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.