FM15: Houston Dynamo in the playoff chase

Orange in the Oven is playing out an alternative reality managing the Houston Dynamo using the in-depth management simulation, Football Manager 15. For the inaugural season of 2014, we are putting up multiple posts so people can get a hang of the game. Thereafter, we will update only 1-2 times per season. The first post can be found here.

With the Dynamo sitting in 5th place (see last post), we hit the playoff stretch without Alex Lopez and DaMarcus Beasley, both out injured, but we have a little win streak going and some wind at our back.

8/23/2014 @Columbus Crew: It doesn’t take long for our win streak to come to an end. While Ricardo Clark puts us up 1-0 after 7 minutes, goals from Bernardo Añor, Wil Trapp and Jairo Arrieta beat us 3-1.

8/29/14 @Sporting Kansas City: Nothing like going to your rival and taking points off of them. Goals by Luis Garrido and Brad Davis put us up 2-0 after 7 minutes. Graham Zusi pulls one back at the 14′ but Will Bruin re-establishes the two goal lead in the 42′. A 2nd half onslaught is difficult to withstand, however, and our nemesis, Dom Dwyer, makes it 3-2 in the 60′. Still, we hold on and it looks like we will get the win when a devastating strike in the 3rd minute of stoppage time by Jacob Peterson makes it 3-3.

9/6/14 Montreal Impact: A thoroughly abject performance sees us lose 1-0 to a Justin Mapp goal in the 35′.

9/13/14 Columbus Crew: More points dropped at home thanks in part to AJ Cochran getting sent off with a red card in the 1′. The boys fight hard, though, and briefly go in front thanks to Boniek Garcia. Federico Higuain and Arrieta put Columbus in front in the 2nd half but Bruin salvages a point with a 53′ goal to make it 2-2.

9/20/14 @Philadelphia Union: We right the ship on the road with a 2-0 win over the Union. Garrido and Boniek with the goals.

9/28/14 Chicago Fire: The win gives us some momentum which we carry over in beating Chicago 3-1. Bruin opens the scoring in the 6′ followed by a red hot Boniek in the 31′. Mike Magee cuts into the lead in the 43′ but Boniek ensures the result with his brace in the 81′. Beasley makes his return to the lineup as a sub.

10/4/14 @ New York Red Bulls: Down 2-0 after 14 minutes thanks to Eric Alexander and Thierry Henry, all looks doomed. A second half onslaught gets us a point, however. Omar Cummings with a rare goal and the game tying goal in the 82′ from Alex Lopez in his first game back from injury.

10/8/14 @Toronto FC: A game with plenty of scoring chances ends 2-2. Jermain Defoe and Gilberto continue to enjoy success against us with Defoe opening the scoring in the 27′ and Gilberto scoring in the 44′, sandwiched around two Dynamo goals. Brad Davis scores in the 43′ and Bruin ensures a point in the 53′.

With three matches to go in the season we are even on points with Columbus for 5th place and have a shot at 4th place with Toronto just a point ahead of us (click on the standings to see a blown up version).

Credit: Football Manager 15

Giles Barnes has been in very poor form, but luckily for us Boniek and Davis have stepped up to fill the void. Davis has been an assist machine while Boniek has scored timely goals.

As in real life, though, it looks like the Dynamo are going to make us sweat over the final two weeks of the season as we scratch and claw to try and make the playoffs.