The Houston Dynamo dropped a 3-0 road match at Real salt Lake this past weekend. It proved that for how well they have played, there is still a lot of work to be done. The team has made strides over the course of May but not enough to say they are ready for the bif boys week in and week out.
Over the last few weeks, they have demonstrated resolve and determination. At the same time, they have shown the proclivity to slide backwards into their old habits. One game, they show they are a talented side that can execute as a talented team and the next they are a talented side with the inability to work cohesively.
It's not a problem that hasn't plagued them before. This is an organization that was in disarray when the new ownership and top brass arrived on the scene. It's been years in the making however under head coach Paulo Nagamura light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. It's what makes the two losses in the last 15 days notwithstanding the U.S. Open Cup game that makes this all the more frustrating.
The rollercoaster ride has been ever present and the question is always the same. Where do you find the resolve like the Nashville SC match when they played a man down for more than an hour, and yet found a way to win. Where do you find the consistency, they showed in the L.A. Galaxy road win? It's those performances that delight and confound the fanbase.
From watching the Houston Dynamo from close distance, it is my contention that they are indeed moving in the right direction. I don't like the rotations which seemed to begin back in the Wilmer Cabrera era. A change here or there from game to game, I get but I expect my best XI on the pitch from one match to the next.
This team needs the same guys playing together game in and game out. It's the same starting lineup in the other major sports that produce consistency and positive results. Why is Major League Soccer any different. Injuries aside, play the same XI long enough that they can get that continuity. This eventually solves a lot of problems.
One need only to look at the Houston Dynamo of 2011-2013 that set the longest home unbeaten streak of 36 games across all competition and 30 straight against MLS competition alone. Those teams had very little turnover and penciled in the same starting XI match in and match out.
Fast forward to the last three seasons although we could go back even further and get the same result. Turnover rates high, rotation system and playing the Best XI off of that rather than the Best XI and it is little wonder the team has a lot of work ahead.
If we want to be like the best teams in the league, we have to have continuity and consistency and that begins with the best of the best on the pitch every match, end of story.