After an unbeaten April, the Houston Dynamo are now winless through two games in May, with a goal per game to show for it. While the recent lack of offense is concerning, the way the team is giving up goals is causing just as much worry for a club that has seen its season take a quick and unwelcome change in tone.
Days after allowing two late goals on suspect plays to drop a home result to Colorado last week, the Dynamo gave up two goals that the team felt were self-inflicted to drop a second straight 2-1 result on the road, at Toronto FC this past Saturday.
“[We were] frustrated in the end,” said Dynamo defender Andre Hainault, who committed a foul that led to a penalty kick. “[We] gave up the penalty and were 1-0 down chasing the game. We got exposed at the back, and they got that chance and made us pay right away.”
Two games is certainly not a trend, as teams go through ups and downs throughout the season. The recent issues are not a cause for concern or panic in the overall picture, but it was clear from the post-game scene that the team is ready to put these issues behind them and start to get back to the successful ways of its undefeated April.
“Some of these goals we’re giving up are very soft, and it’s something we need to identify,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “If a team scores good goals against us, you can accept that, but the way we gave up the first goal is definitely our mistake. With the selection for tonight, I take responsibility for the loss.”
Watson earns second assist in as many starts
It was a long road for Je-Vaughn Watson merely to get to the Dynamo, but the recent signing is making the most of his time on the pitch. After earning an assist in his first start against Colorado, the Jamaican international repeated the feat in his second straight start - this time at right midfielder. Watson set up Houston’s only goal at Toronto by slotting the ball to Lovel Palmer in the 87th minute to bring the Dynamo within one.
“It was a great play by Je-Vaughn to play the ball instead of letting it go out for a corner,” said Kinnear. “We had their goal under siege for awhile there. It’s good for Lovel to keep it on frame on a slick night.”
Koke gets his first start
The Dynamo played a different lineup Saturday night, their third game in eight days. Eddie Robinson took Corey Ashe’s place on the back line – Hainault played left back – in his first start of the season. Also getting his first start was Koke, playing in place of rookie Will Bruin and leading the team with two shots on goal. Watson moved to the right side in place of Colin Clark to make room for the returning Geoff Cameron.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.