There may have been changes to the Houston Dynamo line-up but it didn’t prevent the same old mistake from creeping in namely late goals by the opposition.
Owen Coyle gave us the changes we asked for, but someone failed to inform the team that those changes were also expected to bring a different result, and not another loss on late goals allowed. The same old same old, a 2-1 loss after scoring the opening goal of the night.
It was an interesting game to say the least, but if you saw the game, Houston never really dominated and if it had not been for Joe Willis after a Collen Warner miscue, RSL would have been up 1-0 early in the contest.
Looking at the game, here are three things I wonder.
First, why didn’t this team seem to have the early bounce in its step that we saw in the first few games where they tallied 11 goals? It would have been nice to see the team exude the energy we saw in the opening 18 minutes or so in Columbus before they went down a man. Is the season already wearing on them mentally? How do they get that bounce back in their step?
Quit looking to counter over the top and give us a little more energy on offense. Give us some up tempo players who will push the pace of the game. Give us Maidana who has playmaking skills from the top of the point in midfield. Get Barnes, Wenger and Torres together, who have a little get up and go. Waiting till the last 10 minutes to find a spark is not cutting it.
Second, why are the players playing like they are afraid to make a mistake. Even after the go ahead goal, they did not play with an attacking mindset. Subsequently, they gave a team in RSL that has shown a propensity to score any time in a match this season but especially in the second half all the room they needed to operate. RSL has now scored nine second goals after the break and five after the 70th minute of play. Once again it was mistakes in the defensive third turned a 1-0 lead into a loss or at the very least what could have been a draw. Yes it’s cliche to say defense wins championships but in 2006 and 2007 when Houston claimed the MLS Cup they were first and fourth respectively in goals against.
Third, despite the criticism and disappointment of the season, these players are giving it all they had in Rio Tinto. There was no loss of fight in them at Columbus and they didn’t go all the way to Sandy, Utah intent on losing. What can be done to quicken the pace of building chemistry and mental toughness? Quit making excuses. As DaMarcus Beasley said three weeks ago, if it keeps happening, it’s not unlucky. It’s time to stop feeling down and out and get back to being a championship franchise. . There is no doubt that the team has the depth, the experience, and the skill to go toe to toe with any team in Major League Soccer. They need an extra little push and that’s where all of us come in.
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It is without a doubt true that this team needs every fan of the game and the franchise at the match on Saturday night. How about if the stadium was really a standing room only crowd on Saturday night? How about when this team takes the pitch on Saturday night they witness a stadium filled with the most raucous fans soccer has ever seen? How about this team see that their fans have not lost faith? All of that would go a long ways towards turning the tide in favor of the orange.