Lots to like in 4-0 Houston Dynamo win

The Houston Dynamo in their first official outing since Wade Barrett was named the interim head coach resulted in a 4-0 U.S.Open Cup fourth round win over San Antonio FC on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Since the departure of Owen Coyle three weeks ago to the day this has been a different Dynamo side.  Focused, poised and workmanlike in their last three matches two of them resulting in road draws and now an Open Cup victory.  This is more like the team that president Chris Canetti and the organization envisioned when the MLS season kicked off 14 games ago.

Here are some takeaways from this game

  • Interim head coach Wade Barrett is hoarse and that means we have a coach who is not just going to sit idly by and watch a game slip away on the pitch or in the locker room.

“I’ve been hoarse since the Vancouver game,” said Barrett in his post game press conference following the win. ‘This might be how you hear me the rest of the season.”

  • The team was focused, poised and workmanlike throughout the majority of the match.

“We wanted to make sure we came out with the right attitude, the right approach,” continued Barrett.  “We paid close attention to all the details we talked about during the week.  We put ourselves in a good spot to win.”

  • The Dynamo scored off of two set pieces for the first time in a long time.  In the fourth minute of first half stoppage time, David Rocha flicked a header off a DaMarcus Beasley service  towards the far post where Alex put away his second goal of 2016.  The service from the veteran defender came off a short corner from Boniek Garcia.  The second set piece came as Rocha sent a ball into the box where Raul Rodriguez’ diving header sailed past a stunned San Antonio keeper in the 60th minute.  The assists were the first two for the off season acquisition from Spain.
  • The youngsters Mauro Manotas and Leonel Miranda found the back of the net as well.  Fro the Columbian forward, his goal in the 39th minute got Houston off and running.  It was his second of the season.

“”Mauro doesn’t need many chances to put a goal in the back of the net,” exuded Barrett as he talked about the 20 year old forward. “He does it everyday in training. He’s a real asset for us going forward.”

Miranda closed out the scoring in the 66th minute with an open goal as Alex delivered a picture perfect pass to the young Argentine midfielder whose finish gave Houston a 4-0 lead. It was the largest margin of victory for Houston in Open Cup play since they beat the Charleston Battery by the same count in 2009.  It was the most goals by the Dynamo since March 12, 2016 when they scored a 5-0 win over FC Dallas.

  • Houston came out with a strong line-up featuring a good mixture of regulars and those that haven’t received a lot of minutes this season. The backline displayed a strength and tenacity that fans have been yearning to see.  It was nice to see midfielder Zach Steinberger get a full match and show why Houston invested in him last season and served notice if any midfielder slips up or gets injured he is ready to go.

Houston’s first win under Barrett keeps him perfect through three games against all competitions at 1-0-2. The victory sends the Dynamo to the fifth round for the fourth time in club history. The team returns to MLS play on Saturday night against Eastern Conference foe DC United (4-6-4).  It was one of the reasons Barrett fielded the starting eleven he did and the way he substituted or not through the match.

“Some of the guys playing tonight are going to be playing on Saturday,” explained Barrett. “We still have a good portion of players who are coming into the game fresh.  I thought it was really important tonight that we put out a really strong team,a team that was going to win the game but still has a measure of freshness for Saturday night.”

A draw at 11 AM CDT will determine Houston’s next Cup opponent in a match to be played on June 29, 2016.