Notebook: Defense finally cracks at New York
For the first time since June 30, the Houston Dynamo conceded a goal in the run of play. Markus Holgersson’s goal turned out to be a costly one that the Dynamo were never able to rebound from, eventually losing 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Friday night.
It was the type of goal that has become rare for the Dynamo in the last month-and-a-half, one in which they weren’t able to apply pressure and make it difficult for the opponent to get a look. After the match, the goal was something goalkeeper Tally Hall pointed as an uncharacteristic turn of events.
HIGHLIGHTS: NY 2, HOU 0
“I thought we could have defended it a little better,” Hall told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “I think I need to organize better. … It didn’t happen, and so I got to look at myself as the responsible party of not organizing the defense as well.”
While the goal ended Houston’s three-game shutout streak and was their downfall in a match that ended an eight-game unbeaten streak, the result has not changed the club’s outlook on their chances going forward or traditionally stout defense.
“I still think we’re one of the most difficult teams to break down and to score on,” Hall said. “We still have the momentum that we’ve built in the last month-and-a-half. That’s where we are going forward, with the confidence that we can start a run all over next weekend.”
Rico makes his debut
Friday marked the 2012 debut of midfielder Ricardo Clark in the Dynamo lineup.
After more than two years in Germany and a stint in Norway, Clark returned to his old club Friday to log 15 minutes against New York. Clark came on for Adam Moffat in the 75th minute to provide his usual high-energy defensive work and even looked to get involved as Houston pushed for a late goal.
“He’s been with this team for a while, the guys all know him and he’s a good player,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “As far as the integration into the team, I think that’s been going day-by-day and that the guys are happy to have him.”
Four gone this week
After Friday’s match, four players were slated to depart for international matches on August 15.
Boniek García joined the Honduras squad that will face famed Argentine club Boca Juniors, Andre Hainault and Canada will meet Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaicans Jermaine Taylor and Je-Vaughn Watson will take on El Salvador. All four are expected to be back for Sunday's match against the Columbus Crew.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.