HOUSTON 2, COLUMBUS 0

5 kicks from Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC

Oscar Boniek Garcia (center) was honored for surpassing 200 appearances for the Houston Dynamo. Photo by Diego Dlouhy/SportsMap Houston.

The Houston Dynamo got back to winning with a 2-0 result over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday. Mauro Manotas and Tomas Martinez were the goalscorers that helped the team rebound from their 2-1 away loss the previous week while the defense earned their first shutout of the year.

Here are five observations from the win:

HIGHLIGHTS: Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC | April 27, 2019 www.youtube.com

1) Home sweet home

With the win, the Dynamo extended their undefeated home record this season to a 4-0-1 mark. At 5-1-1 overall, five wins in the first seven matches is the fastest run to that mark in club history so the team has plenty to be happy and feel confident about.

In the bigger picture, it is important that the team is defending their home turf again. Their 12-1-4 home record in 2017 was key to their first playoff season in four years and it's no coincidence that they missed the playoffs last season after losing six matches at home - on top of their bad form on the road.

With four of the next six matches to be contested inside the friendly confines of BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo would have played more than half of their home schedule before the Gold Cup break in mid-June. That means that a heavy road schedule awaits the team on the other side including six out of eight over the course of a month between June 22 and July 20. The latter end of the schedule isn't any more forgiving so it's a good insurance policy to see the Dynamo rack up points here early.

2) First shutout of the season

Manager Wilmer Cabrera had expressed his desire to see his defense come away with a clean sheet earlier in the season. On Saturday, they delivered. Joe Willis came away with four saves and the defensive line of DeLaGarza, Struna, Figueroa and Lundqvist naturally look more confortable starting together in their fifth competitive match.

In this case, the shutout serves more for confidence and maybe goal differential later in the season as this Columbus team was no match for the Dynamo, even if they had pulled a goal back. The bigger test for the Houston defense will come when they face the league's elite attacking players and that's where the defense will earn their paychecks this year.

3) Manotas breaks scoring drought

The Dynamo's top goalscorer in 2018 came in to this match riding a four-match scoring drought. The Colombian wasn't an absentee in those games, rendering four assists in that stretch.

Ultimately, forwards will get judged for scoring goals and making impactful game-changing plays. In the previous game against LA Galaxy, the Dynamo's most challenging opponent this season, Manotas could not generate that type of moment and, in the match before that against San Jose, he missed a penalty. It's good to see him back on the scoresheet but the best of the young Colombian is yet to be seen, especially if he wants to be called up to the Colombian national team.

4) Martinez becoming elite?

EVERY ANGLE: Martinez's strike vs. Crew SC www.youtube.com

Tomas Martinez put up a team-high 13 assists in 2018 but, just by the eye-test, he looks more engaged this season. Reaching double digit assists isn't exactly a given but it is the standard for the team's no. 10. More importantly, he looks more confortable with better support behind him in defense.

Martinez still has another level to reach and it's still to early to say how much improvement he will make this season. If he is able to replicate the type of success we have seen from some of the league's best midfielders like Portland Timbers' Diego Valeri or even D.C. United's Luciano Acosta, the Dynamo would gain another dimension in attack that would really put them in business. Easier said than done, however, but there's definitely some positive signs.

5) Boniek celebrated for 200 appearances

Longtime Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia was celebrated right before kickoff for passing the mark of 200 games played with the club across all competitions (reached two weeks ago against San Jose). The 34-year-old has featured in every MLS match for the team this season and all but one across all competitions.

Unsure of his status with the club before the beginning of last season, Boniek has continued to provide the team with solid performances in midfield. He has undoubtedly stayed in the good graces of the manager, which is no surprise, given how many matches he's featured in over Cabrera's three season tenure - further showcasing the trust held in the Honduran legend.

How much longer can Boniek contribute to the club at this level? His professionalism and the way he's taken care of his body show no signs of that being anytime soon. Another 200 appearances may be too much to ask, however.

