The Houston Dynamo’s list of distractions is lengthy heading into Wednesday night’s match against the Columbus Crew (6:30 p.m., KHOU 11.2, FOX Sports Houston, KPRC 950, La Ranchera 850).
Houston will be without starting forward Carlo Costly and perhaps Brian Ching as well. The club is still seeking its first road win of the season, and, while in the midst of a playoff race, they are seeking to bounce back from two straight losses.
And it certainly didn’t help that the team got stuck in Kansas City International Airport for more than 10 hours, forcing them to fly directly to Columbus rather than returning home to Houston as planned.
“Luckily it happened on Sunday, so we’ve had a couple of days in Columbus,” Dynamo forward Cam Weaver said. “We’ve had time to regroup and get our legs moving again, but it’s definitely not ideal with all the travel problems. But we’re professionals, and we’ve had a couple of days to regroup and get going here in Columbus.”
In Columbus since late Sunday night, the Dynamo have spent their time training and trying to make the best of a tough situation. Despite all the distractions, Houston is looking to employ a tunnel-vision approach to help get back on track at Crew Stadium.
“Right now, we’re focused on this game,” Weaver said. “It’s obvious we haven’t won on the road, and I think we need to put a lot into the game to come out from the first whistle with a good attitude and energy. ... If we have the right mindset, hopefully we can get a good performance and get a result.”
The Dynamo know very well what they can expect from their host. Columbus beat the Dynamo at Robertson Stadium 2-0 on July 18 and has been great at home this year with an 8-2-4 record.
Despite Columbus’ recent defensive form – the Crew have allowed 10 goals in their last two games – the Dynamo are well aware of how stingy the Columbus defense, anchored by Will Hesmer and Chad Marshall, can be. The defensive ability, combined with offensive prowess, make Columbus a tough out for any team making the trip to Crew Stadium. Blocking out the distractions on the tough road trip will be worth it, though, if the can get a positive result to keep them on track for the postseason.
“We still control our fate,” said rookie forward Will Bruin. “Everything’s still in our hands, and that’s what we want coming down the stretch. We don’t have to depend on other teams; we need to go out and focus on our results. The last two haven’t gone our way, but we still control our own destiny.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.