World Cup Fan Blogs: Week 2

Dynamo fans report back on the action in South Africa

WC_0618_Horne_USA_Slovenia_Ellis_Park

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy Margeaux Horne

June 27

Ed Camara - Soccer 4 All

We're at Soccer City stadium, just getting ready for our last
game. Last night we managed to get tickets last minute to the USA-Ghana
game, but too many missed chances cost us the game. That was the
second time in four years that we have seen the U.S. bow out at the feet
of Ghana. Looking forward to Brazil in four years, where we will hopefully
not draw Ghana. Si se puede esta noche?

June 25

Cece Camara - Soccer 4 All

While checking out the penguins in Boulders
on the way to the Cape of Good Hope, guess who we ran in to?
Another "tourist" wearing Seattle
Sounders apparrel. We were about to give him a hard time, due to our Dynamo
loyalties, when we realized it was none other than Drew Carey. So we chatted
about our game and travel experiences for a bit.

Tonight brought even more unexpected excitement, as
we were able to secure tickets to the USA-Ghana match tomorrow. We will be
headed back to Johannesburg and then Rustenburg in the morning. More to come
tomorrow!!
Go USA!!!! 

June 23

Forward pool still a place of mystery for USMNT

 

HARTFORD, Conn. – The US National Team’s overflowing crop of forwards has been arguably the leading story for Bob Bradley’s crew since the first whistle in last week’s training camp.

And just who stays and who goes home among the group still earns top billing heading into the team’s World Cup warm-up against the Czech Republic here on Tuesday, when most of Bradley’s decisions will likely be made.

Bradley stuck to the script Monday and shed little light on what his lineup will look like against the Czechs, leaving most of those players on the bubble in the dark.

“I have no idea what will happen,” forward Herculez Gomez said after the team’s workout session Monday afternoon. “Honestly, they haven’t given us any indication yet about who’s going to play. I think Bob’s been analyzing players since the minute we walked into the hotel in New Jersey, so I don’t know if tomorrow will be the deciding factor.”

“It will be big,” Gomez added, “but I don’t think it’s all he’s going on.”

Gomez appears to be locked in a three-way battle for one spot with LA Galaxy star Edson Buddle and Real Salt Lake speedster Robbie Findley, but nothing is certain in Bradley’s camp.

“We’re all just going to give it a go,” Gomez said. “That’s all we can do.”

Eddie Johnson’s job security has been hot-button topic since the opening of camp, thanks to a bum hamstring that limited him during fitness sessions last week. The Aris forward has been particularly aloof with the media since camp opened last Monday in Princeton, N.J., adding to the mystery surrounding his health and fitness.

His teammates, however, are eager to see if Johnson can regain the form that he used to land a spot on the 2006 World Cup squad in Germany.

“So far I think he’s done a good job,” forward Brian Ching said. “Hopefully tomorrow night we’ll get to see the Eddie Johnson of old.”

Buddle, for his part, has had plenty to say about his first real shot at glory with the National Team. He’ll likely get a fair share of minutes on Tuesday, perhaps earning the start while Bradley sees if MLS success translates to the international stage.

“So far I’ve been OK,” Buddle said. “The guys are very intense, but I haven’t felt lost or like I don’t belong here at all during the camp. But it’s been hard to get those offensive opportunities, because [the camp] has been so tight.”

“I’ve talked to a few guys who said it’s never been like that in camp.” Buddle added. “Right now, guys are going all out.”

It appears that Ching is safe for the 23-man roster headed to South Africa, either in a starting role up top with Jozy Altidore or in a reserve role off the bench.

“You want guys playing well and pushing each other," Ching said. "That’s only going to make the coach’s job harder and make the team better. Eddie’s looked great. Herculez, he’s done really well. Edson fits right in. So I think there’s been a lot of excitement and hopefully we can turn a lot of that good play and practice into a good performance in the game.”

Speed will likely be the salvation for Findley, who admitted Monday that the US camp has validated his emergence as one of the best young forwards in MLS.

“I definitely think I've come a long way since my first year in the league, and I've been working hard towards this,” Findley said. “It doesn't come easy, and there are lot of things to perfect, but as time goes, those things will come."

Don’t expect all six forwards to dress tomorrow, and whoever gets left out should speak volumes about Bradley’s intentions. The team will dress 23 players against the Czechs, and if any of those bubble forwards are left off the roster, it’s fair to assume their dream of South Africa ends here.

