Notebook: Poor passing dooms Dynamo

Offense sputters vs. LA, but defense improves; Davis reaches milestone

HOU_20110525_Galaxy_2_Clark

Photo Credit: 
Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

After struggling to find a late equalizer in last night’s 1-0 loss at the LA
Galaxy, the Houston Dynamo were left to contemplate what went
wrong.
Unable to challenge LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts — who made one
save on the night — for much of the evening, Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear
pointed to a less-than-sharp offensive performance as the cause. The
culprits: lack of passing touch and patience.

“We were short getting there, and we were being a
little bit rushed with our passing,” Kinnear said. “As far as it goes, you have
to be patient — especially when you get forward. We were still finding areas to
get forward. I think we just got to a point where we would be a little cheap
with the ball and gave it away.”

The play on the field did not match the
advantage shown on the stat sheet. The Dynamo won the possession battle and had
more passes completed on the night than the Galaxy. Still, their attack was
misfiring in the place where it mattered most — the final third. Houston
got into dangerous areas a number of times in the second half but was unable to
find the final pass against a compact and organized side.  

“I think we
are a little disappointed," captain Brad Davis said. "I think we could play
better, that’s for sure.”

Defense a bright
spot

On a night in which the Dynamo could not get on the
scoreboard, one positive was the defense's solid play.

Against a potent LA attack, Houston allowed just three shots on goal and
limited the Galaxy’s attackers to shots from distance and probing balls in the
box. Kinnear did point to a need to relieve pressure with better passes from the
back in the first half, but overall the coach was somewhat satisfied with his
back line’s performance.

“I think we did OK,” Kinnear said of the
defense. “I think we have been defending real well as a group. We were
recovering well.”

Ashe suffers knock
According to
a team release after the game, left back Corey Ashe was lifted at the half
because of a left leg injury. The note did not specify on the nature of the
injury or its severity. Mike Chabala manned the position most of the second half
before switching to right midfield when Houston switched to a 3-5-2 late in the
game and forcing Ricketts to make a running save in the late stages of the
match.

Davis sets club record
Last night’s game
marked the 137th appearance in MLS play for Davis. He surpasses Brian Mullan and
Pat Onstad as the club leader.