Houston struggles to launch against Chicago
The Houston Dynamo may have lost more than a game to the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. On a wet and windy night where the Dynamo played poorly and posted loss 2-0 to the Fire, a knee injury to midfielder Geoff Cameron and a red card to Danny Cruz will continue to deplete an already injury-plagued Houston attack.
“It’s really disappointing,” said forward Dominic Oduro. “We were expecting a hard game against a good team, but unfortunately we didn’t really compete very well, the way we wanted to.”
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In the first half, the Dynamo attack failed to create but a few quality chances on goal, as the team struggled to find talismanic midfielder Brad Davis. Most of the traffic was one-way towards the Dynamo goal as the midfield struggled in possession.
Only Chicago’s lack of finishing prevented the game from getting out of hand early. While the defense held through most of the first half, the team conceded a deflating goal in injury time in the first half.
Defender Tim Ward ripped a shot from about twenty five yards out forcing Dynamo ‘keeper Pat Onstad to make a nice save. But Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic beat defender Andrew Hainault -- who was ball-watching -- to the rebound to give the Fire a 1-0 halftime lead.
“It was a little unfortunate, especially to give up a goal right before half time,” said midfielder Corey Ashe. “Pretty frustrating. [We] didn’t come out today playing like we’re capable of playing. We really didn’t [look like our normal selves]."
Halftime allowed Houston coach Dominic Kinnear to make some adjustments to his team after a first half in which they were clearly out of sync. The team came out firing in the second half and had multiple chances to pull the score even as Brian Mullan, Hainault and Dominic Oduro each had chances to pull the score level.
Defender Mike Chabala had done a good job all match containing Patrick Nyarko, but in the 66th minute, Nyarko slipped by Chabala and found midfielder Peter Lowry in front of goal. Lovel Palmer failed to track Lowry’s run in the box on the play and the Fire all but ended the game on Lowry’s finish for a 2-0 lead.
Cameron’s injury, along with those to Brian Ching, Cam Weaver and Richard Mulrooney leave Houston extremely thin with options in attack. Substitute Adrian Serioux never looked comfortable in central midfield against the Fire and his partnership with Palmer might not bring enough offense to the table.
Substitute Cruz played only 11 minutes before earning two yellow cards and Luis Ángel Landín again failed to provide a spark to the Dynamo attack off the bench.
Dwain Capodice covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org