Entering the 2010 season, the Houston Dynamo felt they were one of the deepest teams defensively in MLS. On Saturday night against Chivas USA that defensive depth in the form of Adrian Serioux and Craig Waibel stepped up to the forefront contributing heavily to Houston’s 2-0 victory.
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“We’ve been a bit of a roller coaster—injuries and schedule,” Waibel said after the game. “There’s absolutely no question that guys are stepping up. One of the things that happens, as you know, young teams are inconsistent. Right now we’re still going up and down, but we’re getting our feet under us.”
Waibel played well, but Serioux put in a man-of-the-match performance. The Canadian center back struggled earlier in the season playing in midfield, but defensively, he looked right at home next to Bobby Boswell. Aerially, Serioux was nearly flawless winning just about every ball sent his way and his pace complemented Boswell’s power.
Both Serioux and Waibel also lent a hand offensively. Waibel began the counter-attacking move in the 4th minute attack that ultimately led to the game’s first goal—Brad Davis’ audacious sliding chip over ’keeper Zach Thornton.
Not to be outdone, Serioux got on the end of a Davis corner moments later and headed the ball ferociously into the net to give Houston a two-goal lead. It looked like a solo effort, but he credits Waibel for his role on the play.
“It’s actually one of those things that we practice the day before, and Waibel and I talked about it before the game,” Serioux explained. “He gave me a great pick, caught the guy off guard. I guess they didn’t switch in time and . . . I just rose up to the occasion and got it on frame.”
The two early goals were important as Houston struggled with possession on the night.
“I hate to say we held on, but we did,” coach Dominic Kinnear said. “You have got to give credit to them, they were all over us and knocking the ball around pretty well, and luckily we didn’t give up too many clear-cut chances in front of goal.”
Much of the credit for that final statement has to go to Waibel and Serioux. Considering all the injuries the Dynamo have had to deal with in the attack this season, their defensive depth is something to lean on.
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.