The wait for a Houston Dynamo win goes on after the team’s latest fruitless performance -- but for one of their number, Friday’s defeat by Sporting Kansas City signaled the end of a far longer hold-up.
Backup goalkeeper Tyler Deric was given the nod by head coach Dominic Kinnear, who wanted to give Tally Hall a rest after a three-game losing run that was extended with a 2-0 loss to the MLS Cup champions at BBVA Compass Stadium.
It was only the second MLS match Hall has missed since the start of the 2011 season. The previous occasion came in October, 2012, when the Dynamo had already secured a playoff berth and Kinnear picked Deric in a rotated line-up that faced the Colorado Rapids.
Kinnear told reporters he wanted to “just give Tally a break. Tyler’s been playing pretty good in practice, wanted to give him a chance and I think we’ve been giving up a lot of goals, I think Tally’s getting kind of beat up; that was the thinking behind it.”
The 25-year-old Deric was grateful for the opportunity but said the thrill of stepping on the field was tarnished by what transpired. “They told everybody yesterday on the teamsheet and I was marked down in goal, so I was excited. It was nice being on the field but a really disappointing result,” he said.
“It’s been a long wait, I’ve been working hard for a long time -- but you’re in there to get results and this isn’t the result that I wanted.”
It was not an outcome that seemed likely when Sporting’s Toni Dovale was sent off in the 21st minute. But the ten men defended resolutely, a sorely understrength Houston created little and the visitors, also without several key men, profited from defensive errors. Though Kinnear shuffled his lineup after last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Colorado, including a first start of the season for Alex López, the lack of good attacking threats and mistakes at the back were familiar.
This season, the Dynamo have lost more games than any other MLS side (9) and conceded the most goals in the league (29) -- though they have also played sixteen times, the most in MLS.
The Dynamo host the Laredo Heat in the US Open Cup next Wednesday, but the recriminations and regrets from this outcome are sure to linger until they next take the field in MLS play -- a road trip to face the Montreal Impact on June 29.
“I’m the guy who picks the team, I’m the guy who makes the subs. This game is completely my fault tonight, I take 100 percent of the blame,” said Kinnear.
As for the team’s wounded pride: “We’ve got to move on, we have a US Open Cup game Wednesday so that’s what we’re looking forward to,” said Deric.