By the numbers: D.C. United vs Houston Dynamo
Though they saw Houston come from behind and tie the match twice, D.C. United still managed to earn an impressive 3-2 win over the visiting Dynamo on Saturday night. Here's a look at a few of the stats that made the difference in the Black-and-Red's second straight victory.
That's how many shots Houston put on target ina first half dominated by the Black-and-Red. D.C. hasn't always started well at home this year, but BenOlsen said that his team was "pretty ramped up" on Saturdaynight. It showed with an organizeddefensive effort keyed by the work rate of United's midfield. Can't help but think that Danny Cruzand Dwayne De Rosario - who were both particularly active in defense againsttheir former team - played a big part in inspiring those around them.
All week, United's defenders talked about notcommitting the 'dumb' fouls that would give Houston set pieceopportunities. It was the one areaof the game where a D.C. weakness coincided with a Dynamo strength. The Black-and-Red entered Saturday averagingalmost 13 fouls per match compared to the nine they committed against Houston. Most importantly, only four of the infractions were anywhere close enough to Joe Willis' goal to actually be a threat.
According to the MLS stat sheet, D.C. won 17more 'duels' than the 39 won by Houston. In some matches this stat means nothing - New York won 65% of duels lastSunday and a lot of good it did them - but that wasn't the case against aDynamo side that plays a hectic style where possession is constantly indispute. It was the first time allseason that United topped their opponent in this category, and they did so indominant fashion.
Assists for United defenders. We've heard quite a bit this year about'fight' and 'bite', but when backs are getting assists it means there is somequality soccer being played. Daniel Woolard earned two helpers, and Brandon McDonald started D.C.'ssplendid night with a great ball over the top to Pontius on the first goal.