Soccer fans are a fickle lot. Houston is no different. They yearn for a winner game in and game out. Two consecutive losses for the Houston Dash and the honeymoon that interim head coach Sarah Lowdon enjoyed is over. Fans on Twitter were questioning whether she was the right choice to lead the team to begin with after the first road loss of the season for the Dash..
Some years ago, I remember a conversation I had with former Dynamo president Chris Canetti about the hiring of Wilmer Cabrera as the head coach instead of former Dynamo player Wade Barrett. In that conversation, I relayed to him that I would have kept Barrett but that I had to trust that the he and his people knew more then I did and had done the proper vetting to find the right coach. The same holds true here for Lowdon.
Lowdon was assigned the interim head coaching duties because throughout her tenure with Houston Dash, she displayed the qualities of a successful leader. She had the confidence of the team and the organization. This has not wavered. Neither should ours.
For those fans on Twitter who are saying her light is dimming and the team made the wrong choice to begin with, your frustration over two consecutive losses is misplaced.
Lowdon took over a team two days before the start of the season and held it together in the franchise's biggest moment of chaos and adversity. She did nothing more than lead the team to their best start in club history and until last night an unbeaten road season. Her team was the best defensively in the league up until the Portland match and is still one of the strongest offensively. This brings us to the real crux of the problem; the backups.
The Houston Dash have always been a poor team during the international break. It has been a thorn in the side since their inception. This year the organization has made a more concerted effort to improve that area of the team. Unfortunately, there is still work to be done.
Lowdon has quality players. Of that, there is no doubt. As the new starting XI begins to gel, the team will get better. Remember Salmon has been here all of two weeks. Ashley, Anderson, and Gareis just to name a couple have received very few minutes until now. Acclimating to each other doesn't come over night. It comes with game experience. As the interim, Lowdon has shown she can coach, her staff can implement the adjustments and the team finds a positive result 72 percent of the time.
Unlike the Portland match, Friday night's loss was more about the odds against them. Orlando had not won since May 18th. They had not won at home all season. Houston had not lost on the road in the 2022. Add those to the fact that Houston was basically missing five starters and you have the perfect storm brewing for a loss.
The coach is always the easiest to blame and to fire but that doesn't mean it's the right move or reason. Keep in mind that if the New York Giants football team had given up on Bill Parcells they would have missed out on one of the best coaches in NFL history. The same holds true for the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
If you think Lowdon's light is dimming after 11 matches, what will you say after Juan Carlos Amoros first 11 matches if they are 4-3-4 again? Although ultimately everything is about results, at this moment it is about performance. How is the team playing? How are they rebounding and responding to adversity? Are they gritty and stubborn or do they just roll over? This is the true judgement of a coach and their coaching staff. Lowdon is just fine.