Before Saturday night’s match at Colorado even kicked off, the Houston Dynamo knew exactly where they’d be in the playoffs: snug in the Eastern Conference’s fifth spot with a trip to Chicago booked for Wednesday night.
Mentally, it looked as if they were already in the Windy City, as Colorado finished both teams’ regular season with a comprehensive 2-0 win.
For head coach Dom Kinnear, who put out something less than a full-strength XI, well… he was content to move on pretty quickly.
“I think we could have played a little better in that game," the Dynamo head coach said after the match. "We were a little disappointed in how we performed, but we've got a big game on Wednesday, so that's our focus right now.
"We're just going to need to stay positive. We had a good season so I'm just looking forward to Wednesday.”
While the team Kinnear puts out vs. the Fire will likely look considerably different than the one that the Rapids feasted upon, they could certainly use a duplication of Tyler Deric’s display in goal. The youngster, filling in for regular starter Tally Hall, kept the scoreline respectable.
“Colorado came out and started off really well, and they kind of put us under pressure at first,” Deric offered. “Give credit to them. This is a hard place to play. They had two goals. The second one, I thought we were pushing to get an equalizer. The first one, I thought they came out strong and fast.”
That they did, with Kamani Hill lacing home the first goal from 25 yards just nine minutes in. Andre Akpan got the clincher 13 minutes from time after Deric could only parry Martin Rivero’s wide open look.
But the Dynamo – even those who probably won’t be on the field in Chicago – seem to be willing to leave the regular season finale in the past.
They have bigger fish to fry, now.
“It's playoffs. It's a whole new season. We're just going to look at it one game at a time,” Deric said. “We play Chicago Wednesday and that's our focus right now.”