For the seventh time this season, the Houston Dynamo were unable to string together two consecutive victories in MLS play as they tied the Philadelphia Union 1-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the draw, Houston continued to build upon its improved play over the last several matches. In games past, Houston’s defense crumbled as it conceded late winners, but against United last weekend and the Union on Saturday, it was the Dynamo controlling the play in the second half.
“I think they are a little frustrated in the locker room right now,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I think at the end of the game, we had a couple chances that we let slip away.”
Houston may not have played its best in the first half, but speedster Dominic Oduro seemed to cause the Union defense fits with his pace. However, the Dynamo were unable to convert through Oduro, and instead it was defender Andrew Hainault who scored his first goal of the year off a rebound from a Brad Davis shot on goal.
“I think it might have been a tale of two halves,” noted Kinnear. “They had more possession in the first half, but we still broke well and created some problems in the second half.”
Defensively, Houston had both its good moments and bad moments. The Dynamo's central pairing of Ryan Cochrane and Adrian Serioux struggled at times in dealing with direct play from clearances and goal kicks. However, the lone goal conceded was more the result of an incredible first touch and finish by Sebastien Le Toux than any fault of the defense.
Despite Le Toux’s equalizer, Houston had a fantastic chance for a late winner. A pinpoint Corey Ashe cross found second half substitute Cam Weaver wide open from six yards out, but his header clanked off the crossbar.
“I think at the end there, with Cam Weaver’s chance, I think maybe if we play that one back again, you get a goal out of it,” Kinnear said.
Overall, Houston players were not too disappointed with a road point against a team that had been fighting, at least for most of the match, for its playoff survival.
“It was hard-fought,” Dynamo forward Brian Ching said. “I thought it was a competitive game ... I think we did OK. The atmosphere tonight was fantastic, and the fans were good, and I think they got to see a good game.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.