Houston Dynamo hosted Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night. The meeting was the third match of the season for the two teams and lived up to the promise of the tight scoring, hard fought game. Sporting Kansas City controlled the ball 61% of the match compared to the Dynamo’s 39%. Unfortunately, neither team had the opportunity to get into a rhythm they wanted due to fouls and cards being issued. Both teams exhibited strong defensive plays that kept the game to a low score. The match saw some milestones including Sporting Kansas City’s 16 year-old Gianluca Busio who made his MLS debut on July 28th. Unfortunately the game was also filled with yellow and red cards as well as the ejection of Dynamo head coach, Wilmer Cabrera.

A red card was shown in the fourth minute to Dynamo centerback, Alejandro Fuenmayor, who jumped to head the ball at the same time as Sporting Kansas City’s Gianluca Busio. The card was given for the hit between Busio’s shoulder blades. This card lead to a yellow being issued to Dynamo’s Alberth Elis for arguing the red card that was previously issued. Immediately after these cards, Dynamo goalkeeper, Joe Willis made a tremendous save in the goal box to keep the game scoreless leading into halftime.

After halftime concluded the players and coaches returned to the pitch minus Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera, who was ejected for “irresponsible behavior” when speaking with the fourth official in the tunnel leading into the halftime break. Cabrera was quoted after the match,

“This is the second time we came over here to play, and we get really strange circumstances. I cannot make any assessment about how we performed because we cannot perform in those circumstances. Right now what I would like is to go home and think how to prepare for the next game to see that at some point it’s going to be normal for us to come to our own home and to try to play the game because we want to play and we are not there. This is a game of contact - high-level contact. But anyway, I got dismissed too in the tunnel, [and then] when I was coming down to the tunnel at the end of the game I saw two of my players with red cards also. I don't know what happened, to be honest with you. I spoke with my players, and they told me what happened. Anyway, right now, we’re against the wall, and because we are against the wall I am not going to make any comment about anything else and to be honest with you it’s just difficult to make assessments with the guys playing with 10 men against 11 for that amount of time. So, it was a great effort, and now we have to come back to make a recovery to think that hopefully on Wednesday we can play a normal game.”

Assistant head coach Michael Dellarusso assumed coaching responsibilities for the remainder of the game. The game took on an air of frustration from both sides as they jockeyed to swing the momentum to their way. That was not going to be the case for either team. Goalkeeper Joe Willis was issued a yellow card for arguing with the on-field referee over the missed call on Elis. This frustration lead to Sporting Kansas City scoring the only goal of the night off the foot of Diego Rubio in the 74th minute. Once that goal was scored, a collective 5 cards were issued; 3 yellows and 2 reds. Yellow cards were issued to SKC’s Diego Rubio and the Dynamo’s Ronaldo Pena and Leonardo. Red cards were issued in stoppage time to the Dynamo’s Darwin Ceren for putting hands on a SKC player. Consequently, chaos reigned on both sides resulting a pushing, shoving and shouting match between the two teams and Alberth Elis received the final red card of the night. In the press conference following the game Wilmer Cabrera said, “You cannot let that happen” when he was asked about Ceren’s and Elis’ actions.Cabrera also stated his team is, “against the wall” regarding the Dynamo’s potential playoff spot. 

This creates a jam for the Dynamo, as now Elis is suspended for the next game for excessive yellow cards and still must serve the red card suspension. He will serve the red card suspension alongside Ceren and Fuenmayor. The Dynamo return to action at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday, August 8 in the semi-final of the U.S. Open Cup against Los Angeles FC.

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