Before the Houston Dynamo had a chance to acclimatize to the thin Denver air, the Colorado Rapids had already put them in a tough position.
Houston got a rough greeting when Marvel Wynne found a wide open Deshorn Brown free in front of goal to give the home team a 1-0 lead. That early lead would become a 3-0 win and a third straight loss for the Dynamo. Looking back, the 5th minute goal was a sign that the Dynamo have seen far too often in a two week span.
“It’s been happening way too much this year. It’s almost another, ‘here we go again,’” forward Will Bruin said afterwards. “When you give up a goal in the first five minutes, it’s deflating, but we should have guys getting up and saying ‘hey, let’s go, it’s just one goal, get it back, get it going forward.’ We’re putting our heads down, trying to feel sorry for ourselves, and this is what happens.”
Getting that ‘here we go again’ feeling has been something the club has experienced the past week. Houston entered the game having lost their previous two matches by a combined score of 5-0. Looking for a boost, conceding just a minute into the match was not what they were, or are ever, looking for.
“I think it was a combination of them dictating the game, and us not really doing any favors for ourselves,” said Corey Ashe. “We turned the ball over in bad situations, not really staying clued in. We’re giving up soft goals right now, goals that can be prevented. We’ve had a rough patch, but we need to sort it out, that’s for sure.”
While the early concession was bad in its own right, conceding it in the thin Rocky Mountain air had long-term ramifications.
“It’s a dangerous game to play, to play from behind,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told the press. “It’s tough to play here with the altitude, and when you’re playing from behind for 85 minutes, it makes it even harder.
“Losing a goal in the first five minutes of the game is never good,” Kinnear continued. “We just didn’t play well.”
The club had spells they will point to as positives and can look to individual things to take away from the game. However, the issues that have plagued the team regarding miscues and making things easy on the opponent continued against the Rapids.
With one game left until the World Cup break, it’s a trend Houston knows it needs to buck.
“When we break it down, we’re not playing bad; we’re just not making teams have to really beat us,” said Ashe. “We’re leaving guys open in the box, we’re not taking accountability plays, and we’re not scoring goals. That’s just something we’ve got to get out of.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.