Just five games into the 2011 season, the Houston Dynamo are looking to accomplish something they could only do once in all of 2010: win back-to-back games. After notching a 3-1 win over the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps last Sunday, the Dynamo now host the New England Revolution Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.
“We took the whole season last year to win two games in a row,” said Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis. “So this is an opportunity for us to go out there and get a win and get a little bit of a streak going and roll off some good wins at home.
[inline_node:333529]The Dynamo are looking to build on last week’s offensive explosion. Scoring three goals and ripping off 19 total shots, coach Dominic Kinnear’s side dominated the run of play on their way to notching their first win of the season. Their success came, Davis said, from maintaining patience in possession.
“It starts by having composure on the ball and not feeling like when the ball turns over we have rush to score,” said Davis, who posted a career-high three assists in last week’s game. “Last week was encouraging; coming home and scoring three in front of our fans. It builds confidence knowing we can find the back of the net.”
New England, which dropped a 2-0 result to Real Salt Lake last week, lies one place ahead of the Dynamo in the Eastern Conference standings but has played one more game. More significant from Houston’s perspective is the fact that the Revolution’s regular central midfielders, Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan, both saw red cards last week and will miss Sunday’s match. In addition, the Revolution are likely to be without offseason international signings midfielder Ousmane Dabo (right quadriceps strain) and defender Didier Domi (left hamstring strain).
“You have to prepare for the guys that step in their place who will be looking to take the opportunity to play well in their place,” Kinnear said.
[inline_node:333742]The Dynamo will also be without a few regulars. Forward Brian Ching (rib injury) and center back Jermaine Taylor (foot sprain) will be missing again this week. Last week Cam Weaver filled in for Ching and Andre Hainault stayed inside to replace Taylor, with Corey Ashe starting his second straight match at Hainault’s left back position.
Regardless of who suits up, Sunday’s match should be a tough affair between two clubs still defining their 2011 identities. For the Dynamo, a second straight win would go a long way toward providing that definition.
“Winning can become a habit, but you have to take it one game at a time, and we’re focusing on getting a win Sunday,” Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall said.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.