Last Saturday’s 2-0 loss to San Jose extended what has proven a very tough five weeks for the Houston Dynamo.
After controlling the run of play in the first half, the Dynamo failed to match the home team’s energy in the second 45, ultimately conceding two gut-wrenching goals. Houston’s inability to sustain its first-half play continues to be an Achilles heel for Dominic Kinnear’s men.
“Overall, it wasn’t a good performance,” said midfielder Danny Cruz, who made his first start since April 23 after missing time due to injury. “I think we started the game real well, and if we could’ve gotten an early goal, the game’s completely different. Then we came out in the second half a little down, and it cost us. They got a goal, and then we were chasing the rest of the game.”
Being consistent and keeping concentration for a full 90 minutes is something the Dynamo have talked about at length during their winless streak, which now stands at seven matches.
“We’ve got to get back into a winning mentality, and it’s hard to do sometimes,” Geoff Cameron said. “It’s much easier to get into a losing mentality, and that’s something you don’t want to become a habit. So we’ll have to do all the little things to get back on the winning side.”
Cameron in familiar territory
Kinnear shuffled his lineup Saturday night, moving Cameron to center back to deal with the loss of Jermaine Taylor and Andre Hainault to international duty. A 2009 MLS Best XI selection, Cameron did not disappoint, making several athletic plays in the back and a standout attacking run down the middle that was a goalkeeper save away from giving the Dynamo a first-half lead.
“I felt comfortable alongside Bobby [Boswell], and I think we’re a good tandem,” Cameron said. “But saying that, the result wasn’t there, and we’ve got to take it upon ourselves as a team and get on a winning streak.”
Ching returns to training
Monday’s training marked the first time that forward Brian Ching has participated in full workouts in more than a month. He made it through training without any setbacks, and with the team struggling right now, his return could provide a lift for the Dynamo.
“It’s good to have him back on the field,” Kinnear said. “In finishing [drills] at the end, he was very solid in front of the net. Now it’s just [about] him feeling good and being able to train this week so he can be available for Saturday.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.