Houston Dynamo; important stretch of games on the way

Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Houston Dynamo FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Houston Dynamo FC / Bob Levey/GettyImages

The Houston Dynamo seek their second consecutive win of the season and as many in a row when they host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night March 19th at PNC Stadium. This five game stretch with four at home will determine the fate of their season. Houston has an early opportunity to make a  statement to the rest of the Western Conference and Major League Soccer in general. Although many will throw water on the idea, this could be a huge stand for the home side trying to establish some identity and build momentum with the coming of Hector Herrera in the next few months. Having said that here are three things that will have to change.

More offense please

The team found a way to pick two goals in Saturdays win but it took three games to get there. Darwin Quintero, as we know, is as streaky of a goal scorer as they come. In order for Houston to become a threat offensively guys like Corey Baird, Fafa and Sebastian are going to have to start finding the back of the net. Over the next five game stretch beginning with Colorado, the Dynamo will be facing some of the MLS’ best teams on both sides of the ball. It will be a great test for head coach Paulo Nagamura’s team. If they can come  out the other side of this stretch with a 3-1-1 mark and at least six goals, they will be rolling into May when they meet both DC United and Nashville SC but they won’t do it with Quintero alone.

Wing play dictates offense

Fafa and Tyler Pasher will be the key here. Both are fast, and athletic in space. There are few defenders in the league that can keep pace with Fafa when he changes direction. His footwork and movement create a lot of opportunities. Fans have seen it in the early going and some would wish that he would shoot a little more from distance instead of looking to get into the congested 18 yard box first. Fafa is a proven scorer and facilitator but right now Houston needs every weapon looking to ripple the back of the net. Pasher for his part will have to rpvode the opposite look on the inside. He has proven adept at getting the endline and pushing the ball back to the center of the box. Either way, they will dictate the attack. Look to moving forward and let the mids back up the play rather than build the play.

Counter, counter and counter some more

The Houston Dynamo cannot continue to play games in the defensive third even when they have the lead. This Colorado team gave Houston all it could handle in the preseason and were it not for “Coco” Carrasquilla it would have ended badly for the the team in Orange. This time Houston has to come out hungry and keep the energy level on full throttle. They need to be a throwback to yesteryear when the Hhouston Dynamo outran and outworked teams to death especially at home. This means every time the backline but maybe more importantly Zeca pushed up and gets into the attacking flow. It will take a team bent on beating the Rapids in every facet of the game.