While Dynamo players were working through an eventual 2-0 win over New England at BBVA Compass Stadium, they had no idea what was happening in Columbus.
As Houston was heading into the locker room at halftime, the Crew were busy securing a much-needed win over the Philadelphia Union thanks to a questionable third goal to overtake the Dynamo in the standings. Knowing the result in Ohio, Dynamo coaches came out of the locker room fully aware where they stood.
“We went out at halftime knowing Columbus had won the game,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “Not the players, but the staff did. It was a weird ending to that game if you saw the late goal. So walking out on the field I was like, ‘We need to win this game,’ but I didn’t want to pass it on because these guys have enough to think about when they’re playing.”
In the second half, Kinnear’s charges took care of business, scoring two goals in the final 15 minutes to beat the Revolution and stay a point clear of the Crew and pull to within two of D.C. United, who remained in fourth place after their Saturday night draw in Portland.
As the coming weeks are sure to present similar situations, the Dynamo are making a conscious effort to keep their focus on what they can control and let the chips fall where they may.
“We are in a position where we can control our own destiny if we take care of business,” said Bobby Boswell. “We are going to put pressure on ourselves to win and, hopefully, they go our way.”
Hall eclipses Onstad’s individual shutout record
With Saturday’s shutout, goalkeeper Tally Hall claimed the club’s single-season clean sheet record with his 12th of the season, previously held by Pat Onstad. But for Hall, the mark is still about the guys in front of him.
“It’s a goalkeeper stat, and I think that’s unfair to the other guys on the team because it’s such team defending, and that’s no truer than with this team,” Hall told reporters. “It’s fantastic and is obviously something you look at, at the beginning of the year and say it’s great to have that.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.