After the Dynamo's 2-1 home loss to Toronto FC on Saturday night, head coach Dominic Kinnear spoke as frankly as he could about his team's 2010 season.
“The season’s over,” Kinnear said. “The way we’re playing, we are not going to do it. It’s sad to say it, but it is a reality.”
Houston failed to hold on to a halftime lead for the first time all season. Two second-half Dwayne De Rosario goals all but completely distinguished any hope of the Dynamo making the playoffs.
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The loss, Houston's 13th of the season, puts the Dynamo second-from-last overall in the standings and 13 points from the eighth and final playoff berth with six games remaining. The Dynamo players could certainly sense their boss' anger and frustration.
“Whenever we lose, it doesn’t feel good — but tonight was a big hit,” midfielder Danny Cruz said. “[Kinnear] is furious with the loss, which he should be, as we didn’t play up to par.”
For Kinnear, Saturday's defeat was just another example of what’s been wrong with his side all season.
“I don’t know if it’s a [lack of] killer instinct — it’s [more] about defending properly,” Kinnear said. “What’s our record? 6-13-5 — there you go. It says it all. I think we’re the second- or the worst-defending team in the league. I think that says the story of where we are at.”
As for the game, it devolved into a tale of two halves. In the first half, Houston dominated possession and had nine corners and forced six saves. In the second, two Toronto free kicks punished Houston’s inability to get a second goal and its lackadaisical performance late in the match.
Kinnear warned his players at halftime that Toronto would come out firing, given its season, too, was on the line. Despite the coach's tough talk, the players still came out flat, though they were at a loss to explain why.
“We were a completely different team in the first half than the second,” Cruz said. “I don’t know [why], and that is the worst part about it.”
As for Houston’s playoff chances, De Rosario likely slammed the door shut on whatever slim hope there may have been of a late Dynamo surge into the playoff picture.
“Even if we win our last six, there’s no guarantee that we get in,” Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. “The way we’re playing, conceding goals at this stage in the season, it’s pretty clear for us to win six in a row is probably mission impossible.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.