The Houston Dynamo's rollercoaster season continued on Saturday night at PNC Stadium as they dropped a 2-1 decision to Minnesota United FC. The loss was a golden opportunity to get back into the playoff race. Here are three observations from that match.
First - The Houston Dynamo spent Saturday night doing everything but put the ball in the back of the net. They held the ball for nearly 75% of the match, connected more passes and more the then doubled the amount of shots of their opponent. It has been a common theme for Houston this season. They get the ball into the attacking third but cannot finish. Head coach Paulo Nagamura described it like this; “It’s a combined problem, the right pass, the right moment to shoot, the decision to shoot from 40 yards, crossing when guys are marked. So, it’s a combination of things. So, it’s not forwards, midfielders. I think it’s a combined issue that we need to fix.”
Second - Mistakes continue to haunt the team. They put in the work at the training session. They understand the opponent and know what they cannot afford to do and then they do it. Earlier in the week, defender Adam Lunvkist said they had to be wary of the MUNFC's transition and not let players in behind the backline. The first Loons goal of the night was because they let Fragapane in behind the backline. The second came on the counter. Frustration and disappointment was evident on the Houston side for failing to execute. Houston had come into this match losing just once in nine home games with Minnesota. They have now dropped consecutive 2-1 decisions to the Loons.
Third - The big guns for Houston have to do better in big games. Houston out shot Minnesota 22-9 yet found the back of the net just once. Sebastian Ferreria, Hector herrera, and Thor Uhlfarrson combined for 13 of the 22 shots. Only three of their 13 shots though were on frame. You could say it wasn't their night especially for Sebas and Uhlfarrson who have scored 11 of the team's 28 goals. With your season on the line, the big guys have to come through in the biggest of moments. Not happening yet for the Houston Dynamo.
It's back to the drawing board this week for the Houston Dynamo. They have a week to find the answers before they go on the road to face off with the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union. Kick-off is set for 6:30pm CT Saturday July 30th.