Trask Smith

Houston Dynamo rolling, but not ready to call themselves favorites out West

HOUSTON—After a start to the season during which the Houston Dynamo’s performance on the pitch failed to translate to wins, the Orange are now unbeaten in their last four and won back-to-back games for the first time this season. 

Better still, the team’s play on the field has only improved as the season has progressed. Their latest win came against Eastern Conference contender New York City FC, whom they soundly defeated 3-1 on Friday at BBVA Compass Stadium behind two second-half goals. 

The win is Houston’s first over New York City FC and gives Houston a 3-1-1 record over their last five games. Beyond that, it’s the first time in Dynamo history that the team won back-to-back games after trailing. 

Last week they turned a two-goal deficit against Chicago Fire into a 3-2 win

“Little by little we’re getting better. We’re more solid but it’s not like we’re surprising anyone,” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “It’s just a matter of being solid defensively and fixing little things in terms of concentration and intensity of the game.”

Cabrera added that his squad has a tendency to raise their level of play when they play the top echelon teams in MLS. After all, Houston blitzed Atlanta United 4-0 in the first game of the season and dismantled New York City FC in the second half on Friday. 

“I think it’s a very important lesson for us. We need to take every game like it’s a playoff game,” Cabrera said. 

“If our players play their game with the concentration, intensity, and mentality the way we did it today against one of the top teams in MLS, we’re going to be able to perform well and play this way hopefully throughout the rest of the season.”

Does Cabrera think his side should be considered a favorite in the West after their latest string of performances?

“No. Not at all,” Cabrera said. “It’s only one game [vs. NYCFC] that we had to win as the home team. We’re obligated to win [at home],” Cabrera said. 

Tomás Martinez, who had a goal and an assist against New York City FC, says the Dynamo weren’t getting the results they needed early in the season but once the team starts winning, as it now has, it can get on a roll. 

“We have two [road] games in eight days so we need to continue being solid and take it game by game,” Cabrera said. “We’re not favorites yet, we still have a lot of season left to play.”