The Houston Dynamo dropped their latest road match 3-1 in Los Angeles. Although, given their recent road performances over the last few years, the loss wasn't unexpected. There was something unexpected. Read on to learn what is changingi.
Interim head coach Kenny Bundy is only concerned about what one thing. Effort. Is the team doing all it can to get three points whether on the road or at home. In the first three matches since he began running the first team, the team's effort has not been lacking.
“In the first half there was a clear idea of exactly what we were trying to do and I thought they executed it really well," began Bundy. "To be down two goals (to one) at halftime with one shot, that's a tough one. I think you look at that and you go,‘It's going to always be difficult in LA with this environment, with the momentum and how much that shifts, conceding two penalties. But the message at halftime was how well I thought they executed the plan in the first half. There were moments where I really didn't think they had found a solution to break us down. I thought in transition, which is really a strong suit of theirs, we had nullified that, and then I thought in our build up we were creating really good chances."
The players were not trying to sugarcoat anything either. The pride in how they have played in the last three games is evident. The hunger has returned not because they have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs or because their jobs may be on the line but because they have a new sense of teamwork. Forward Corey Baird who has found new life under Bundy explains it this way.
"I think it's just the pride of playing for this club. We don't want to be in the position we're in and we're not going to just lay down and just accept where we are, like, okay, this season's over. We're going to keep fighting to the very end. I think he saw that especially when you're down a man against Sporting. We were down a man for 50, 60 minutes and we fought the entire time, created a lot of dangerous chances actually, and had a chance to win the game.”
Houston is learning that it's not every man for themselves. They are learning that if they play as a team, they can play with anyone in the league. It's not for lack of talent on this team. It's about pride and ownership as a team. This may be the beginning of the change needed for this organization.