Despite a tough result in their 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City last weekend, the Houston Dynamo confirmed they are a team with no quit, taking pride in their reaction and ability to grind out a result under difficult circumstances.
A 90th-minute Aurélien Collin goal ultimately prevented Houston from taking the full three points out of a match in which the Dynamo played at a numerical disadvantage for 39 minutes. Straight red cards to Colin Clark in the 51st minute and Brian Ching in the 70th minute put Houston in a tough position, yet the Dynamo still managed to salvage a point.
“I give the guys all the credit for getting that point,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “They stuck together and played their hearts out. I think they should be complimented for the way they played in the last 30 minutes of the game.”
Houston’s reaction and gaining a point from the match are positives, but they are accompanied by negatives as well. For starters, the team dropped two points at home, and the red cards will rule Ching and Clark out of the team’s next league match against Chivas USA.
“When you look at everything, it wasn’t a bad result, but we can’t put ourselves in a hole like that,” defender Andre Hainault said. “They were dumb red cards, and we’ve got to be smarter than that.”
A frustrated Ching praised the way his team battled despite playing two men down for nearly 20 minutes.
“Our guys didn’t sit there and complain about things like [Sporting Kansas City] did,” Ching said. “Hats off to our guys for standing up, being men, and fighting through things and dealing with adversity.”
Kinnear made a surprise decision before Saturday’s match, diverging from his customary 4-4-2 and starting the match in a 4-3-3 formation. However, having gone a goal ahead eight minutes into the match, the formation morphed into a 4-5-1 when the team reverted to some familiar tactics.
“We were trying to go with the three [guys] up high to match them, because they’re the most effective at it with their pace,” Kinnear said. “We didn’t want them to have the passing lanes, and I think we did that for the first 20 minutes and then we started knocking the ball long to [Ching].”
Taylor suffers mild concussion
Houston’s defense took a blow when starting center back Jermaine Taylor was forced to leave due to a mild concussion suffered from a blow to the head in the first half. The big Jamaican lobbied to stay in the game, but the team erred on the side of caution and replaced him with Bobby Boswell.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.