The Houston Dynamo suffered yet another disappointing defeat on Sunday night, this time against a team likely to be in the running down the stretch for one of the final playoff spots.
When asked after Houston’s 2-0 loss to the Seattle at Qwest Field whether there were any positives on the night, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear was brutally honest: “No.”
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With Lovel Palmer suspended, Houston went with a central midfield partnership of Richard Mulrooney and Brad Davis. For 45 minutes, at least, both did their part and kept the Dynamo competitive, along with midfielder Danny Cruz, who found plenty of space out wide early.
But the second half was fairly one-sided for the home team, as Houston struggled to get the ball out of their half of the field. Whenever the Dynamo did gain possession, they played hopeful long balls forward into space as opposed to stringing several passes together as they had done in the first half.
The final stats showed Seattle with nine shots on goal to none for Houston - the second straight game the Dynamo failed to get a shot on goal - and 10 corner kicks for the Sounders to five for Houston. The end result of that one-sided pressure in the second half was an inevitable lead for Seattle. It came through their talismanic forward Freddy Montero.
"[Montero] was battling with Eddie [Robinson] and it was a bad turn,” said Washington native Hall. “He is a crafty player, a good player, and he got a turn inside. The shot was low and in the corner, a difficult place to make the save.”
Kinnear was frustrated with how his team conceded the first goal.
“I saw a long ball from the back that we did not deal with, and they scored,” said the Dynamo head coach. “It was a winnable ball. We didn't deal with it."
The game’s second goal was simply a matter of Houston getting caught pressing for an equalizer and a beautiful pass by Montero to open up the defense.
“We were throwing as many numbers as we could to equalize,” said Hall. “I was able to get something on it, but that wasn't enough. We are two more in the hole than the start of the game; it's difficult to come back from a deficit like that."
For a Dynamo team trying to pull itself back into the playoff race, the 2-0 defeat against Seattle may just be the first nail in the team’s postseason coffin. The team needs victories, but three points seems as far away for the Dynamo as their last victory over an MLS side on May 22.
“It’s a hard thing to do, but an easy thing to talk about,” said Kinnaer. “A win, it is as simple as that. We need a win.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.