The Houston Dynamo felt defeat for the first time Saturday night. The 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps exposed some good and bad for the Dynamo and as the club moves on to prepare for a rivalry matchup with FC Dallas (TICKETS), the club is looking to learn from both.
“We’d love to go 34-0, but it’s not going to happen,” Dynamo captain Brad Davis told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “We talked about it and we looked at things even in the games we won that we could do better. So now it’s about going back, working hard and growing as a group.”
Houston will have some good to work off from the game. Houston found spells of control and were able to put the Whitecaps under pressure. While both teams enjoyed spells of control, the run of play was very even with the teams drawing even on shots (13), shots on goal (5) and with only a small difference in possession.
In fact, the Dynamo controlled much of the second half outside of an unfortunate penalty kick and a resulting hangover.
After a first half where Davis said the club panicked some in possession and set piece marking failed them on the opening goal, Houston turned the tables in the second half and was successful at switching the field.
“I thought we pressured them higher,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “That created more turnovers and we won balls in their half of the field that made us a little more dangerous.”
Ricardo Clark’s goal off a 40-yard set piece to pull Houston within one was a product of that pressure.
“I just found an opening in there and I tried to take an advantage of it, and I did,” Clark said. “I think we showed a lot of character to fight back and were unfortunate not to get another one to tie it up.”
As Davis noted though, Saturday night also added some things to work on. Houston’s trouble was similar to what caused them issues versus the Montreal Impact. Vancouver was able to open Houston up on the break as Pedro Morales pinpointed balls out of the midfield to the runs of Kenny Miller and Darren Mattocks.
“Vancouver is a very good team with a lot of talent, especially going forward,” goalkeeper Tally Hall told the media after the game. “But I think we had a pretty solid game plan going into it. I don’t really feel like they broke us down too bad.
“We were kind of unlucky; we did it to ourselves a little bit,” Hall continued. “But we move on and we beat our rivals.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com