Halftime is traditionally a respite for teams to recover and regroup. For the Dynamo on Saturday night, it was a time to reinforce that even though they were down a goal, the match was well within their grasp.
“We tried to calm the guys down,” said defender Bobby Boswell, who eventually scored the equalizer of the Dynamo’s 1-1 draw against Chicago. “[Head coach Dominic Kinnear] did a good job getting us focused. He built us up; he didn’t knock us down. He said he thought we were playing well, and if we kept the intensity going, we’d get something.”
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The halftime message sunk in. The Dynamo pushed the action immediately in the second half and took control around the 70th minute, eventually getting the game-tying goal from Boswell in the 83rd minute. The final push and the club’s ability to sustain momentum epitomized Kinnear’s message at halftime.
[inline_node:334764]“He made a good point, that they are probably going to expect us to come out hard in the first 15 minutes [of the second half],” Boswell said. “But why don’t we go out hard for 45?”
At the final whistle, the Dynamo looked back on the night knowing they played a good game overall, but benefited from a big push in the second half. That ability can help a team’s mentality over the course of an MLS season, according to Kinnear.
“I think we came in [the locker room] with a little bit of confidence, a little bit of frustration,” he said. “And the best thing to do is to try to leave the frustration behind and build on what we talked about at halftime. The guys responded very well.”
Kinnear unhappy with goal allowed
The need for the late rally came off a goal the Dynamo felt they gave away. On Chicago’s goal, Diego Cháves picked up the loose ball after Marco Pappa got past the Houston defense and fired it past Tally Hall.
“I wasn’t too thrilled about that, with the way the goal came about,” Kinnear said. “We gave it away. I think we can do a better job at cleaning it up the mess that we made, and credit to the Fire for taking advantage of the opportunity.”
Stitches for Weaver
Two weeks after Andre Hainault received stitches after a head to head collision with Vancouver’s Camilo, Cam Weaver collided with Chicago’s Yamith Cuesta in the second half. Both returned to the game, and Weaver sported a black wrap on his head similar to that worn by Hainault in the weeks before.
“Cam Weaver is going to get some stitches, a handful maybe,” Kinnear said. “It was a clash-of-the-titans collision. Both guys carried on playing, and it shows their determination to be good for their teams.”
Watson makes his debut
Newcomer Je-Vaughn Watson made his MLS debut against the Fire. The Jamaican international entered the match in the 78th minute for right back Hunter Freeman, switching between right and central midfield as the Dynamo played a 3-5-2 until tying the game, then shifted to a modified 4-4-2.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.