A big part of Houston’s 2-1 win over LA on Saturday was the quality service the Dynamo wing players provided to apply pressure to an undersized Galaxy central defense.
Between Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, Je-Vaughn Watson and Andre Hainault, the Dynamo pumped a constant supply of balls into their big attackers that made life difficult for the center of LA’s defense. The result was a consistently dangerous attack that got consistent looks on ‘keeper Brian Perk’s goal.
HIGHLIGHTS: Dynamo mount comeback vs. LA
“It’s very important and it’s been the culture of this team,” Davis told reporters after the victory. “We’re starting to understand each other and I like the way we play. Getting the ball wide, getting it in the box and I think we did a good job of that.”
Davis was a big reason for the quality service. Seven months later and the 2011 MLS MVP runner-up showed that he can impact a match serving up the winner to Hainault on a corner kick – along with several other threatening crosses.
“You don’t like to go back that far, but I don’t think we tested their defense from wide areas on crosses,” head man Dominic Kinnear said. “Having Brad there is a benefit when you have a dead-ball situation and when you have aggressive guys attacking the ball.”
Dealing with Beckham
One battle of interest against the Galaxy in was in midfield where the combination of Adam Moffat and Watson looked to shut down David Beckham.
As the game went on and the tempers (and temperatures) rose and the intensity amped up as both teams looked to play well down the stretch. But for all the vitriol, the Dynamo pair worked to keep their heads and avoid getting sucked in to anything that would take their focus away from the task at hand.
“You’ve got to just worry about the game,” Moffat said. “[Beckham] was fired up and getting at the referee, but that’s none of my business. If he wants to get fired up, he can get fired up and I’ll just go for the challenges when they’re there and keep away from that.”
Staying in the present
There was no looking back for the Dynamo after Saturday’s win. Yes, they did take care of business against the team that six months ago kept them from taking their third MLS Cup title, but as the team talked about their win they were cognizant of keeping the focus on the present.
“I don’t look at it as a grudge match,” defender Bobby Boswell said on Saturday night. “For us it was another home game and we wanted to take care of business. Today, we got the maximum number of points and at the end of the year that’s all that’s going to matter.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.