Houston hopeful about making a playoff run
HOUSTON -- After playing the first half of their MLS schedule, the Houston Dynamo know all too well that their play has been woefully deficient. But the team is hopeful that it can put together a strong second half of the season and make a push for a playoff spot.
“It’s been a rough half of the season and, if we replicate our record, we won’t make the playoffs,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said forthrightly. “We need to get some wins instead of draws. Moral victories only get you so far, [but] wins get you in the playoffs.”
Houston currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference with 18 points in 15 games. Three teams above the Dynamo in the standings have two games in hand, so Houston know they have to play better in the second half of the season.
“We [have] left a lot of points on the field the last 15 minutes of the game," said Kinnear. "If we don’t do that, we are in a much better position. We’re not far away [from the playoff spots], but far enough away to have a concern for what is going on.”
“It’s been interesting, but not in a good way,” said defender Bobby Boswell. “A lot of things that could have gone wrong went wrong and I don’t think we played our best. We gave up some soft goals and missed some easy chances, but that’s the way soccer goes sometimes.”
While the departure of Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark in the off-season put Houston behind the eight-ball to start the year, the injury to midfielder Geoff Cameron took the wind out of Houston’s sails.
Cameron was expected to log substantial minutes in midfield and his injury left the Dynamo moving parts around to replace him. However, the team knows that there are no excuses for its poor performance.
“We have had some key injuries and that have not helped us out, but that is something that every team deals with,” noted Dynamo forward Brian Ching. “It is going to take effort. When things aren’t going your way and you have some injuries, you have to put your head down, work hard and try to eliminate the mistakes.”
The second half of Houston’s MLS season starts this Saturday night with two consecutive regular season matches against one of the best teams in the league, the Columbus Crew. While Houston have Superliga matches in-between those two league matches, the Dynamo know that there is no better time than the present to start turning their season around.
“If we can turn it around in the second half, go on a run and put ourselves in a place to make the playoffs, all [we] need is a chance,” said Boswell. “It’s not always the best team, it’s just the hottest team, and that is the goal.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.