The Houston Dynamo got to kick some British arse Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, for a charitable purpose. They were able to defeat Stoke City of the English Premier League 2-0 in the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup.
To Stoke's credit, this match was only their first in their preseason as they gear up for the start of the EPL season against Arsenal on August 11.
Still, a win is a win, and the Dynamo take back their cup after consecutive losses to Bolton Wanderers of the EPL and Valencia of the Spanish LigaBBVA.
Here are five things Hair Balls took from Dynamo's victory over the lads from across the pond.
5. Dynamo's British ex-pats got their revenge The Dynamo took the lead in the 11th minute, when Andrew Driver sent a curling free-kick just inside the right post. Second-half substitute Giles Barnes gave the Dynamo an insurance goal with a strong run down the left side, shooting low to the far post in the 89th minute.
"It was a little bit ironic that Giles and Andrew were the two guys that scored the goals," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said after the match.
By "ironic," Kinnear was referencing the fact that the two hail from England, Barnes from London and Driver from just outside of Manchester.
4. Home-grown talent on display The Dynamo Charities Cup is a great opportunity for Kinnear to give playing time to younger guys who wouldn't see much during the regular season. In last year's cup loss to Valencia, Warren Creavalle and Kofi Sarkodie made names for themselves.
On Wednesday night, Kinnear was most impressed by his two homegrown players -- Tyler Deric and Alex Dixon.
"I thought Tyler Deric had a real good game in goal. He came out and won some good crosses, and his distribution, I thought, was good.
"Alex Dixon, I thought, had some good flashes going forward."
3. Cameron back in town
US International Geoff Cameron, formally of the Dynamo, was on display for Stoke on Wednesday. After having an impressive off season with the US National Team in World Cup Qualifying, Cameron was with Stoke City familiarizing himself with new manager Mark Hughes. And from what Hughes was able to see from his young defenseman, he was impressed.
"I thought he acquitted himself very well; I could see why he's been an option in fullback," said Hughes. "He did okay there and understood the role."
2. MLS gaining more and more respect
More European teams are choosing to hold their preseason camps in the U.S. every year. The climate is conducive to good outdoor training. But these teams are finding that playing in exhibition matches against MLS competition is a great way to test their progress.
As Hughes said after the match, MLS has the "required standard" for which to play against.
"The Dynamo were a good representation of the MLS, the way sport is progressing in this country."
1. Momentum to Saturday night
The Dynamo will go into Saturday's match against the Chicago Fire with momentum on their side. The Dynamo have won consecutive league matches, and now have a victory against a strong EPL side.
To add more fuel to the fire -- no pun intended -- the Fire are an Eastern Conference foe on the rise in the standings, and the Dynamo currently sit on the fifth and final spot of the playoff picture.
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