By Alex Del Barrio

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Dynamo had won only one match in their previous eight outings and without stars Alberth Ellis and Romell Quioto the Dynamo would need to increase their aggressiveness early in Thursday’s home match with the Montreal Impact.

The aggressiveness was there for the Dynamo from the start as they scored two first half goals, including Andrew Wenger’s header in the opening minute en route to a 3-1 victory over Montreal at BBVA Compass Stadium ahead of the international play break.

Wenger, who had not scored all season, found the net with his header after a strong cross just in front of the Montreal goal line to give the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the first minute.

“Andrew is becoming stronger every time, it’s his opportunity and he’s taking advantage of that opportunity,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “He is proving why he has been patient, but also, he is giving us results right now. He was positive today.”

The Dynamo added to their lead with a goal from Alex who took a pass from Mauro Manotas in space and dribbled his way to the left of the arc and fired it past Montreal keeper Evan Bush in the 23rd minute to put Houston up 2-0.

Alex, who had been benched the last two matches, partially due to his play and partially due to overwork and fatigue was thrilled to get a tally in his first start in two weeks.

“I came back and we are able to get the three points. That is very important for me,” Alex said. “I was frustrated because after being with the team for two years, I was being benched. I had given seven assists and one goal, but I was still being benched. I was frustrated and on a downward spiral, but I am able to score and that makes me happy.”

The Dynamo led 2-0 at the half and seemed to be in preservation mode throughout the early part of the second half.

Memo Rodriguez, who has played sparingly after being called up to the big club in 2017 after a strong season with the USL RGV FC Toros in 2016, picked up his first MLS goal in the 67th minute as he overlapped Manotas who fed him at the top of the box for a laser that beat Bush to the low end of the right post for a 3-0 lead.

Rodriguez, a homegrown product from Wharton, Texas struggled to react after netting one in MLS play for the first time.

“I was speechless, I didn’t know what to do, where to go, but you know, I went to my teammates. They always help me out, on and off the field.”

The Dynamo surrendered a goal in the 89th minute to Michael Salazar which put an end to the Tyler Deric clean sheet.

The victory gives the Dynamo 28 points, good enough for sole possession of third place behind FC Dallas and Sporting KC who both have a three-point lead with 31.

The Dynamo will have a two week break before returning to action on July 19th as they travel to Minnesota for the first time.

Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm  Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio