Kinnear downplays 34-match home unbeaten run
HOUSTON – As he has during the previous 33 matches, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear faced the hometown media and fielded questions about another positive result at home for his club.
Little has changed, unless you consider Kinnear now sits at a table instead of standing at a podium, since the Dynamo last lost at home on June 18, 2011, to the Columbus Crew. And neither has Kinnear’s take on the Dynamo's unbeaten streak in Houston.
After taking questions all week on “the streak,” Kinnear was again on message after leading the Dynamo to their 34th undefeated home game in all competitions, a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
“You don’t get anything for it,” Kinnear said. “You don’t get a T-shirt or a hat or a ring for it. You get a lot of points and get asked a lot of questions and a lot of satisfaction on a week-to-week basis, but in the end it goes down in a statistical record book.
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“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful accomplishment and I’m glad I’m part of the group that’s done it, but there is still a lot of stuff to be thought about as well.”
An honest answer and a glimpse at the approach that is part of the reason why the club is on this type of run to begin with.
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To go nearly two years without dropping competitive points at home takes a certain level of tunnel-vision, blocking out media questions for a one-game-at-a-time approach.
“Your focus is on 90 minutes. You can’t focus on the past 33 games at home,” Kinnear said. “To be honest, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it to the guys once. I’m happy for the guys, but we still have 30 games left in the season instead of concentrating on the streak.”
The Dynamo know what is going on. Until the streak ends they know it will be mentioned with each game at BBVA Compass Stadium. Rarely will they admit to thinking about the impact of the feat, but the group is savvy enough to know what it means.
After a stop in Portland next week to face the Timbers, Houston will return home to try and claim the MLS record streak for their own against the Chicago Fire on April 14. Before then, expect more of the same commentary.
“We’re obviously aware of it, but the streak is not something we’re trying to add to,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said on Saturday. “It’s always, ‘Let’s just get to No. 1.’ It’s always about the game we’re playing that day. When we started the streak we took the same attitude that day that we did today when we came in.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.