With a strong, experienced, and intact core the Houston Dynamo likely did not see themselves dealing with a three-game losing streak just a month-and-a-half into the season.
After winning two straight to start the year, though, the Dynamo have tumbled in their last three games dropping results to the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas and New England Revolution by a combined score of 8-2.
While it's just the start of the season, it is the type of losing streak that has the Dynamo looking in the mirror.
“We’re still a positive group, but I think there’s frustration at the personal level and I think there should be,” said Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. “There’s nothing wrong with being motivated to play better. There’s a long list of reasons to be disappointed and we’re going to use it as motivation to individually be better and as a team be better.”
That list of reasons Hall mentions runs the gambit.
The Dynamo have been victims of misfortune due to injuries to the likes of Brad Davis and Tony Cascio and some calls that have not gone their way. The injuries, however, are just one part of the equation and the club is not shirking from the blame for any other reason.
Houston have put themselves in bad positions with defensive miscues on set pieces and in the run of play and with an attack that has yet to reproduce the successes of their opening game. Also, the club was hit hard by a red card to David Horst that had an effect on their last two losses.
While a three-game losing streak is tough to deal with, head coach Dominic Kinnear and his team have been here before; and the experienced boss is far from pressing the panic button.
“You have to keep things in perspective,” said Kinnear. “Have things been going good? Absolutely not, and we understand that. On the other side of it, if we put a couple of wins together we’ll be right back on top. Reality is always a good reminder of what’s around you and I think we’ve experienced a lot to know that five games in we’re not out of the chase.”
Kinnear said that changes in the team would be premature, stating he doesn’t “think [players'] performances have been behind it to where you shake things up because it’s not worth it right now,” though he did say an upcoming three-game stretch in eight days could force his hand with lineup changes.
The approach is typical of a team that has been here before and has dealt with the frustrations that a rough patch can bring. And with their first two games in the three-game stretch are on the road, eliminating the mistakes and making their own good fortune is a top priority.
“When we look back at the season our goal’s to not even look back at this moment because we used it for motivation and did our job and started winning a whole bunch of games,” Hall said.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.