San Jose and Houston end in a draw

Matias Vera scored his second goal of the season on a thunderous 25-yard strike shortly before halftime to help Houston Dynamo FC earn a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Cristian Espinoza’s free-kick service pressured Dynamo fullback Zarek Valentin into an own-goal deep into first-half stoppage time in a match that finished with a familiar result for both clubs.

The Earthquakes have drawn four matches in a row in what’s now an 11-match winless stretch, and the Dynamo now have six draws during their own eight-game run without a victory.

San Jose had arguably the more dangerous chances after halftime, thinking they won it in second-half stoppage time when Carlos Fierro’s free kick from the left flank nestled inside the far right post.

But assistant referee Cory Richardson judged Andy Rios to be offside and involved in the play, and video assistant referee Hilario Grajeda didn’t deem it worthy of review.

Referee Matthew Thompson later sent off Fierro for retaliation after a foul by Houston forward Maxi Urruti.

Thompson made his debut as an MLS referee after beginning the night as the fourth official, taking over when Ted Unkel departed following a collision with San Jose center back Nathan.

Unkel re-emerged from the stadium corridors after halftime with the bridge of his nose bandaged.