To say that the Houston Dynamo’s 3-0 loss to Chivas USA on Saturday was a setback is an understatement. But when you examine how the loss - which snapped a four-game unbeaten streak - happened, it is even easier to understand the frustration felt in the Dynamo locker room after the game.
The plays that led to Houston’s undoing had an all-too-familiar feel. Defensive misplays, opponents taking advantage of their opportunities, and a red-card ejection were the main culprits in the loss. Those are three issues the team has battled throughout the season.
“We made the same mistakes, and then it's another goal — two shots, two goals,” said defender Andre Hainault when talking about the first-half goals. “We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot tonight, so [it's] frustrating.”
When asked what the missing ingredient was for Houston to consistency, All-Star midfielder Brad Davis needed just one word.
“Confidence," he told MLSsoccer.com. "Right now, I think that’s the biggest thing.”
If confidence is the issue, Houston has a short timeframe to find its confidence ahead of a tough two-game stretch, at home to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday and then away to the first-place Philadelphia Union the following weekend.
"[We need to] try and forget this as soon as possible but realize the
mistakes that we made,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “[We
need to] understand that we have a good team in Seattle coming to our
place, and we have to be ready to play them."
Seeing red again
A week after both Colin Clark and Brian Ching were ejected in a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City, Je-Vaughn Watson was given his walking papers in the 70th minute after fouling Nick LaBrocca twice. The ejection left the Dynamo, already in a two-goal hole, to fight the last 20 minutes at a numerical disadvantage.
"You want to have your squad available — it's a tough season,” Kinnear said. “So when guys are not here for any reason it's tough. When they're not here because of suspension, it sticks out."
Now Houston will face Seattle without Watson in central midfield, which could leave an opening for newly acquired Adam Moffat to get his first start or force a move of Davis to the center to pair with Geoff Cameron.
Davis reaches milestone
Ahead of his fourth All-Star appearance, Davis hit a franchise milestone Saturday night when he tied Brian Mullan for the most appearances in a Dynamo uniform in all competitions with 184. Davis will likely claim the top spot on Saturday when the Dynamo host the Seattle Sounders.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.