According to Bobby Boswell the playoffs have come early in Houston. As with any team in the playoffs, the trick is to figure out a way to improve every week. After a win over the Philadelphia Union, Boswell and the Dynamo are looking to continue to improve.
To do that, they’ll have to dispatch of a Chivas USA team that’s not the team many expected to come to Houston just two months ago.
The Rojiblancos are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games, taking points off the likes of the Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls. It’s an improvement that’s caught the Dynamo’s attention.
“Chivas aren’t coming here just to make up the numbers,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “They’ve been playing pretty well. For us, it’s important that we step on the field in all seriousness and play hard for all 90 minutes and get a good win.”
Chivas’ summer boon has been centered around two additions, forward Erick "Cubo" Torres and former U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra.
In regards to the attack, Torres has been the newsmaker. On loan from parent club Chivas de Guadalajara, the young striker has scored seven times in just 10 MLS games, maximizing his ability to draw contact and makes runs behind an opposing back line and score in multiple fashions. His brief history of success in MLS already has him as a marked man.
“He’s the focus for us tomorrow,” defender Bobby Boswell told MLSsoccer.com Friday. “There are always crazy match-ups, but this is an interesting one because we haven’t seen him. If we can keep him from having a good night, we’ll have a good night.”
While Torres leads the frontline, Chivas shored up their backend adding a steely veteran in Bocanegra to the mix. The center back has brought a stabilizing force to the club’s back line and helped them revamp a defense that has gone the traditional route, switching back to a four-man defense.
“He’s a natural leader, he’s led at the highest level,” Boswell said. “When he comes in, say what you want about who they had before, he’s probably their new leader and he can get them on the same page. That’s what a leader does, revives a group in need of it.”
Despite Chivas’ summer improvement, Saturday is a match the Dynamo need to perform well in if they want to continue their run to the playoffs and build momentum. Something they failed to do after two of their last three wins, which were followed by losses.
If Houston can dispatch of a game Chivas side, it could be the next step in a stretch run that already has a postseason feel.
“For us, the playoffs have started. We don’t want to drop off,” Boswell said. “For us, playing at home, we need to go out and handle our business.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com