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 Houston Dynamo FC

Ben Olsen and Ethan Bartlow Named to Team of the Matchday

April 15, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Houston Dynamo FC News Release

HOUSTON - Houston Dynamo FC head coach Ben Olsen and defender Ethan Bartlow were named to the Team of the Matchday for Matchday, the league announced today. The Dynamo earned a 2-1 victory at Minnesota United FC on Saturday for the club's first win at Allianz Field, improving Houston's record to 4-2-1 (WLD) this season to jump to third in the Western Conference.

The Dynamo scored the match-winning goal in the 77th minute when forward Amine Bassi fed the ball to midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk, who created his own space and fired the ball into the back of the net from outside the box for his first-career MLS goal. Houston opened scoring in the 38th minute when Bassi's corner delivery found the back of the net off Minnesota's Alejandro Bran, while the Loons equalized the score in the 70th minute thanks to a Franco Fragapane goal.

Bartlow earned his fourth start of the season on Saturday, putting on a standout performance in Minnesota that included a goal-saving clearance off the line in the 34th minute to keep the match scoreless. The 24-year-old, who Houston selected No. 6 overall by Houston in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, led the team in touches (61), clearances (9) and aerial duels (7), while winning seven total duels and both of his tackle attempts.

Olsen's squad boasts one of the best defensive records so far this season, allowing only seven goals across seven matches and recording two clean sheets. Seven goals allowed is tied for the least in the Western Conference, despite a shuffling back line that has seen seven players start due to injuries. Additionally, Houston leads the league with 58.4 percent possession across their seven matches this season, allowing the Dynamo to control matches and dictate pace of play.

Bartlow is the fifth Dynamo player to be named to the Team of the Matchday this season and is joined by Artur (Matchday 7), Franco Escobar (Matchday 7), Brad Smith (Matchday 6) and Aliyu Ibrahim (Matchday 5). This week mark's Olsen's first appearance on the list this season.

The Dynamo next host in-state rivals Austin FC at Shell Energy Stadium on April 20, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT.

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