Dynamo player of the game: Joe Willis

Next up:

Saturday, May 4 vs FC Dallas (3 p.m. CT, Twitter / Univision)

Photo courtesy of Fitness in the Loop

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

One Saturday morning, I was out driving around and saw what looked like a yoga class being held at a local, popular bar. I thought, "that is so cool! I'm sure the good people of Houston would love to know where to get their workout on and their drink on at the same time." So, this article was born. I went on the hunt to make a fully comprehensive list of the breweries, bars, and restaurants where you can get a workout. Here goes.

Yoga and brunch at Clutch

​Jovan Abernathy 

Yoga at Clutch

Saturday@ 11am

5334 Washington Ave. Houston, Tx 77007

During the week, Clutch is where 20 somethings and 30 somethings go to enjoy a burger. But come Saturday morning, join Clutch and Fitness In The Loop for an hour long yoga class that is always free. Release the tension of the week and finish with $5 mimosa specials. Enjoy light to heavy fair like avocado toast, greek yogurt, or chicken and waffles.

Watermelon cooler, micheladas, of course, yoga​

Courtesy of Fitness in the Loop

Yoga at Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden

Sundays@ 11am

1920 Houston Ave. Houston, Tx 77007

If you find yourself in the artsy First Ward on Sundays, you can catch yoga with the other hipsters at Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden. Enjoy an hour class of yoga that is always free. Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden has its own food truck waiting to serve you burgers, flatbreads, and tacos after the class. Most people opt for a Watermelon Cooler or a $4 Michelada to get refreshed.

Instagram: @FitnessInTheLoop

​Run, bike, and cross-train at Karbach Brewing 

​Courtesy of Karbach Athletics

Cross-train at Karbach Brewery

Wednesdays @ 7pm

2032 Karbach St. Houston, Tx 77092

We all know Karbach Brewing for Houston beer favorites like Weekend Warrior and Love Street Kolsch. If you are a Karbach fan, you also know that it is a weekend destination with so many activities to offer that you cannot fit them in one weekend. Forget that Karbach has a full restaurant with pub favorites like fish and chips and beer can chicken. Not everyone knows that Karbach has its own athletic department complete with yoga, a running club, and a cross training brew camp in the Biergarten. You can work off those beer calories in the cross training Karbach Brew Camp. $10 gets you in. Just bring a mat and wear comfortable workout clothes. Be ready to sweat and earn that free Weekend Warrior at the end!

Bike Ride from Eureka Heights

Every Third Friday

941 W 18th St. Houston, Tx 77008

You may pass Eureka Heights on your Sunday Funday on 18th st on the way to Mckintyre's. This brewery is known for its fun, approachable session beers. They are responsible for Buckle Bunny Cream Ale and other fun, low alcohol beers like Space Train IPA. Every third Friday, you can come to Eureka Heights and enjoy a 10 - 15 mile bike ride/bar crawl that starts and ends at Eureka Heights. Enjoy $2 off beers and food from food trucks like Curbside Sliders and Riceology.

Run by the Bayou with Sigma Brewing ​

Courtesy of David Lynn

Sigma Brewery Run

Thursday @ 7pm till….

3118 Harrisburg Blvd. Houston, Tx 77003

Feel like exploring the East End? Take a run with Sigma Brewery Running Club. Sigma Brewery is known for their science fiction themed beers like Terminator 2's 08/29/97 IPA. Their running club meets on Thursdays and changes their route often. One week, run around the bayou and the next from stadium to stadium. End back at the brewery for the famous sessionable running beer XPA and play some old school Super Mario Brothers at your own station.

Walk to Harrisburg Art Museum from True Anomaly Brewing with Houston Tourism Gym​

Jovan Abernathy ​

5 Mile Walk from True Anomaly Brewing

Sundays @ 5:30pm

2012 Dallas St. Houston, Tx 77003

Wanna try something low impact and still get a workout. Houston Tourism Gymmeets at the new brewery in Eado, True Anamoly Brewing for a 5 milewalk through Eado. Visit 3 mural posing spots and 2 breweries. Starts at True Anamoly and ends at Rodeo Goat for burgers. Always Pay What You Can! Reserve your spot HERE!

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