Head coach Dominic Kinnear gives you his thoughts on the San Jose Earthquakes in this week's X's and O's.
The Dynamo Girls perform to "Turn Up the Music" at halftime of the Vancouver Whitecaps match on March 23
Take a look behind the scenes from Saturday's match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Things got a little hairy in the tunnel this week with a possible arachnid threat. Watch the video to get more!
Friday's 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls has been called one of the Dynamo's best performances of the season, and it shows in this week's Castrol Top 20 rankings. Four Dynamo players - Jermaine Taylor, Tally Hall, Andre Hainault, Boniek Garcia - were including in the list this week.
Taylor was rated the highest out of the men in orange at No. 3, while Hall came in at No. 12, Hainault ranked at No. 16 and Garcia rounded it out at No. 17. Taylor, Hall and Hainault stopped one of the better attacking forces in the league last weekend while posting the defense's third straight shutout. Boniek continued his impressive form in the midfield since coming to MLS, outshining fellow Designated Players Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill under the lights of BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Castrol Index tracks every move on the field and assesses whether it has a positive or negative impact on a team's ability to score or concede a goal. Each week, Castrol ranks the 20 best performances of the previous fixtures.
The opponents keep going down, and the Dynamo keep going up in the Power Rankings. The New York Red Bulls were the latest victims after the 2-0 dismantling at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night, with goals from Jermaine Taylor and the red-hot Calen Carr. They'll get another crack at it this Friday at Red Bull Arena, but for now it's a five-game winning streak and eight games unbeaten for the Dynamo as they sit even with Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Eastern Conference with 40 points.
For all of that, MLSsoccer.com has nudged the Orange up a spot to No. 2, although they admitted it was a very close call with San Jose for the top spot in the Power Rankings. Here's what they had to say:
Houston are playing the league's best soccer right now, and they absolutely dismantled New York last Friday. No team in MLS history has adapted to the 4-3-3 as quickly as Dominic Kinnear's men – it's like they've been playing it for years.
Elsewhere around the web, both Jeffrey Carlisle at ESPN.com and the Soccer By Ives gang have vaulted the Dynamo to the No. 1 spot in their rankings, while Avi Creditor of SI.com still has them at No. 2.
What do you think? Do the Dynamo deserve the top spot, or do they need another result to get past the Earthquakes? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
And don't forget to tune in to NBC Sports Network this Friday at 7 p.m. CT to watch your first-place Dynamo go up against the Red Bulls one more time.
The good times keep on rolling, and so do the wins.
Following Saturday afternoon's 2-0 win over Toronto FC, the Dynamo have now won four in a row and are unbeaten in their last seven games. The surge has taken the red-hot Orange into second place in the Eastern Conference standings, accompanied by a steady rise in the power rankings around the web. In MLSsoccer.com's poll, Houston is up one spot to No. 3 with this to say about the team:
Can cap a surge to the top spot in the East with a home-and-home vs. first-place New York. It starts at BBVA on Friday night with the Red Bulls making the long trip following a Tuesday night match vs. Tottenham. RBNY also have this going against them: Since Boniek García joined Houston, the Dynamo are mowing opponents down, going 5-0-2, and winning their last four.
Meanwhile, the crew at SoccerByIves.com chose the Dynamo as their MLS Team of the Month for July.
What do you think about the Dynamo's climb to the top? Can they sustain it? Make sure to come out to BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday to watch them take on current Eastern Conference leaders New York Red Bulls. A win under the Friday night lights could see them go even higher.
Saturday was a good day for Dynamo forward Mac Kandji, as he netted two goals against the visiting Montreal Impact. His second goal, a half-field run that he finished with a thunderous shot past Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to cap Houston's 3-0 victory, is now up for MLS Goal of the Week. Let's extend the glory for Kandji and vote for his stellar goal! Voting is open now, and runs until Thursday night.
Fans coming to Saturday's match against the Montreal Impact from the west side of town should be prepared to take alternate routes to BBVA Compass Stadium. Repairs to the Houston Avenue bridge will close down I-10 eastbound from Studemont to I-45 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. For more information on the closures and detours to take on Saturday, click here.
No goals scored this week, but none allowed by the Dynamo as they grabbed a pair of 0-0 draws. On Tuesday, the Dynamo welcomed the Chicago Fire into town for their second meeting of the season. Their previous encounter was cut short due to lightning and ended in a 1-1 draw. The second time around didn't provide any separation between the two clubs. By all accounts, Houston was much more likely to grab a goal and the win, but Chicago was stout defensively and didn't allow any openings. Saturday's matchup was another tough one, as the Dynamo traveled to Sporting Kansas City. It was a matchup of similar systems, and it was reflected in the result. Both squads had their chances: Boniek Garcia was bested by Jimmy Nielsen in a one-on-one situation in the 15th minute, and Jacob Peterson hit the post for Kansas City in the 33rd minute. That was as close as anyone would get, however, as both Eastern Conference teams left with a point.
The two points gained in the ties brings Houston to 25 points and holding steady in 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings, three points behind 4th place Chicago and eight behind co-leaders Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United. In the power rankings world, the MLSsoccer.com contingent kept the Orange in the No. 9 position, saying this about the recent formation change and results:
Watching the Dynamo in a 4-3-3 is kind of like watching a bulldozer in the Indy 500. Whether or not the lineup makes the best use of their attacking parts, though, there’s no question that the defense has suddenly looked solid again. That’s a trade-off Dominic Kinnear’s probably happy to make.
We'll see if the switch is a long-term solution in the coming week, when both of the Eastern Conference leaders come to BBVA Compass Stadium, as well as Montreal next Saturday.
What do you think? Is No. 9 about right for the Dynamo at this point? Where do you think the Dynamo can end up with good results against D.C. and SKC? Share your thoughts in the comments below!