Ed Camara - Soccer 4 All

On Wednesday we landed in Cape Town and listened to the USA game on the radio and
watched the most georgeous sunset we have ever seen while driving to our hotel
near Hermanus along the south coast. It seemed only fitting that the USA scored
just as the sun was setting.

Onstad sets Canadian goalkeeper cap record

HOU_Onstad_Canada

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad became Canada's all-time leader in caps by a goalkeeper with his 57th appearance for the Canadian national team in Monday's friendly against Argentina.

Onstad, 42, started and played 90 minutes in Canada's 5-0 loss to the world power at Estadio Monumental. The appearance broke the record Onstad jointly held with Craig Forrest.

"I have been fortunate to enjoy a long career, and this Argentina match is right up there for me with some of the biggest I have ever experienced," said Onstad.

Onstad was just 20 years old when he made his national debut on February 18, 1988 in a 0-0 draw with Bermuda. He has since taken part in four CONCACAF Gold Cups (including a championship in 2000) and 18 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. He holds the national record with 21 shutouts and is the oldest player in Canadian history at 42 years of age. Onstad is also Major League Soccer's all-time leader in goals against average.

Houston defender Andrew Hainault also started for Canada on Monday and played 90 minutes, his 17th appearance for Canada. Both players are expected to be available for the Dynamo's Saturday game against the Philadelphia Union at Robertson Stadium.

We saw hundreds of penguins today along the coast
just 20 minutes from our hotel. What a fantastic experience. Two more days here
until we head back to Johannesburg for our last game ...
Mexico-Argentina!

Here are some pictures from our trip to Kruger Park in the northeastern part of the country.

Argentina overpowers Canada 5-0 in friendly match

 

Maxi Rodríguez’s two first-half goals paced Argentina to a dominating 5-0 win over Canada in Buenos Aires on Monday in the country’s final tuneup before departing for the World Cup.

Ángel di María, Carlos Tévez and Sergio Agüero all scored for No. 7-ranked Argentina, who completely dissected Canada in all facets from start to finish.

And it all came with 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year and FC Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi sitting on the bench after suffering a knock in training.

For the Canadian National Team, it was a historic night: Pat Onstad became Canada's all-time leader in caps for a goalkeeper with his 57th appearance. But that was about the only highlight for Stephen Hart's side.

Argentina put on a complete performance to the delight of 66,000 fans at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires who were looking for a great sendoff. They dictated play from the opening whistle, putting on a textbook clinic of one-touch passing and penetrating runs.

That put 63rd-ranked Canada back on their heels, akin to the effect of a foosball table tilted high in one direction. The Canadians couldn’t get a sniff of the ball and, when they did, couldn’t keep it long enough to do anything as they were swarmed by Argentines.

They struck first in the 16th minute, following a foul by Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Hainault. Rodríguez’s ensuing free kick from the edge of the penalty area took a slight deflection off the head of Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and sailed by Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Onstad.

Rodríguez then doubled the score in the 32nd minute against the run of play when he raced down the field took a pass from Tévez and slotted the ball between Onstad’s legs.

Five minutes later, Benfica star di María compounded Canada’s misery as he took control of a loose ball, drove toward the penalty area and sent a nifty left-footed drive over a helpless Onstad.

A Hainault turnover in the 63rd minute led to the fourth goal as Gonzalo Higuaín stole it at the top of the box and fed it to Tévez for an easy finish.

Canada’s lone scoring chance came a minute later when striker Rob Friend was stopped.  Hart’s side was missing some key players in midfielders Julian de Guzman, Atiba Hutchinson and Patrice Bernier, but their presence wouldn’t have helped.

The difference in class was clear and highlighted by the talent at Argentina’s disposal. That was on display when Agüero ended the scoring in the 71st minute on an amazing goal just a minute after entering the game as a substitute.

Maradona’s son-in-law turned Canadian defender Richard Hastings inside out before sending a left-footed drive by Onstad.

The game marked the first time since 2008 that Canada last played a top 10-ranked country. Back then, Hart’s side played Brazil tough in a friendly in Seattle, falling 3-2 at Qwest Field.

Canada continue their South America tour with a trip to Mérida, Venezuela, on Saturday to face No. 49-ranked Venezuela.

