Wenger scores highlight-reel goal in Dynamo’s 3-2 loss

By on June 29, 2016
3/6/16 In the season opener the Houston Dynamo tied the New England Revolution 3-3 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston Texas.

3/6/16 In the season opener the Houston Dynamo tied the New England Revolution 3-3 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston Texas.

Andrew Wenger’s fourth goal of the season for Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo on Sunday night was one for the highlight reels.

Literally.

When the Lititz native scored in the 28th minute, giving the Dynamo an early 1-0 lead at the Portland Timbers, ESPN took notice and later aired the video clip on its network.

Unfortunately for Houston, the Timbers eventually rallied from a two-goal deficit to pull out a 3-2 win, but Wenger certainly gave Dynamo fans an early thrill, receiving a pass on the right wing from Boniek Garcia, deking Portand defender Jermaine Taylor, and depositing a blast inside the left post.

“Boniek did well there,” Wenger remarked, “he put the ball wide and I was able just to run at their outside back, put the ball on frame and it all seemed to work out.”

As the game announcer described, “Andrew Wenger, 1v1, great little dance. It’s a scissor, it’s a cutback, it’s a chop back across with the outside of the right foot. (Wenger) goes in, goes out, cuts hard and Jermaine Taylor just gets caught biting.”

Wenger, who also has two assists this season, is now one of three Houston players sharing the team lead in goals, joining Will Bruin and Giles Barnes.

Reached by telephone on Monday just before boarding a flight, Wenger said, “It was a good goal. It was great to get the team off on the right foot in the game, and unfortunately we didn’t get any points. So it doesn’t really mean much in the end.”

It was the 17th MLS goal of Wenger’s career, and no doubt one of his prettier ones, as he has been nominated for Goal of the Week honors. But in the wake of a loss, the 2009 Warwick grad downplayed his tally.

“Just another goal, really, in the big scheme of things,” Wenger remarked.

Just two minutes after Wenger connected, Bruin notched his fourth of the season, with Garcia picking up his second assist of the game, to make it 2-0 for the Dynamo.

In the second half, the Timbers, who are unbeaten in their last five games, mounted a rally, scoring in the 64th minute courtesy of Lucas Melano and then getting the equalizer from Diego Valeri in the 82nd minute on a penalty kick, when Dynamo defender David Horst was called for a handball in the box.

It was still 2-2 in extra time when Valeri benefited from a disputed call in the box against Houston keeper Joe Willis — a halftime sub for Tyler Deric — and the Portland midfielder buried the game-winning goal on a PK in the 91st minute.

“Referees make decisions and we have to play,” Wenger said. “Sometimes you get good ones, sometimes you get bad ones. I’m not saying anything about that one, though.”

As the Dynamo prepared to host Sporting Kansas City in Open Cup action last night (Wednesday), followed by an MLS game against Wenger’s former team, the Philadelphia Union, this Saturday, the former Warwick star said that he and his Dynamo teammates are keeping their heads high.

“Certainly … always,” Wenger said.

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