A Ricardo Clark penalty miss was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock as Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo played out a goalless draw on Saturday night in round two of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson.
Clark stepped up and ballooned his spot kick into the night sky on 65 minutes, with Houston awarded the penalty after Bobby Burling was adjudged to have bundled over Mauro Manotas.
Houston stopper Tyler Deric was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first 45 minutes, doing well to deny Dillons Serna and Powers. Serna's drive toward the far post was gathered by Deric, who then tipped over a shot from Powers. The Dynamo keeper was then required to race from his line to smother the ball with Kevin Doyle bearing down on goal.
Owen Coyle brought on fresh legs after the interval and gained the initiative. Giles Barnes shook the cross bar with a dipping shot on the angle, while Will Bruin ought to have done better when through on goal, although Zac MacMath was quick off his line to confront the danger.
Colorado's best chance of the second half came off the boot of Dominique Badji. He surprised many by opting for the near post, when a cross looked on the cards. Deric was again alert to the danger and tipped over for a corner.
Unlike previous preseason games, there were not the vast changes made at the interval by head coach Pablo Mastroeni. Changes, though, when they came, were numerous with nine Rapids players entering the contest on 71 minutes. As the MLS season opener comes into view, the Rapids' coaching staff were keen to push the starters a little longer.
Eric Miller pulled on a burgundy jersey for the first time since moving from Montreal Impact. He started at left-back, with draft pick Dennis Castillo preferred on the right.
Next for the Rapids is a game against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, February 24 (8:00 p.m MT).
Colorado Rapids 0-0 Houston Dynamo
February 20, 2016 - Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, AZ
Rapids: Zac MacMath; Dennis Castillo*, Bobby Burling (Stephen Keel^, 71'), Axel Sjoberg (A.J. Cochran^, 71'), Eric Miller (Marc Burch, 71'); Jared Watts (Brad Spencer^, 71'), Micheal Azira (Sean Keith, 71'); Dominique Badji (Zach Pfeffer, 71'), Dillon Powers (Caleb Calvert, 71'), Dillon Serna (Luis Solignac, 71'); Kevin Doyle (Conor Doyle, 71').
Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams (Jalil Anibaba, 16’), Raúl Rodríguez (David Horst, 46'), Agus (Sebastien Ibeagha, 77’) , DaMarcus Beasley (Abdoulie Mansally 62'); Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda, 73'), David Rocha (Ricardo Clark, 46'), Alex (Zach Steinberger, 77'), Giles Barnes (Boniek Garcia, 62'); Cristian Maidana (Erick Torres, 70'); Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas, 62')
^ Indicates trialist
* 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
The Rapids season starts on Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. MT on the road against San Jose Earthquakes, with the Home Opener at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against LA Galaxy on Saturday, March 12 at 5 p.m. MT. For more information or to purchase season tickets, click HERE, or call 303-825-GOAL.