The Houston Dynamo lost their third consecutive game Saturday night, falling to the league-leading and unbeaten Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 at The Home Depot Center in southern California. It is Houston’s first three-game losing streak since May 16-26, 2007. The four goals are the most ever allowed by the Dynamo in an MLS regular season or playoff game.
Houston will now take a three-week break from MLS regular season play during the group stage of the World Cup, resuming on June 26 against the Colorado Rapids. In the meantime, the Dynamo will play friendlies against the Laredo Heat (June 10, Corpus Christi) and Salvadoran club Aguila (June 19, Dynamo Charities Cup, Robertson Stadium).
The Galaxy tied the Major League Soccer record for most games unbeaten to start a season with a 10-0-2 record, and they have outscored opponents 22-3 this year. Los Angeles is also unbeaten over its last 19 games, including playoffs (14-0-5), dating back to September 2009.
Los Angeles seized lead just 47 seconds into the game Saturday night and never looked back. Michael Stephens and Sean Franklin combined on the right to set up Jovan Kirovski for a back-post header.
The Dynamo tied the game in bizarre fashion in the seventh minute when Cam Weaver battled for a loose ball with LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and Ricketts’ clearance deflected off Weaver and rolled into the empty net. The goal broke a 464-minute scoreless streak for the Dynamo against LA and was only the third goal surrendered by the Galaxy in 2010.
Los Angeles came back in the 21st minute, however, via the same combination. Michael Stephens and Sean Franklin again combined on the right, and Franklin pulled the ball back for Jovan Kirovski to slide a one-time shot into the far left corner for his second goal of the game.
The Galaxy put the game away early in the second half when the ball fell to Tristan Bowen at the top of the box, and he drove a low, left-footed shot past Pat Onstad in the 48th minute. Brazilian Alex Cazumba scored his first goal in the United States in the 56th minute, taking a pass from Michael Stephens and unleashing a low, left-footed shot just inside the far post to complete the scoring.
For Houston, forward Brian Ching made the 130th start of his MLS regular season career. Midfielder Brad Davis made his 130th, defender Craig Waibel made his 105th, and defender Bobby Boswell made his 95th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions.
The Dynamo played without forward Luis Landín (personal); midfielder Geoff Cameron (PCL surgery); and defenders Mike Chabala (hamstring) and Adrian Serioux (personal).
Next Game: Thursday, June 10, 7 p.m. CT, Dynamo vs. Laredo Heat (Ryan-Sanders Shootout), Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi TX
Next Home Game: Saturday, June 19, 8 p.m. CT, Dynamo vs. Águila (Dynamo Charities Cup), Robertson Stadium
Next Home MLS Game: Saturday, June 26, 7:30 p.m. CT, Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids, Robertson Stadium
HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On his team's performance:
"I think we were doing OK in the first half, and in the second half we ran out of gas. It's disappointing, and we are all disappointed because this is a proud group and this is the [second] time we have ever lost three in a row. There are a lot of question marks about the way we are playing, how our guys are playing individually and collectively, so it's a very disappointing time."
HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER LOVEL PALMER
On the game:
"It was a tough game. Every time you play, obviously, it is going to be hard. Especially every time a team plays against the Houston Dynamo, because they expect us to come out and play well. They know that we are a good team, so they're going to come out with their 'A' game. The New York game was a tough one and then a long flight out here, so I think the guys are a little bit tired, but we can't find excuses; we need to find ways to win games. It's tough, but we are going to have to bounce back for the Colorado game."
On the team's three-game losing streak:
"It's the [second] time in Dynamo history that we've lost three games on the trot, so we just have to look ourselves in the mirror, evaluate our performance, and work on it as individuals and as a team. We have to refocus over the next couple of weeks."
HOUSTON DYNAMO FORWARD BRIAN CHING
On the game:
"There's not much to say about that one. Disappointing. I can't remember the last time this team lost three games in a row, so things aren't going good. Tough week."