Disappointing doesn't begin to describe the feeling at PNC Stadium following the Houston Dynamo's 2-1 decision to Charlotte FC. Charlotte had been winless on the road and Houston was looking to continue its momentum gained from strong performances against Chicago and Portland. The loss tempered the excitement of Hector Herrera's introduction to the 19,242 in attendance.
In the postgame press conference, it appeared the frustration and inconsistent performance had finally gotten to Dynamo Head coach Paulo Nagamura. His description of the loss held no sugar coating.
"We created opportunities, didn’t finish the chances that we had. I think after that the team dropped immensely—the performance. A lot of giveaways, a lot of lost balls, a lot of unforced errors that lead to a lot of shallow chances. They were really good in transition, Charlotte FC, but especially because we gave the ball to them too much. We lost too many easy balls by forcing plays when we should have kept it and that took our momentum away from the game. In the second half, we tried to change a couple of things, be a little bit more mobile up front, but again I think it was a bad day for us today. Too many giveaways, too many lost balls. That is what really, really effected our game.”
Usually Nagamura can find something to praise and lift up as a sign to build on. Not so this time. When he uses the words "that worries me," it should be cause for alarm.
“Positives—not many to be honest with you. I think one of the things that we have been praising that we need to be better is consistency and when you
play two games like you play against Chicago and Portland, that in my opinion was two good games, even though we didn’t get a result in Portland and you come today with that kind of performance – that worries me. That’s something that we need to work on, our consistency and especially playing at home. I have been talking and I been saying this many times; we need to be more dominant. In the game today, one thing that we take away is that our giveaways will affect our game especially at home and I think today it did big time.”
Team captain Tim Parker didn't mince words either.
“It was disappointing. When teams come down to Houston, especially with the crowd we had tonight and the fans which we haven’t seen in a while - it is disappointing to obviously not get the three points, but also not play as well as we thought we were going to. We talked about urgency in the locker room. We lacked it in certain areas on the field. Maybe we thought they would get more tired than we thought, I don’t know what it was exactly. The urgency wasn’t there from the beginning and that showed.”
Houston will be back on the training pitch come Tuesday morning and Hector Herrera will be there too. Maybe that combination will make a difference come Saturday night when Houston hosts in-state rival FC Dallas.