Before Monday’s game, the Canadian Soccer Association announced that Peru would be Canada’s opponent for a Sept. 4 friendly at BMO Field in Toronto.

It would mark the first time Canada has faced the South Americans and the fourth friendly of six this year as the team prepares for next year’s Gold Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

June 22

Match Preview: Dynamo at Real Salt Lake

HOU_20100401_Thorne_06_Mike Chabala_Fabian Espindola

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The basics

Real Salt Lake (3-3-1, 5th in the Western Conference) vs. Houston Dynamo (4-3-1, 2nd in the Western Conference)

8 p.m. CT, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy UT
Houston leads the all-time series with a 7-2-4 record against Real Salt Lake.

Broadcast info

ESPN2
ESPN Deportes
SportsTalk 790 (7:15 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 (7:30 p.m. pregame)

What's at stake?

This is a budding rivalry — several recent matches have been hotly
contested down to the wire. The two teams will likely battle throughout
the season for positioning in the top half of the Western Conference. A
win for Real Salt Lake would pull them level on points with the Dynamo in one fewer game.

Last meeting

In April, Real Salt Lake visited Houston and took a rare lead early
on the road. All of that was erased by two penalty kicks three
minutes apart in the opening minutes of the second half, giving Houston
a 2-1 victory. Both penalties, converted by Houston midfielder Brad Davis, came off fouls committed in the box by
RSL defender Jamison Olave.

Heroes & Villains

Brian Ching vs. Jamison Olave — This
should be the premier matchup, but injuries may avert this battle. The
two have exchanged harsh words in several recent matches, and one
altercation ultimately led to Olave's ejection in 2009. Ching injured
his hamstring in the last match between these two teams and is just
returning to form. Olave has had a chronic knee injury that coach Jason
Kreis hinted could keep him out of this one.

Javier Morales vs. Richard Mulrooney
This could be an intriguing battle for supremacy in the middle of the
field. If Houston comes out in the 4-3-3 like a week ago, it could open
up space for Morales, who was not at his very best last week after an
illness the week prior. If Real Salt Lake are able to control the ball
in the middle of the park, it could limit what Houston wants to do out
on the wings.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm …”

Houston has a +16 foul differential (100 suffered, 84 committed),
and its savvy in this regard could play to its advantage against an
RSL team that has given up four penalty kick goals this season.

He said it

“It’s a special game for us.” — Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales on the chance at avenge a 2-1 loss against Houston earlier in the season.

Margeaux Horne

So this time for the South Africa game in Bloemfontein, we had to take the park and ride! We went to our
cousin's church, were dropped off, and then had to put on these hot pink bracelets!
They were to remind us to go to the pink area to pick up our cars. We didn't
have to wait too long and rode in a shuttle to the game ... everyone was so
pumped. I do not think that we saw one French fan!!

We got to the game and were
right behind the goal about 15 rows up!! we were right in the heart of things ...
before the match, there was a man in crazy African gear who was going around, and
it seemed like he was blessing everyone. It was great!

The first half was
incredible. South Africa played how we always knew they could play, and we were so sad when
the third goal didn't count! At halftime, my friend got a chili hot dog, but
little did she realize that instead of chili on the top, it was a hotdog stuffed
with green chilis!!! The second half wasn't quite as exciting, but the fans never
quit. I dont know if you could tell watching on TV, but most of the time, the
vuvuzelas were blowing in rythem and to chants, which is different than the
random blowing at the other games!!

Triage unit looking lighter for healthy Dynamo

 

Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear is beginning to see the injury-related problems he can tolerate.

For a team that has made due with only one forward and has lost half its starting midfielder since the season opener, the Dynamo are slowly getting healthy again. And that forces Kinnear to make difficult choices on incorporating players off injury back into the lineup.

Richard Mulrooney is the first on the list, after playing a full 90 minutes in the Dynamo’s win over Chivas last Saturday and reporting no discomfort in his knee.

“It was great, I was a little winded, but that’s the process,” Mulrooney said. “I have hit every step in terms of getting back into the 18, and now I have played a full game. The knee injury is in the past, but we obviously keep an eye on it so we don’t have any setbacks.”

Forward Brian Ching also traveled with the team over the weekend, but was held on the bench while Kinnear opted to take a conservative approach with his captain.

Ching feels confident he will be available for significant minutes when the team travels to face Real Salt Lake on Thursday.

