Short memories will be in high demand for the Houston Dynamo this week. Coming off the worst loss in team history, a 5-0 result to the Montreal Impact, the Dynamo have little time to dwell on their issues with a packed week ahead.
“We know we didn’t play well at all and they played really well but it’s how you respond,” midfielder Adam Moffat said. “We’ve got a game at home in Champions League and then two pretty tough road games so you’ve got to forget about it and have a short memory.
“I think every single guy in there wants to get back out there and prove it’s a one-off and that we’re a much better team than we showed.”
Looking back, the loss did not reveal much positive to take away. Houston struggled in all areas of the game. But one thing that stood out is their susceptibility to be caught on the break.
Montreal, a team noted for hitting teams fast, exploited this Saturday night—always seeking the quick transition from winning the ball in midfield to immediately playing the ball forward. The result was Houston giving up three of their five goals on counter-attacks.
So how does the team stop the issue? For Tally Hall it starts with being careful in the midfield and denying the opportunity in the first place.
“It’s not just that people are breaking, but it’s that we’re being careless with the ball,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “When we’re careless with the ball we’re going one way and they’re going the other so it’s easy to get broken on. I think it’s just a matter of stepping our game up. We have that ability and the skill to do it. There’s no reason we can’t turn that around.”
Getting caught on the break was not the only issue against Montreal. According to head coach Dominic Kinnear, Houston has a lot to get better at. “It’s simple,” he told MLSsocer.com Monday. “There are three sides of the game, defending, attacking and possession. We’ve got to get better at all three of those.”
Houston will have to do that quickly as they face Árabe Unido in CONCACAF Champions League play (TICKETS) before traveling to Chicago to face the Fire—who are two points behind the Dynamo in the Eastern Conference standings—in a game on Sunday that will have heavy playoff implications.
“We didn’t play well and we weren’t on the same page [in Montreal],” Hall said. “That’s unfortunate but looking forward we can’t be too down because we still have a great opportunity to finish up on the top of the table. It’s a matter of us saying ‘This is what we need to accomplish and this is something we’re capable of doing.’”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.