North Texas Gets First Win Against Houston
While out of postseason contention, North Texas SC managed a first against Dynamo Dos, a victory on Sunday night.
While the season has been filled with disappointments, North Texas SC can mark a first for them since joining MLS Next Pro - a win against Houston.
In the fifth matchup between the two teams, always entertaining affairs, North Texas shook off a run of play that saw their in-state rivals win two games and draw two games. For the first 45 minutes however, a strong result was in doubt. Houston took the lead and led capably for the first 45 minutes.
At halftime, interim head coach John Gall declined to share what he spoke to his squad, but the message was received, loud and clear.
North Texas exploded for three goals, including Jose Mulato’s 10th on the year.
Tomas Pondeca in particular deserves honorable mention for a gorgeous long range blast from the top of the box.
While Houston vainly tried to mount a comeback, North Texas’ energy and attacking precision led to chance after chance. It was a refreshing and dominant performance, and Gall was excited to talk about it after the match.
“At half time in the locker room we told them exactly what that was needed to be said. The most enjoyable thing about this group is how they respond, and they responded fantastically, and you know honestly, we probably could have won that game by four,” the coach spoke to media after the game. “In the second half we dominated over three fourths of the game. We know we’re eliminated from the playoffs already and just credit to these guys for putting in the work. I can’t thank these guys enough for turning it around because we're the better team than what we were in the first 30 minutes.”
The win gives the team momentum as they prepare to face Austin at home in the final match of the season.
With the win, John Gall has a bit of a feather to stick in his cap as the front office considers removing his interim status and making him the permanent head coach going forward. He did get some improved play from the roster at moments, but if he can produce more moments of buy-in like on Sunday, North Texas should be much stronger in 2024.
Jose Mulato can score. Getting to double digit goals in a season where he did not start or play every match is an accomplishment.
Tomas Pondeca is the latest player for North Texas who came to the club via open tryouts that could become an interesting prospect. While he needs another year of development, he has come on strong in the second half of the season with his 4th goal in 7 games.
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