“I felt great,” Ching said. “Physically I am fine; it’s just a matter of getting my lungs back.”

Forward Cam Weaver will likely miss the Real Salt Lake match, but returned to full training with the team this week for the first time this season.

“It’s another step, I want to keep trying to continue on the progression,” said Weaver, who’s recovering from a right knee injury. “It’s been really tough with the timing of everything right before the season, thinking it is going to be a couple of weeks, and it being a couple of months; it’s tough.”

While the team is getting healthier, they are still not free and clear of injuries. Defender Eddie Robinson also won’t be available against RSL after suffering a right knee sprain against FC Dallas last week.

“I fell lucky after seeing the replay and feel fortunate it will just be 1-2 weeks,” noted Robinson. “There’s no pain and the doctor said there is no significant damage, but it just doesn’t feel quite right. I hope to begin running by the end of the week and be back in training next week and hopefully I won’t miss too much time other than (Thursday).”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to dwaincapodice@gmail.com.

Everyone was down after the game for not
advancing, but then they realized that we had just beaten France and kept on
partying until the entire team was off the field. I know the games that Bafana
Bafana plays were unique to the whole World Cup. It was just a rainbow of
happiness, and I really don't know if any other fans will be able to complete
with the colorful, lively determination that Bafana fans possess. I am sad I
won't get to see them play another game, but I am so happy at what they have
done for this country.

Ed Camara - Soccer 4 All

We are inside the stadium in Polokwane for the Argentina-Greece game at the present time with temperatures dropping rapidly after a beautiful sunny day in the upper 70s. Tonight, however, it is expected to drop to around 40 degrees, and with no heat in any of the houses, it is a little rough. I came down with a bad cold or the flu two days ago, probably thanks to the large temperature fluctuations since we arrived two weeks ago. As Mexico finished second in their group, it looks like our final game on June 27th before returning home will be Argentina-Mexico ... Should be great!

June 20

Canetti's Corner - May 10, 2010

Welcome to edition No. 2 of my weekly blog. It will appear on the new HoustonDynamo.com every Monday.

Thank you for the emails I received last week. I appreciate the
feedback and enjoy the interaction with fans. Please keep them coming.

It was an excellent win at Chivas
USA
on Saturday and much needed after the disappointing home loss to FC
Dallas
. The team deserves a lot of credit for getting the early lead and
then working hard to grab three road points and a shutout.

Dominic Kinnear rarely
diverts from a 4-4-2, but his creative 4-3-3 helped establish the early tempo
and the 2-0 lead. Adrian Serioux’s
and Craig Waibel’s
insertion into the lineup was another key to victory. Serioux was so impressive
defensively that his big goal became secondary.

Our 4-3-1 record (13 points) is
good for the third most points in MLS, behind LA and NY. We rank No. 2 in the league in defense (0.88 goals per game allowed) and No. 6 in goals per
game (1.38). The main thing for us is to
find some consistency game-in and game-out. This has been the challenge early
on. I think the rash of injuries has contributed to our inability to put
together back-to-back efforts.

Seven players have lost time due to injury or suspension, totaling 26
games missed.

The good news is that we are
starting to get healthy. Brian Ching (hamstring/calf) suited up and was
available to play on Saturday if needed. Cam
Weaver
(knee) has been given full clearance to return to training and did
so for the first time on Monday. Eddie Robinson (knee) is doubtful for
Thursday’s game at Real
Salt Lake

(8pm, ESPN2), but he is targeting the Saturday, May 22 match at home versus D.C.
United
as a return date.

I have no news to report on the Joe
Ngwenya
situation. It is the same as last week. I can only hope that FIFA
takes some favorable action this week.

Our search for a midfielder isn’t
turning up a lot of good options. It has become apparent that it may be
difficult to find the right player before the summer transfer window, which
opens on July 15. We will keep looking, but this is a realistic assessment at
this time.

Nine different players have
scored one of our 11 goals. Brad Davis has three, while Sammy Appiah,
Geoff Cameron, Mike Chabala, Luis Landín, Brian Mullan,
Dominic Oduro, Lovel Palmer, and Adrian Serioux each have
one.

Have you noticed how tight the Western
Conference
is? Seven teams are separated by four points. We sit in second place
with 13 points, and only four points separate us and last-place Seattle. If Seattle were in the Eastern
Conference
, they would be in third place. The West is tough and going to be
a battle all season long.

