Houston Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear makes it clear that he does not want anyone to read into the Brian Mullan trade earlier this week and conclude that the club has given up on the 2010 season.
Kinnear has not thrown in the towel just yet. With seven games remaining, the Dynamo are 10 points off the pace behind the Seattle Sounders for the eighth and final playoff berth.
“I’m not saying we’re conceding,” Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com over the phone on Friday. “Seattle and Colorado are within reaching distance. If we get a win on Saturday, obviously it raises our interests as far as being a player for the postseason. We have to win Saturday for us to make somewhat of a serious push here. It’s pretty necessary to win Saturday. Then we’ll see what we’re going to do down the stretch.”
Of the Dynamo’s remaining seven matches, five come against playoff outsiders from the weaker Eastern Conference: Toronto, Philadelphia, D.C. United, Kansas City, and New England. The other two games come against the two Western sides they are chasing for a playoff spot today: Seattle and San Jose.
“I have a job to do: I have to win games,” Kinnear said. “For me to experiment [with lineups in final matches], I’m going to do the people who hired me a disservice because I’m hired to win games. When you see us play, I’m always going to try to put a team out there to win. I’m not going to say, ‘Let me give this guy a little bit of a run to see how he’s doing.’ I don’t coach that way.”
Toronto FC, which has captured just five of 33 available points on the road this season, will be the first team to see just how serious Kinnear and the Dynamo are this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Robertson Stadium.