After an unexpected 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field Saturday, the Houston Dynamo were once again left to answer questions about why the club cannot seem to win on the road.
“I don’t think we’re playing great away from home, but we’re playing the game and we’re creating a lot of scoring opportunities,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said after the loss. “I think we deserved more than we got, and I don’t think we should have come out on the wrong end of it, but that’s the game sometimes.”
Saturday was another case of the Dynamo carrying the run of play (they totaled 57 percent of possession) but not being able to convert that control into a win.
“I think we let the game slip away,” said midfielder Brad Davis. “We haven’t had a win on the road this year, and we were really looking forward to coming here and getting something from this game. I think we had some good opportunities to score some goals, but, once again, we were unable to finish.”
The missed opportunity continued the club’s struggles on the West Coast. Houston is now 0-4-1 in the Pacific Time Zone, their only positive result coming in a 1-1 draw on March 25 against the Seattle Sounders. In the other four games (against the San Jose Earthquakes, Chivas USA, LA Galaxy, and Vancouver Whitecaps), the Dynamo have lost by a combined score of 7-0. For goalkeeper Tally Hall – who notched four saves – the latest West Coast outcome was tough to swallow.
“It’s frustrating, because it’s an opportunity we missed, and we really dropped the ball,” Hall said.
Late goal hurts
Losing the match was tough, but the fashion in which Houston lost added to the sting. After dodging a number of bullets from talented forwards Eric Hassli and Mustapha Jarju, the Dynamo leaked a goal to unlikely scorer Shea Salinas with just four minutes left in the match. It was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.
“We’ve done this more than once to ourselves this year,” Davis said. “In the last five minutes of the game, we’re unable to close the game down.”
Credit to the fans
Playing in Vancouver’s penultimate game at Empire Field, the Dynamo were impressed with the fan support there. Having now played two of their three games in the Pacific Northwest, Kinnear took the chance to praise the region for the environment it has created.
“It’s great, I love it,” Kinnear said of the fan support. “I think this whole Pacific Northwest has caught MLS by storm. Congratulations to the three franchises for really making it a great place to play.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.