Like Sporting Kansas City last year, the Houston Dynamo will play their first stretch of games in 2012 on the road while they wait for their new home, BBVA Compass Stadium, to be completed.
Ominously for the Dynamo, Sporting emerged from their season-opening 10-game road trip with a 1-6-3 record. But rather than an obstacle, Houston are looking at their seven-game opening stretch as an opportunity.
“If we do well these first couple of games and get some results, that’ll send a message and set us up to do well throughout the year,” center back Bobby Boswell told MLSsoccer.com via phone on Monday.
Sending that message will be easier said than done. BBVA Compass Stadium will host its first game on May 12, and playing on the road for two months presents a number of issues for the Dynamo. At the top of that list is the fact that Houston will not have the solace of finding their form in front of a friendly crowd for quite some time.
“You go on the road and sometimes there are tough places to play and teams always play well at home,” Boswell said. “So the biggest thing is, we’re not going to have a game at home in the middle of a tough stretch to get back to form. We’re going to have to be sharp from the start on the road, because we don’t want to go into our home games way behind other teams.”
But getting points on the road might be easier said than done. Houston opened last season without a win in 15 away games before sweeping their last four. If they want to turn the season-opening challenge into a positive, they'll want to capture that late 2011 form as much as possible.
“I think last year with not winning on the road, it is important to realize we can’t start like that again,” Boswell said. “We can’t have these results where we drop wins to ties and ties to losses."
And for his part, the veteran defender seems pretty sure that won't be the case.
“There’s definitely some confidence from the way we ended last year going into [this stretch], but with that said, the most important game is the one coming up,” Boswell continued. “We’re not worried about the seventh game in this stretch or the May home opener. We’re looking at March 11 against Chivas USA. If we can go out there and get a good result it will start us off well for the year.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.