Physical, tough, or just plain mean. Whatever you want to call it, the Houston Dynamo are looking to rekindle the type of play that has had opposing teams expecting a war when they come to Robertson stadium.
The Dynamo did their part to include a little more grit and guile in the recipe against Chivas USA last weekend, rallying for a 2-1 win which snapped a seven-game winless streak and gave the club its first victory at home since late April. They played with muscle and ardor, and with the insertion of players like Eddie Robinson and Brian Ching, they looked to regain some of the edge that has been missing in recent weeks.
“I think we saw it,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We got the goal taken away and then gave the goal up … but I think we came in the locker room determined to get a second goal. Even after that, we kept on pushing, which was good.”
Midfielder Lovel Palmer said the team took on an improved team mentality, especially after falling behind early against Chivas and flirting with what would have been their third loss in eight games at Robertson this season.
“It was more of a ‘what you can do for your team’ rather than a ‘what your team can do for you’ mentality the guys had,” Palmer said. “You saw guys running harder. Eddie [Robinson] was asking me, ‘What got into you?’ because I was running non-stop. I said, ‘It’s the attitude we all need to have if we’re going to win games and grind out results.'”
Turning that corner was important, if for no other reason than to restore some confidence. Now the trick is to sustain that style of play going forward, starting at home on Saturday against the visiting Columbus Crew.
“The win was a confidence boost for us, because we haven’t been there in a while,” Palmer said. “The way we played was good, and it would be good for the guys if in two or three games we’re sitting on top of the East.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.