Joseph Musarra/Houston Dynamo

Defense lets Houston down in USOC loss

The Dynamo defense continued to unravel Tuesday night, giving up three poor goals and numerous quality scoring chances as Chivas USA ousted Houston from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Credit to them, they probably deserved to win this game,” coach Dominic Kinnear said after the match. “I think they wanted to play and some of our guys did not want to, and it showed.”

While there was plenty of blame to go around, the main culprit remained the same: the defense. Justin Braun’s first goal came from a set piece where he was left unmarked; the Chivas striker’s second came when he split two defenders late in the game. In between, there were several turnovers that resulted in either shots on goal or one-on-ones with Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.

“You give that many opportunities to a good team like Chivas, and they punish you,” said midfielder Richard Mulrooney. “We gave up a chance in the first 20 seconds of the game. If we don’t learn from our mistakes then, they were going to punish us at some point, and they did five minutes later on a [set piece]. When you don’t defend well, you get punished, and we [were punished] tonight.”

However, to pin the loss solely on the defense would be unfair, as the rest of the team struggled as well throughout the night.

“Everyone who played tonight could have done better, including myself,” said forward Cam Weaver. “We gave the ball away cheaply too many times, myself included. I thought we got the ball into good positions, but the final ball was poor, and we had a couple of defensive breakdowns that cost us some goals, but we only put one in the net and we expect to do better at home.”

Chivas USA broke two streaks on the night, winning for the first time at Robertson Stadium and getting a victory after failing to win in 11 consecutive games against Houston. The Dynamo will now have to succeed against a red-hot Columbus Crew on Saturday if they want to post their first victory over an MLS opponent since May 22.

“It's gone now, and we have got to try to forget about it,” noted Weaver of the loss. “[We have] to try to move on, regroup in training and keep pushing forward.”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to Questions or Comments can be sent via email to