There is an element of unpredictability to soccer that can fall in your favor or against you.
Look no further than the last goal the Houston Dynamo allowed, the most recent in a string of plays that haven’t fallen the club’s way.
The Chicago Fire’s Pavel Pardo takes a free kick from just outside the box in the 27th minute and it thumps directly off the back of a flinching Logan Pause. The ball caroms toward goal, hangs in the air and somehow floats over the outstretched hand of Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
WATCH: Pause scores on deflection
Add that to a generous deflection for Seattle’s David Estrada and an iffy foul on Geoff Cameron that set up a PK for Brad Evans in a 2-0 loss to the Sounders back on March 23, and the Dynamo are suddenly wondering when the luck is going to break their way.
“The three goals we’ve conceded this year, there’s really nothing you can do about them,” midfielder Adam Moffat said. “Those goals are not going to keep happening every week, or I hope it doesn’t, where these deflections are going in. It’s a credit to the whole team with the way we defend. It’s a credit to the guys and how organized they are back there and their willingness to protect the goal.”
Houston are averaging just over three shots per game allowed, third best in the league this season. But that doesn’t mean all is well: they’re winless in the past two games with a road game at Columbus this weekend, their fifth of a lengthy road trip to begin the season.
“We’ve given up a [Brad Evans] penalty and two deflections but our defense’s playing pretty well and sometimes you just have to figure in some bad luck,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com after Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
Limiting the small mistakes that lead to the unlucky breaks, meanwhile, could be what turns Houston’s fortunes.
“It’s what builds up to those goals, like little turnovers.That’s what you take away from it because I think we’re pretty good in the run of play,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “I don’t think anyone’s really beating us down and we’re not giving up goals in the run of play.
“Results are what matter,” he added. “I think defensively we’re fine, and we’re certainly not going to make any drastic changes.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.