MLS Regular Season
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.
The Houston Dynamo are hitting their stride and it appears the national media is starting to take note. Following Houston's nine-point week, the Dynamo moved up five spots to No. 4 in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings. Houston is coming off a week in which it won three games by a 9-1 margin, and received goals from seven different players. MLSsoccer.com had this to say about the Dynamo:
So much for feeling uninspired. The Dynamo just handed in a nine-point week, handling SKC fairly comfortably before getting their pound of flesh (and then some) from outmanned Montreal. The switch to the 4-3-3 has come faster than expected.
Dynamo fans were not happy with the MLS rankings last week. What do you all say this week? Is the No. 4 spot fair this week? Let us know in the comments below!
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.
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear joined Simon Borg, Nick Firchau and the gang for an interview on MLS ExtraTime Radio on Monday. Kinnear spoke about Sunday's win over D.C. United, the current situation with Geoff Cameron and the influx of Scottish players to MLS.
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!
With a boyish smile, Boniek Garcia took the field this morning for the first time as a member of the Houston Dynamo. Head coach Dominic Kinnear used Boniek in an outside mid position, but said after training that he would not be afraid to move the Dynamo DP elsewhere if the need arose.
It was a tough week for the Dynamo against Canadian opposition, as they were only able to get one point against Toronto F.C. and the Montreal Impact. The team fought hard to come back from a 3-1 deficit against Toronto to earn a 3-3 draw. Bobby Boswell got his first goal of the season off a patented Brad Davis corner kick, and Will Bruin scored two goals (including the game-winning header in the 90th minute) to even the score. Davis and Bruin struck again against Montreal, with the Dancing Bear scoring his third goal of the week and ninth of season and Davis swerving home a free kick past Donovan Ricketts. Their goals weren't enough, however, as the Dynamo fell 4-2.
The draw and loss brings the Orange to an even 5-5-5 on the year, and fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. In response to the results, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped the Dynamo one spot in their power rankings, from No. 8 to No. 9. They had this to say:
Another team we may be giving too much respect to, but it's hard to avoid it when you look at what this group is capable of. We all remember what this defense looked like at the end of 2011, and there's no reason to think they won't get back there in 2012.
It's obvious that the defense hasn't looked its best this week, but as the writers say, there is plenty of talent on the back line. Add in the phenomenonal year that Will Bruin is having and the addition of Oscar Boniek Garcia, and the Dynamo look poised to make another playoff run.
Elsewhere in the power rankings world, Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN.com also ranks the Dynamo ninth, the Soccer By Ives crew had them at No. 10 and Steve Davis at ProSoccerTalk.com still likes the men in orange at No. 7.
What do you think? Who can the Dynamo leapfrog this week? Who's your top five? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
MLSsoccer.com continues its Power 5 series with a look at five records that are considered breakable, as well as five that will not be broken any time soon. No. 4 on the breakable list is career minutes played, a record held by none other than Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston. Ralston is described by his peers as an "Iron Man" and is credited not only for his longevity, but for his ability to maintain a high level throughout his career. Watch the video below to see what else the writers at MLSsoccer.com have to say about the Dynamo Assistant Coach and who they think could break his record.
In the latest episode of Anatomy of a Goal, MLSsoccer.com editor-in-chief Greg Lalas breaks down Luiz Camargo's strike against the New England Revolution. Lalas commends Camargo's willingnes to move without the ball, as well as Ching's intelligence to show for his teammate and draw defenders away from the open space. Watch the video below to see what else Lalas had to say.