The Houston Dynamo failed to put together a complete performance for the second consecutive week on Sunday night, as the offense struggled to come together in a scoreless road draw against the Colorado Rapids.
Struggling to find fluidity in attack for much of the game, Houston found itself defending a majority of the match and without solutions to cracking Colorado’s defense in the final third. The Dynamo also struggled at times to even get the ball out of their own end against the Rapids’ high pressure, which was a far cry from the offensive success Houston found during last week’s 2-2 draw against D.C. United.
“That’s [what was said] at halftime – if we get our first pass out of pressure, -- because they were throwing a lot of guys forward -- we’d be able to find some space,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We did that a couple times, not as much as we’d like.”
Houston found more success in the second half, putting some passing combinations together and getting a number of dangerous balls and crosses in the box. But the attacking runs never synced with the service, leaving the Dynamo without a shot on goal on the night.
Defense steps up
In light of the offensive struggles, however, the Dynamo back line came up big when needed. While the group struggled at times to break pressure, the unit – playing just its second game together – was in position to shutdown the Colorado attack.
The defensive efforts, combined with Tally Hall’s standout performance in goal, were the reasons Houston came home with a second straight road point, and just their third shutout of the season.
“I think it’s important today that we came out with a shutout,” Hall said. “I thought guys were fighting hard; I can name every single defender multiple times. Everyone was making big plays to stop the ball. The team fought hard, I thought we deserved a shutout, and it feels good. I think it gives us a little bit of confidence we haven’t had. It’s going to help us.”
Health issues at forward
Most of the injury concern during the week surrounded the left hamstring of midfielder Brad Davis. The potential MLS all-star went the full 90 minutes, but it was the forward line that caused the most concern. Cam Weaver missed the match with a hip strain, and rookie Will Bruin’s availability was in question after the forward battled illness late in the week.
“With Cam out and Will being sick -- he missed Friday and Saturday trainings -- and Brian [Ching] on only his second full 90 minutes, I thought it was a good outcome overall from that group,” Kinnear said.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.