How real are the Houston Dynamo playoff chances ?
By Louis Roesch
The Houston Dynamo continue to say that as long as they are not mathematically eliminated they will continue to fight for a playoff berth. Realistically speaking, is there really a chance the Houston Dynamo find playoff magic in 2022?
The Houston Dynamo have 10 games remaining and according to winger Fafa Picault that's 30 points still to be played for this season. Currently, Houston has 25 points so if they won out then they would walk away with 55 points which might get them into the playoffs. Portland, who holds down the final spot at the moment has 33 points with nine games to play has to go 6-4 at the very worst for Houston to pass them. However between Portland and Houston also stand four other teams who must falter in a big way. With 10 games remaining, Houston plays each of the four ahead of them one time each so they need others to chip in and help while they run off a 10 game win streak. Probably not happening.
Next, Houston is having trouble scoring and keeping the other teams from scoring. Over the last eight seasons not including the pandemic year, Houston has been on the negative side of goal differentials six times. In 2017 when they made the playoffs, they were a plus 10 in goal differential and even in 2018. This season they are currently at minus 10. In 2017 and 108, they scored 115 goals. The two seasons since has seen them score 85. Those 30 missing goals is a big reason why they have not and won't make the playoffs this year. At the moment, Houston has rippled the net 29 times in 25 matches. If that average (1.15 goals per game) for the next ten, they will have 40 goals. That's not getting you to the playoffs because your defense is surrendering 1.56 per game meaning another 15 goals for the opposition. Six of Houston's remaining matches have opponent's whose goals per game average is 1.5 or greater.
Finally, without help Houston realistically has no chance. The average cut line for the final playoff spot over the last seven years is 48. The Dynamo are currently at 25. At the bare minimum, they would need 23 of 30 points. The have needed 24 games to get to 25 points so 23 in their next 10 games is doable but not at all likely. The best Houston can hope for is not to finish last. Only San Jose and Sporting Kansas City stand between them and that dubious distinction and that is by the slimmest of margins; two points.
The good news out of all of this is that Houston has the talent both on the parent club and the Dynamo 2 team. Let the team develop its chemistry and let the talent come together. The playoffs are not happening in 2022 but with what they have the playoffs should be a consistently reality by 2024.