Net Impact: Tally Hall and Troy Perkins Duke it Out in Houston
On May 15th under the bright lights of BBVA Compass Stadium there was a battle of epic proportions. The Houston Dynamo took on the Portland Timbers in the first night time match at the new stadium. While the other twenty men on the pitch put in amazing performances, there were two who really shone that night. Those two men were Tally Hall and Troy Perkins. I have always had a soft spot for keepers. Scoring goals is great, but to me stopping those chances is even more impressive. Ultimately that man in the net is the deciding factor. It doesn’t matter how well (or how poorly) the rest of the team is playing, in the end it all comes down to the keeper. That is his box and what he does in it can make or break a game.
That said, I do not want to downplay the impact of the other players. There was some particularly beautiful (in every sense of the word) work by Michael Chabala in the second half, and Nathan Sturgis was on fire for the Dynamo. Despite that, this game was all about the keepers. Tally Hall and Troy Perkins, in my opinion, are a couple of the most hardworking keepers in the league and their performances on Tuesday proved that.
Tally Hall is relatively new to the Dynamo’s starting line up, and had an amazing year in his first season as starter in 2011. In the 2012 season Tally Hall has posted four shut outs, including a shut out on May 12th against D.C. United, and has made 22 spectacular saves allowing only 9 goals to get past him. In Houston he is known as Tally ‘the Wall’ Hall, and has quickly become fan favorite.
Troy Perkins came to the Timbers when they joined the league for the 2011 season with vast experience internationally and in Major League Soccer. Though he was injured during the Timbers inaugural season, he posted the very first ever league shut out for the Rose City against Real Salt Lake. In April Perkins took a boot to the face in a controversial scuffle with Montreal’s Nyassi. He sustained a laceration and was forced to leave the game. Despite being fitted with a protective mask for the Columbus and Houston games, Perkins has come up huge for Portland and was named their Man of the Match in both games.
On May 15th both Hall and Perkins were stars on the pitch and despite a 0-0 score line the game was far from boring. Both the Dynamo and the Timbers had lots of shots on goal, and the keepers were always there with an answer. Hall started early with an excellent save in the 11th minute on a long range strike from former Dynamo Lovel Palmer. Perkins best save of the night came in the 66th minute when Calen Carr played an excellent ball through to Camargo inside the box. The Dynamo ultimately had a whopping 18 attempts on goal, while the Timbers had 9. Despite all of the chances the keepers were just too strong at both ends of the pitch and the game ended in a scoreless draw.
In all of the excitement surrounding goals scored, sometimes the shots that are saved get lost. You might be surprised what you notice if you keep an eye on the keepers.