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Houston Dynamo Open Mobile Mini Sun Cup with 0-0 Draw against Minnesota United FC

February 6, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Houston Dynamo News Release

TUCSON, ARIZ. - The Houston Dynamo opened their participation in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup with a scoreless draw against Minnesota United FC this evening at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. The match was divided into two 60-minute games with two 30-minute halves in each. The coaches rotating players so that most of the squad received 45 to 60 minutes of action.

Defender Maynor Figueroa found fellow Honduran international Alberth Elis with a pinpoint 30-yard cross in the 11th minute that the forward controlled and dribbled past a defender toward the goal line. Elis' low cross went across the face of goal and was eventually cleared by Minnesota for Houston's second corner kick in the first 12 minutes of play.

Ten minutes later, Houston created its most dangerous scoring threat of the night off of its third corner kick. After a Minnesota defender blocked forward Romell Quioto's cross at the edge of the box, Quioto curled in a corner that found Elis outside the six-yard box, but his header was inches wide of the far post.

Quioto won another corner kick three minutes later after he dribbled past a defender and his shot was cleared inches from the far post. Midfielder Tomás Martínez found Figueroa inside the box, but he was unable to get his header under the crossbar.

Elis forced a save four minutes into the second period with a shot at the near post. Houston took its sixth corner kick of the game, which well to Figueroa at the edge of the box, but the defender's effort was off target.

Minnesota forced a save from goalkeeper Tyler Deric in the 36th minute after forward Darwin Quintero dribbled to the edge of the box and chipped a shot that dipped under the crossbar until Deric's intervention. It was the first of four saves in a 30-minute shift for the Dynamo goalkeeper.

Minnesota midfielder Chase Gasper entered the match in the 41st minute after Francisco Calvo was ejected for putting his hand in the face of a Dynamo player.

The majority of both squads came off after the second period, as a second group of players took the field for 'Game 2.'

Midfielder Memo Rodriguez forced a save with a shot from outside the box that was handled by goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair in the 73rd minute. Minnesota forced a save from goalkeeper Michael Nelson two minutes later, but the Katy native was well positioned at the near post.

Forward Maalique Foster won the ball near midfield to create a one-on-one duel with the Minnesota goalkeeper but his effort was blocked for Houston's second corner kick of the final period. Houston had a shout for a penalty in the dying moments when forward Andy Cabrera looked to be brought down inside the area, but the referee held his whistle before calling full time seconds later.

The Dynamo will continue their preseason preparation on Thursday and Friday before taking on Seattle Sounders FC Saturday evening at Kino Sports Complex. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CST kickoff and will be streamed live on the Dynamo Facebook page.

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