The long-awaited announcement for
the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent was made on
Thursday. We are thrilled to bring Manchester United to Houston for this grand event. We are looking
forward to a sellout crowd at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, July 28.
This match, on the heels of the FIFA World Cup, will help elevate our
sport and our brand. We worked very hard to secure one of the world’s biggest
clubs, and it is our goal to host the most successful All-Star Game in MLS
history. The game will be an amazing spectacle, but we are also planning a
series of events around the match as part of All-Star Week. We will
announce these details in the coming weeks.

As of Monday morning, we sold
14,000 tickets through a four-day private sale of Dynamo and Texans season
ticket holders. A brief public sale exists through Thursday, May 14 for Visa
card holders only. If you are confused by the ticketing information, there’s
one simple thing to know: The best way to get access to the best seats for this
big match is by being a Dynamo full or partial season ticket holder. For more
information, call our office at (713) 276-7500, and one of our reps can
advise you of your options.

Last week, I highlighted the in-game
tribute to Geoff Cameron on May 1. Patrick Sexton sent an email
informing me that Web Tilton from Section 204 was the maestro behind it.
Web - thank you for coordinating the effort. We are lucky to have fans that can
organically contribute to the environment at our games.

In case you missed it, Montreal was
awarded an expansion franchise to begin play in 2012, making them the 19th MLS
club.

Congratulations to 14-year-old
defender Nelson Castro of Houston.
He is the winner of Sueño MLS 2010. The local product won the nationally
televised (Univision) talent search and has earned the chance to play for the Dynamo Academy.

Don’t forget to watch the game at
Salt Lake this Thursday (ESPN2, 8pm), and we’ll
see you at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, May 22 when DC comes to town.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be
back in touch next week with the latest. In the meantime, feel free to email me
at ccanetti@houstondynamo.com with
any comments or questions.

Ed Camara - Soccer 4 All

The weather here in Nelspruit has finally improved today. Highs in the
upper 70s, but lows still go down in the 40s, and none of the lodges
we are staying in have heat, so nights here are difficult to stay warm
anywhere but our beds. Yesterday we went to Kruger National Park and
saw giraffes, zebras, impala, a rhinoceros, and two female lions in the
wild. What an experience. A pack of 20 or so zebras crossed the road
right in front of our car.

Tomorrow we drive to Polokwane and stay at a horse farm. Our next game is
in three days, when we will see Argentina-Greece. If we can get decent internet in Cape
Town, we will send some animal photos along.

June 18

Match Preview: Houston vs. KC Wizards

The basics

Kansas City Wizards (2-1-1) at Houston Dynamo (2-2-1)

Saturday, May 1, 7:30 p.m.

Robertson Stadium

All-Time
Record: The Dynamo lead the all-time series 5-1-3, 4-1-3 in MLS regular season play.

Game Guide PDF

Special Ticket Offers

Gameday Info, including soccer ball giveaway courtesy of Statoil

Video

Hear from Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and defender Andrew Hainault at Thursday's press conference:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

What's at stake?

Houston attempts to rebound from a bad loss to Chicago in which they lost midfielder Geoff Cameron
for the season. The Dynamo’s makeshift lineup will attempt to combat
one of the hottest teams in MLS, while Kansas City will hope a road
victory against a veteran Houston squad will help position them as one of
the teams to beat in MLS.

Last meeting

On Oct. 4 of last season, both sides needed a win as Houston wanted
to earn home-field advantage for the playoffs, while Kansas City was
still fighting for the last playoff spot. An early red card by Cam Weaver
left the Dynamo short-handed for most of the match, but Luis Angel
Landin scored his only goal thus far in MLS, and Houston held the lead
until the 73rd minute. However, the Wizards’ Zoltan scored a beautiful
goal from a long ball played over the top of the Dynamo defense, and the match ended in a disappointing draw for both teams.

Heroes & villains

Luis Ángel Landín vs. Pablo Escobar As
Elvis Presley sang, “It’s Now or Never,” and that expression clearly to
applies to Landin. The Dynamo forward is likely to start on Saturday,
and Houston are relying on their designated player to put together some
solid performances as the team heads into a stretch of four matches in
13 days. With Jimmy Conrad likely out, Escobar will probably get the start alongside Matt Besler. The young defender filled in well last week against Los Angeles.

