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Notebook: Houston relieved to be back in control

After Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact, there was a feeling that the Houston Dynamo had lost a bit of their grip on their own playoff destiny.

The match turned the Dynamo into interested observers of the battle between Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew on Sunday. That match, like Houston’s, ended in a 1-1 draw, and the Dynamo exited the weekend having kept their slim, one-point lead for the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

“Obviously we would’ve liked to get the win [against Montreal] but we still have [the playoffs] within our control,” said striker Will Bruin. “I really don’t feel as much pressure on us, I just feel we have to go out and play and the results will take care of themselves. There’re only two games left so there are not many more opportunities we can miss.”

READ: See the updated playoff picture

With control restored, Houston are looking to make the most of a result finally going their way. To do that, there is a premium on continuing to improve as they head into the final weeks of the season.

“Definitely happy when it’s all said and done that we’re in the position that if the season ended today we’d be in,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall (pictured, above). “We look back and we still see some critical things that we need to do better. … I know it’s late in the season, but those things can still be done and still be accomplished. We’re in a spot where we can get in if we do our job, so at the end of the day, it’s not so bad.”

The Dynamo are looking to close out on the right foot and take things from not so bad to good in their remaining two matches against the Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids. That means moving forward and doing what they can to improve their position and keep control of the matters they are directly involved in.

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“You can’t look back and say, ‘I wish this would’ve happened,’” Hall said. “You look at it and say, ‘This is what happened, you can’t change any of it but we can improve as we go forward.’ We’re always striving for excellence. We’re always striving to get better and that’s an important part of a team that wants to do well.”

New face at training

Brazilian Renan Coelho has joined the Dynamo on trial this week. The midfielder/defender was most recently with Brazilian side Caxias and will be with Houston through the next week, playing in both of this week’s Reserve League games at Real Salt Lake Wednesday and home against the Chicago Fire Saturday.

“He’s been recommended to us and we figured with these two games with the squad being as light as it is if we can bring in some trialists it would be a good idea,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “His name came up and he was willing to come in on trial so we’re having a look at him.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.