HOUSTON – Mr. Hyde reared his ugly head again Saturday night as the Houston Dynamo continued their pattern of alternating wins and losses, falling 3-2 to the expansion Philadelphia Union. A Danny Mwanga injury-time goal gave Houston their third loss at home in 2010 and set the Dynamo locker room ablaze.
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Dynamo captain and forward Brian Ching held nothing back after the game.
“This year, being 5-5, a lot of teams would probably take that, but with the history we’ve had, we are all embarrassed here,” Ching said. “I’m just frustrated. I shake my head at it. The energy level is not good enough.”
“Every one of us as players have to look at themselves,” he continued. “I should have done more in the second half. It is something that I think we all are going to have look into ourselves and be better and demand more. Our fans deserve better. The club history deserves better.”
Though the team was frustrated with how the game ended, they were perhpas more frustrated with how the game started. The team failed to match the Union’s intensity from the start, and they were punished by trailing 1-0 at the half. Houston played far more inspired in the second half, but it was too little, too late, thanks to Mwanga’s injury-time winner.
“Terrible way to end the game,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Right now [it's] an angry feeling. Sometimes you are disappointed, sometimes you are a little frustrated, but tonight, angry with the result.”
That anger stems from the fact that the coaching staff made it perfectly clear not to take the hard-working Union lightly. For some reason though, that message didn't register and the team came out flat in the first half.
“That is what we said before the game, that this team was [going to] fight for everything,” Kinnear said. “If we do not come out and meet them head-on, we are asking for trouble. We asked for it and we got it.”
The loss to the Union was the team’s third home loss in only seven games. In the team’s previous four years, Houston have had three total regular-season home losses twice and only one regular-season home loss in the other two years.
“[With alternating wins and losses], we have to make sure we are working hard and grind things out and we didn’t do that," defender Andrew Hainault said. “[This was] one of the toughest losses I can remember being here. We made mistakes across the field. It was everyone. It was collective. It was all over the field.”
While Ching could have been happy scoring a goal after his surprise exclusion from the US National Team, the Dynamo forward was blunt about the how this loss may impact the season.
“When you suit up as a Dynamo player, you expect to play for one of the best teams in the league, and at this point in the season, that’s not the case,” Ching said. “It’s the job for every single one of us as players to come out and stand up and be men. From this point in the season, move forward and put this behind us and step up."
“It’s all about wins here and the trophy at the end of the year,” he continued. “At this point in the season, we are looking like a team that won’t be competing for that trophy. It is up to us to turn things around.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.