Kei Kamara vs. Bobby BoswellKamara
made his displeasure known after he was traded from Houston to Kansas City at
the end of last season. While Kamara is contributing to Kansas City, he
is also coming off quite possibly the worst miss in MLS history.
Scoring a goal against his former teammates will go a long way in
erasing that memory and rebuilding his confidence. Boswell continues to
anchor a perennially strong Dynamo defense, though the backline has
struggled out of the gates.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm …"

The Wizards have conceded only one goal thus far in MLS play. Head
coach Peter Vermes has talked about instilling a “defense-first”
approach for the entire team, and it seems to be paying early
dividends.

He said it

“We want to be physical against them, as you don’t want them to have
their way and let their confidence [on the ball] grow. We have to play
tight and physical, and there wasn’t enough of that against Chicago. We
have to up our intensity and make sure we are going in hard.” — Houston
defender Andrew Hainault.

Margeaux Horne

We went to Ellis Park six hours early today to tailgate with some rugby relatives!
Interesting fact, my boyfriend's father played in the first ever game held at Ellis
Park (for rugby). After tailgating, we walked to the game, which was awesome ...
there were so many American flags everywhere! This time, there were metal detectors to get
into the game, so that was different from the South Africa game.

Our seats were in the second row on
the second level - almost on the halfway line - which was awesome! I sang my heart
out during the anthem and was so excited to begin! I couldn't believe that two Texans were starting (Dempsey and Torres!!!!) Also seeing Texas flags in the
crowd made my heart swell with pride!

Houston hoping to rebound with reshuffled midfield

Brad Davis

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The Dynamo are facing four games in the next 13 days, so they're hopeful they can start this congested part of the schedule strong at home against Kansas City on Saturday.

But for Houston to get off to a good start, they will have to find a way to replace Geoff Cameron, who suffered a season-ending injury last weekend. It's likely that wide player Brad Davis will get first crack at replacing the attacking midfielder, but Richard Mulrooney could make a late push for consideration as he returns from injury.

“Most likely I’ll play in the middle this weekend,” Davis said. “I’ve played in there before, and there is a bit of an adjustment. We’ve had trouble in possession, and so hopefully that’s something I can bring to the table for the team. There will probably be an adjustment, but it hopefully won’t be too bad.”

Possession will be important for the Dynamo as Wizard’s head coach Peter Vermes has instilled a "defense-first" mentality that, similar to Houston, places an emphasis on pressuring the opposition.

“Kansas City is playing well and they are a very hungry and very confident team,” Dynamo head coach Kinnear said. “After watching them play against Seattle and LA the last couple of weeks, they play a high-tempo game and don’t give you much time on the ball, so it makes it difficult for us and our decisions have to be fast and confident.”

If Houston can maintain possession with their makeshift midfield against a stingy defensive team like Kansas City, they can be hopeful that Saturday's match will be the beginning of a good run for the team.

The Dynamo are also looking to bounce back from some recent patchy form that saw them fall 2-0 on the road to Chicago last weekend. The perennial championship favorites have now lost two of their last three games, as well as a key player in Cameron.

“We can’t have these up and down weeks like Chicago,” Davis said. “We want to start this weekend off on a good note, get three points as we play again Wednesday at home, and we want to have a good stretch of games.”

Kinnear agreed, though for now he's focused on Saturday's challenge.

“It’s the first of four in a short period of time,” he said. “We can’t look at the next three of four games, we have to look at one at a time—and if we do get off to a good start [against KC], it sets up nicely for the next couple of games coming our way.”

After the first half, everyone was pumped
for the second, which turned out to be awesome! One thing that stinks is that if
there is a controversial play on the field, they won't show the replay on the
big screens, so we couldn't see if the third U.S. goal was offside or not. After the
game, I met another fellow Houstonian; what a small world!

All in all, it was a
great game that wasn't too cold, thankfully, and a medicore result for the USA.

Dynamo 0, Chicago Fire 2 - postgame notes

Hou_20100424_Brooks05_Brian_Mullan

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy Nigel Brooks

The Houston Dynamo suffered their first road loss of
the season Saturday night, falling 2-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota
Park in Bridgeview, Ill., to drop to 2-2-1. Houston’s injury woes
continued, as midfielder Geoff Cameron was forced to leave the game in
the 30th minute due to a right knee injury. It was the fourth time in
five games Houston used a first-half sub due to injury.

