The Houston Dynamo are still mathematically in the playoff chase for 2022. Unfortunately a loss like the one on Saturday night at home has become the norm for far too long. Both players and coaches are frustrated by it but at the moment there is no change in sight. Three things that were seen on Saturday night by the players and coaches not to mention the fans.
First, Houston again by their own admission conceded too many easy goals. Houston has given up three goals in its last two matches after the hour mark and that has been the difference in the outcomes.
"I think the goals that we conceded were pretty soft goals." began Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura following the match. "Overall, we did enough to be on the front foot, but we gave the ball in the middle of the field. We conceded a PK, the second goal off a set piece, we fall asleep inside the box and leave a guy free. The third goal no one steps to the guy inside the box, so three goals that in my opinion, we should of been much better and I know this team can do it. That’s why it’s frustrating, because we conceded goals that are unacceptable."
The thoughts were reinforced by both defender Daniel Steres and midfielder Coco Carrasquilla.
"Unfortunately, a few bad decisions led to errors and that cost us the game," said Carrasquilla. "I'm tired of giving up these home games, it's been pretty bad recently. We are giving up too many goals, whether they are good or soft goals, that's not going to work in this league," resounded Steres.
Second, the players are appreciative of the fans that have not given up on them or the season despite the disappointing outcomes time and time again. More than 21,000 showed up on saturday night.
"They are coming out and supporting us, no matter where we are at,
and we appreciate it," said Steres." We love it, and I’ll speak for myself and likely everyone in the locker room, we can't do it without them. We really appreciate it and we are sorry we are not giving them the results that they deserve when they come out like that. We need to do better, especially in our stadium."
Third, Houston came out ready to play. It was a strong point to see after the demoralizing loss in Vancouver that has been the story of the season.
"It’s important that we don’t highlight only the negatives and I think yes, the guys came on with the right attitude, the right mind to the game," said Nagamura. "It was really important and I think to
be honest, they started on the front foot. They started on the front foot a little bit different strategy
because of what Montreal brings, but that’s what I told the guys. We need to be better at home and we need to be the dominant team and that’s the key thing to have to be going to go out there and to look for a goal from the start. Again, I think the guys responded well after that difficult result in Vancouver and again it’s on ourselves. It’s on ourselves, the goals that we conceded today I think they are goals that are deniable."
Houston got the first goal of the match, they rebound after going down a goal but in the end this is still a team trying to find itself.
The Dynamo have a week to prepare for Colorado and Minnesota United. Both road games could well determine how soon the players and staff begin looking towards next year.