MLS Regular Season
The most recent power rankings have been released on MLSsoccer.com and with the Dynamo’s loss against Colorado Rapids, Houston remains at No. 9 on the list. Here is what the writers at MLS had to say about the Dynamo’s performance on the field.
Midway through the summer, it looked like the Dynamo were going to end up as one of the league’s top teams, losing just once in 11 games and ripping off a five-game winning streak. Since then, they’re only 3-3-4, have changed formations a couple of times and seen the goals dry up. Terrifyingly, the key may very well be Mac Kandji. When he’s on, the 4-3-3 works. When he’s not, they’re meat.
Tomorrow, the Dynamo will face the Chicago Fire, a team that MLSsoccer.com has dropped from No. 6 in their rankings to No. 8 after the Fire’s 1-1 draw against D.C. United. Below is what the writer’s had to say about the Dynamo’s upcoming opponent:
If the Fire were clinical in front of the net, they’d probably be No. 3 on this list, but the 1-1 draw vs. United highlighted a disturbing trend of wasting chances. It’s seen them post just one win in their last four, and get relegated to the Knockout Round. The good news, though, is that they get to host it, and that they’re finally fully fit.
What do you think? Have the Dynamo lost the drive they had at the beginning of the season or will they accelerate through the playoffs for a shot at the MLS Cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but here are a few that help paint a picture of the Dynamo's 2012 regular season:
|0||Numbers of losses at home during the regular season|
|1||Numbers of players who were suspended for yellow card accumulation|
|1||Numbers of red cards issued to Dynamo players (all-time low)|
|5||Longest winless streak of season (happened twice)|
|5||Penalty kicks conceded|
|6||Number of players who made Dynamo debut in 2012|
|7||Penalty kicks won|
|8||Longest unbeaten streak of season (6/30-8/3)|
|12||Number of shutouts by Tally Hall (regular season record for Dynamo goalkeeper)|
|12||Number of goals by Will Bruin (most by Dynamo player since Brian Ching scored 13 in 2008)|
|12||Number of assists by Brad Davis (fourth consecutive year with 12+ assists)|
|13||Number of different goal scorers for the Dynamo|
|14||Number of regular season wins (one shy of team record)|
|48||Number of goal scored (all-time record)|
|53||Number of total points (all-time record)|
|55.93||Possession percentage (highest in the league)|
|81.53||Passing accuracy (second highest in the league)|
|88||Tally Hall's total saves|
|136||Number of corner kicks taken (fewest in the league)|
|149||Number of corner kicks conceded (sixth fewest in the league)|
|157||Number of shots on goal (eighth most in the league)|
|372||Number of fouls committed (third fewest in the league|
|377||Number of fouls suffered (third fewest in the league)|
At this point in the game, there is little reason to suspect fans do not know what is on the line this weekend.
Currently, the Dynamo sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today, they would travel to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday for a one-game wild-card match with the New York Red Bulls.
The only way for the Dynamo to avoid the wild-card game is if the following happens:
- Dynamo defeat Colorado Rapids
- D.C. United defeats Chicago Fire
- New York ties or loses to Philadelphia Union
If any other scenario happens, the Dynamo will be playing a match Wednesday night. The only question will be whether or not that match will be in the fortress of BBVA Compass Stadium or on the road at Red Bull Arena, Toyota Park or RFK Stadium.
With that said, we encourage Dynamo fans to keep a close watch on the matches Saturday afternoon. The Red Bulls and Union kick off an NBC tripleheader at 12:30 p.m. on NBC's main channel. That will be followed by D.C. United and the Chicago Fire at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. The tripleheader concludes with the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Although that final match has no bearing on the Dynamo's playoff position, it will be interesting to watch Chris Wondolowski in his pursuit of Roy Lassiter's goal scoring record. Wondolowski needs one goal to tie Lassiter and two to take sole possession of the record.
Although much of the focus is on the Eastern Conference, few are talking about Western Conference matches that also could impact Houston. Currently, the Dynamo have 53 points. That is more than two Western Conference playoff teams; the LA Galaxy (51) and Vancouver Whitecaps (42). Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders sit on 56 points.
Now why is this important to the Dynamo? When two teams are left standing in the MLS Cup final, the team that hosts is the one that had more points in the regular season. The Dynamo could potentially have more regular season points than two Western Conference teams, and as many points as two others.
RSL hosts Vancouver Saturday night and LA hosts Seattle Sunday night. Although we are a month away from it mattering, those matches could come into play if the Dynamo make it to the MLS Cup final and host any of those four teams.
Look back on a memorable first year at BBVA Compass Stadium. Here's to a few more games in 2012...
Lost in Saturday's playoff clinching win over the Philadelphia Union was the fact that the 2012 Houston Dynamo set a team record for points (53) in a season. The win also moved the Dynamo to within one of tying the team record for wins in a season (15), set by the 2007 MLS Cup winning squad.
Interestingly enough, the Dynamo squad with the second lowest regular season point total (2006), was one of two Dynamo teams to win MLS Cup. I guess that lends credence to the saying that it doesn't matter how you get into the playoffs, as long as you get in.
*Won MLS Cup
For our Spanish-speaking fans, Calen Carr talk about the passion and enthusiasm of Houston Dynamo fans in the latest El Movimiento video, presented by Degree for Men.
In his weekly Instant Replay video series, Simon Borg takes a closer look at the controversial calls from the past weekend's games. In the video below, he looks at two calls that were made in the final seconds of Saturday's Dynamo-Impact match.
In the final part of a 3-part 'Between the Lines' Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle looks at lateral and vertical build-ups, one resulting in a Brad Davis score, the other in a Freddy Adu goal.