Houston not dominant, but content with win

Landin injury mars a good performance by Dynamo


Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo did what was necessary
and not much more as they defeated Miami FC 1-0 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night.

“Mission accomplished. We are in the quarterfinals,” said head coach Dominic
Kinnear. “We were hoping for a more dominant performance, but they sat back and
made it hard, and the wet field made it difficult to play over the top, but I am

“Credit to our guys,” said defender Eddie Robinson. “These
are hard games to play. You have teams that, for the most part, you’ve never
seen before. [And we had] a lot of guys that haven’t played a lot of first-team
minutes this year.”

The only negative on the night would be the knee injury suffered by forward
Luis Angel Landin in the 39th minute. Landín, who may have twisted his knee, was
replaced by Mike Chabala in the first half.

“Tomorrow, they are going to run some tests so we will see what happens, but
I hope it’s nothing serious,” said Landín. “I felt a twist, that’s why I didn’t
want to continue. I hope and I expect that it’s nothing serious.”

With Landín playing out of position at attacking midfield in the first half,
the team was not very fluid in offense. Lovel Palmer’s insertion
into the attacking midfield spot after halftime provided a spark, and the Dynamo's
ball movement improved dramatically. It was no surprise to see him score the
eventual game-winner in the 81st minute.

“[I] would like to see more goals, but [I'm] happy with the win,” said
Kinnear. “I don't know if we thought in the first half it was going to be too
easy or we were not hungry enough, but I thought we were much better in the
second half.”

Defensively, the Dynamo played well for both halves despite playing a
seldom-used three-man backline. Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson, and Ryan
or Mike Chabala, who each played a half, did a good job limiting
the Miami FC attack. While Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall made seven saves on
the night, none of the saves were too threatening.

“We couldn’t find much of [an offensive] rhythm throughout the game, but the
three defenders locked it down and made it pretty easy for me,” said Hall. “All
my saves were off pace shots that they didn’t have a lot of time on, so I have
to hand it to [the defenders], as I didn’t see anything that was too crazy.”

While it was not the most beautiful of games, Houston advances to play Chivas USA, which defeated the Austin Aztex 1-0. It will be the third match of the season between the two teams, with the fourth coming July 18 in SuperLiga. For a team
that has been struggling in MLS play as of late, tonight’s victory can be a
positive step in the right direction.

“This was always going to be tough, as [Miami] wants to prove that they can
play here,” Palmer said. “We have to gain confidence from these games -- since
we are not winning games in the MLS -- to go into games like Thursday’s (against
Toronto FC) and
be confident and know that we can come out victorious.”