The loss broke a five-game Houston winning streak
against Chicago and marked the first time the Dynamo have ever lost at
Toyota Park (3-1-1).

Despite playing against a stiff wind and being heavily
outshot in the first half, the Dynamo almost got through the half
scoreless but gave up a goal two minutes into first-half stoppage time
when Baggio Husidic headed in the rebound of a long-range shot from Tim
Ward.

After Houston tested Chicago goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra
with two close-range headers in the 57th minute, Chicago put the game
away 10 minutes later when Patrick Nyarko dribbled to the right endline
and cut the ball back for Peter Lowry, who used his chest to redirect
the ball past Pat Onstad.

Houston midfielder Danny Cruz and Chicago defender
Krzysztof Krol were issued red cards in the final 10 minutes for
separate incidents.

Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad made a season-high four
saves, including theh 650th save of his MLS regular season career.

One day after his 32nd birthday, forward Brian Mullan
became the second player in Dynamo history to make 150 starts for the
club in all competitions, joining goalkeeper Pat Onstad. Mullan also
made the 215th start of his MLS career in Saturday’s game.

Midfielder Brad Davis appeared in his 200th MLS game,
and defender Eddie Robinson played in his 145th career MLS game.
Defender Mike Chabala made his 35th career appearance for the Dynamo in
all competitions and the 20th of his MLS career.

Saturday was the Dynamo's first multi-goal road loss in
regular season play since August 24, 2008. All seven road losses in 2009
came by one goal.

Next Game: Saturday, May 1, vs. Kansas City Wizards,
7:30 p.m., Robertson Stadium

Houston Dynamo Head Coach Dominic Kinnear

On the match:

“Give credit to Chicago.  They played well –made it
difficult for us.  Don’t think we responded consistently enough in the
game to get something out of it.  Better second half than the first; I
think we have to give credit where credit is due, but I think also we
really didn’t help ourselves out tonight either.”

On responding with more energy in the second half:

“I think we came out of the locker room a little bit
better.  After the Fire’s goal in the first half, we could have sulked. 
But we came out to the field playing better, moving the ball better, we
created a chance early and gained some momentum but then as the game
goes on we were chasing a little bit.”

Houston Dynamo Forward Dominic Oduro

On the match:

“It’s really disappointing.   We were expecting a hard
game against a good team but unfortunately we didn’t really compete
very well, the way we wanted to.  We’ll just go back and review the
whole game and see where it went wrong, and hopefully we can fix it.”

On what to take away from the match:

“You always want to win but we went down today and
that’s not the end of it.  We’re a good team.  I’m positive we’ll come
out of it.  We’ll get up and work it out. “

On the lack of energy during the match:

“The first half was really bad.  We wanted to start
the second half giving our all.  I thought we did pretty well at the
start of the second half.  At the end of the day, the Fire played well. 
That’s all you can say.”

On the weather conditions:

“The conditions were a factor but that means you have
to respond to them.  Irrespective of the weather, you still have to give
110 per cent.  Today we were on the downside and the Fire played well. 

Houston Dynamo Midfielder Corey Ashe

On the atypical Dynamo match:

“It was a little unfortunate, especially to give up a
goal right before half time.  Pretty frustrating.  Didn’t come out today
playing like we’re capable of playing.  We really didn’t [look like our
normal selves].  I don’t know if it was the weather.  Chicago is a good
team, take nothing away from them.  They came out, they were
organized.”

On the importance of getting results on the road:

“Honestly it’s the same thing when you’re home.  You
just want to get points.  Other teams are constantly putting the
pressure on you, so rather you are home or away, it’s imperative to get
at least a point.  It was a little unfortunate, we thought we could come
in here after last week’s good performance, and at least steal a
point.   We were a little unfortunate.”

On the multiple cautions and ejections in the second
half:

“Yea, it’s just frustration.  I think as the game goes
on, guys lose their heads and I think that was evident today.  Whether
the red card was justified or not, I don’t know, I didn’t see it but tempers were high.  We’re a
competitive team and we hate to lose.  Maybe we went about it the wrong
way.  Hindsight is twenty-twenty. 

 

Jhonathan Montenegro

Here's a picture from Ellis Park during the United States-Slovenia match.