The proverbial wheels fell off after the 30-minute mark for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, as a 3-0 loss at Chivas USA extended the team’s road woes.
“We didn’t play well,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear told reporters matter-of-factly after the match. “I’m not going to make any excuses. We didn’t play well, and when you don’t play well, you’re going to lose more than you win.”
The game looked to be an even battle early. Both sides traded possession and scoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes. Then Chivas started to take control of the possession and press Houston.
Just past the half-hour mark, defensive lapses started to catch up to the Dynamo. On both of Chivas USA striker Justin Braun’s first-half goals, the defense was caught out of position. And although replays showed Braun was likely offside on the second goal, Houston allowed Chivas’ attack time and space on the ball to serve up opportunities. With Braun breaking out of a prolonged scoring funk, the Dynamo paid full price for their mistakes.
"The first goal took the wind out of our sails tonight, and we didn’t come back from it,” Kinnear said. “Obviously going down to 10 men being down 2-0 and trying get back in it, the game was tough.”
It was the second week in a row the Dynamo ended the match at less than full strength — Je-Vaughn Watson was shown a second yellow card in the 70th minute, putting Houston at the disadvantage. With the defensive woes, Watson’s ejection, and an attack stuck in neutral for much of the night — the Dynamo generated seven shots and put only three on target — Houston could not capitalize on a good run of recent form.
“It’s very [frustrating],” midfielder Brad Davis told MLSsoccer.com when asked about Houston’s inability to put good performances together week in and week out. “It’s hard to put the feelings into words right now. We’re upset because we train well and do well together, and then in games, we get out there and it all falls apart.”
The loss ends Houston’s four-game unbeaten streak and gives the Dynamo a record of 0-4-6 away from home. With the season entering the home stretch, the Dynamo are left to once again ponder how they can change their fortunes.
“It’s been a bit of a tough go this year,” Davis said. “It’s up to us to dig ourselves out of the hole we’ve put ourselves in. We need to come out and show fight and show pride and turn it around real quick if we want to do anything.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.