After turning down an opportunity to try out with the Houston Dynamo last season, Scottish striker Calum Elliot is making the most of his second chance. After stealing possession at midfield, rookie Jason Johnson played the ball into Elliot on the edge of the penalty box for the game-winning goal just 63 seconds into the Dynamo’s friendly against the Colorado Rapids in Tucson.
Elliot, a 25-year-old from Edinburgh, played for Lithuanian side Žalgiris Vilnius last season, scoring 17 goals in 39 matches for the club. He immediately showed why Houston tried to nab him last season, and nearly added a second goal in the 32nd minute but was denied by Rapids goalkeeper Steward Ceus.
Johnson nearly had the first MLS goal of his budding career in first half stoppage time. Midfielder Franck Songo’o, on trial in Houston after being waived by new Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter in the offseason, put a ball through to the rookie. Johnson aimed low and hard, but Ceus charged out to keep the gap at one.
Houston showed the majority of the attacking verve in this contest, creating multiple quality scoring chances, but the lead remained 1-0 at halftime. Colorado showed better effort in the second half, challenging Dynamo reserve goalkeeper Erich Marscheider with a couple of threatening looks, but could not crack the scoreboard. Marscheider, a 20-year-old from Colorado Springs, was in net due to Tally Hall’s call-up to the U.S. men’s national team.
The win was a rebound for the Dynamo, who lost their preseason opener in the Desert Friendlies to the San Jose Earthquakes. They conclude their schedule in Arizona with a matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps in prime-time on Saturday. Colorado, who lost their first preseason game in Tucson to the Portland Timbers, will look for a victory against San Jose in the early game on Saturday.
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