Sometimes it can be tough to pull positives out of a loss, especially one where you give up multiple chances to get points on the road.
But in the Houston Dynamo’s 3-2 defeat at D.C. United on Saturday night, head coach Dominic Kinnear and Co. didn’t have to look too hard to find the silver lining. Namely, for the second straight week Houston notched a pair of goals on the road.
“Disappointed, we fought back to get back into the game twice,” Kinnear told the media after the loss. “We aren’t helping ourselves by giving up some poor goals, but on the other side we are scoring goals on the road, which is a good thing. [D.C.] just scored one more goal than us.”
The second-half goals were a product of an improved Dynamo attack, with forwards Will Bruin (who had both scores against D.C.) and Brian Ching clicking. It made for a slight advantage in possession with 52 percent on the night, and they found many more chances in the second half, firing off seven shots total with three on goal.
The downside of the improved second-half performance is that it took too long to get into to the flow of the match.
“I think we realized we were down and had to get going,” Bruin told MLSsoccer.com about what sparked the change. “We want to fix that and get going from the first whistle and not have to wait to give up a goal before we start going forward.”
Bruin has an early favorite
Bruin must really like playing against D.C. The sophomore forward’s brace on Saturday came nearly a year – 355 days, to be exact – after he broke onto the MLS scene with a hat trick against United.
“Maybe it’s just D.C.,” Bruin said with a chuckle. “I didn’t think I played too well in the first half, so we wanted to come out and create some opportunities in the second half and I feel like I did that.”
Bruin certainly did, scoring two well-earned goals to draw his team level twice. Saturday’s double brings Bruin’s career goals to nine, of which five have come against D.C.
Davis returns for a cameo
After sitting out two matches with a strained calf, left midfielder Brad Davis returned to the pitch for the Dynamo and played the final 18 minutes while the club went in search of an equalizer. It didn’t come, but Davis managed to finish out the game without aggravating his injury.
"It was a tough situation for him to come into after being out injured a few weeks,” Bruin said of having the 2011 MLS MVP runner-up back. “I thought he did very well and he gives us confidence being back in the lineup and brings some great service in.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.