In the final regular-season game of the season, on Decision Day for MLS Next Pro, North Texas Soccer Club traveled to face Houston Dynamo 2. In spite of their best efforts, the 2-0 loss means North Texas SC were unable to defeat their Texas rival in 2022.
Coach Pa made 4 changes from the win over Saint Louis as Julian Eyestone, Will Baker, Luis Cardoso, and Blake Pope all made the starting Lineup.
Houston Dynamo 2 got the scoring going right from the start of halftime thanks to Marcelo Palomino in the 46th minute.
Bernard Kamungo entered for Blaine Ferri in the 56th minute.
Juan Castilla doubled the goals for Houston in the 67th minute give Dynamo 2 the two-goal lead.
Pablo Torre replaced Jose Mulato in the 69th minute.
Tomas Lacerda, Tarik Scott, and Alejandro Araneda came in for Blake Pope, Luis Miguel, and Will Baker respectively.
North Texas SC were shutout by their rivals by a final score of 0-2.
Thoughts & Takeaways
Playing in the only game on Decision Day where their opponent is a playoff team, North Texas faced a level of competition that they will see next weekend.
While North Texas played their quick attacking style of game, Houston did well to clog the final third of the field, limiting North Texas’ attacking success.
“I think that it is important going into playoffs that we make sure that we are not taken out of games,” Pa-Modou Kah said. “That’s just the way it goes and we have to keep fighting and keep pushing.”
In spite of Houston’s defensive success and conceding, North Texas was adamant to get up the field while continuing to create chances of their own.
“We don’t care what the score is,” Blake Pope explained. “It doesn’t matter if we are up by two or down by two. He was to keep going and we cannot stop otherwise we let me back into the game.”
Heading into this game, North Texas had built up a steady momentum train, winning the last four games.
The final game of the season was not meant to be for North Texas and one cannot help but wonder what impact this loss will have on the team and momentum.
“Some people are going to look down on us,” Pope said about the team’s momentum. “We have to remember this game but we also have to forget it and think ahead. It is not going to hurt our momentum. We know what to do and we just have to keep moving ahead.”
While the loss will sting Coach PA and his staff has built up a team that knows how to fight in games and bounce back from adversity.
“We started the season well,” Pa said. “We pick up our momentum heading into the playoffs and we are looking forward to the playoffs and what it brings to us.”
If anything, North Texas will use this loss as motivation in their first playoff game next weekend.
North Texas SC will head on the road to face Saint Louis City 2 in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday, September 25th. Kickoff time to be announced.