For years now or at least for however long the Houston Dynamo have been on the short end of a season, they have almost always faced one major problem. It's something correctable but no far no coach since Dominic Kinnear left has been able to find the answer. The problem; Houston comes out flat almost every game.
There is no rhyme or reason but when you go back to the postgame press conferences, one common theme is a lack of urgency. This past week coming out of the FIFA break was no different. Following the 2-1 road loss, Dynamo head coach had this say.
"Very poor with the ball in the first half. We let Orlando take control of the game, mostly because coming out of the back our play was poor.
At half time he had to read the riot act again. "We we need to play with more urgency. We need to be the team that throws the first punch, not waited to be punched. That was the message, we need to play with more purpose and have urgency. Our guys understood that in the half and came back to play with a much better mentality."
The coach knows it . The players know it and yet nothing changes. Maybe there needs to be a shake-up of the starting XI. It appears that guys like Tyler Pasher get the message but one player does not make a difference on his own.
This is a systemic problem for the Houston Dynamo club. They don't play a full 90. Either they come out flat to begin the match or lose focus late in a match ending up on the wrong end of the score.
Is there a way to fix the problem. The answer is yes. Players need to understand that if they can't execute the game plan, they won't be playing. It doesn't matter if they are making a million plus in salary or $65,000. If players know there are no real threats or repercussions like losing the starting position, then nothing changes. It really is as simple as that. As a fan, I would much rather lose a match knowing that every player left it all on the field then knowing that some didn't give their all for the entire match.
When you look around the stadium and see if empty seat, it parlays directly to the product on the pitch. The Houston Dynamo have spent money and brought in talented players however that is not enough. The most well paid player must play his heart out every game just as the young rookie does. This is leadership. It starts with the players who designated the best Starting XI.
You won't find a winner until every player knows there is a consequence for poor performance. Urgency comes when they know their job is online.