The three games that the Houston Dynamo faced in eight days last week could not have been more different.
They started with a 10 p.m. CT kickoff on Sunday night against the two-time defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. After earning a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Home Depot Center - their first road win over the Galaxy since September 2007 - they traveled across the country for a Wednesday night match against D.C. United. The Dynamo dispatched last-place United with a 4-0 victory behind a two goal, two assist performance from MLS Player of the Week Will Bruin.
From there, things did not get any easier for Houston, as they traveled back to the cozy confines of BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the two-time defending regular season Eastern Conference champion Sporting KC. After holding the visitors as bay for 72 minutes, Sporting got the one goal they would need to end the Dynamo's historic run at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Despite six points from a possible nine games in eight days, the voters at MLSsoccer.com kept the Dynamo in the No. 6 spot in their weekly power rankings. Here is what Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle had to say about Houston:
Smashed D.C. midweek – as any good, healthy team should – then finally saw their 36-game unbeaten run come to an end against Sporting. What's it mean? Simple: The Dynamo are still a few pieces short (Omar Cummings, please get well!) of the team we thought they'd be.
Over at ESPN.com, the Dynamo impressed Jeff Carlisle enough that the veteran soccer writer moved Houston up one spot to No. 6 in his ranking. Carlisle wrote:
The home unbeaten streak is dead at 30 league games, but the Dynamo are very much alive in the Eastern Conference thanks to their win over D.C. United. A question going forward is whether Giles Barnes' injury means the team will persist with a 4-3-3.
Lastly, we head over SI.com, where Avi Creditor - who had a front-row seat for Houston's win over United - marveled at the Dynamo's 2011 draft class of Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie and kept the Dynamo in the No. 3 spot in his rankings. Creditor wrote:
How about the Dynamo's 2011 draft class? First-round picks Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie continue to blossom. Sarkodie, he of the double goal-line block in D.C., has especially taken extra strides in a full-time starting role at right back this season. The club having its home unbeaten streak snapped at 36 is certainly a minor setback, but after playing three games in eight days in Los Angeles, D.C. and Houston, perhaps the rigorous schedule was too much to overcome.
The Dynamo will have little time to think about their first home loss in almost two years. Houston will host the New England Revolution Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. Tickets are available and can be purchased at HoustonDynamo.com/Tickets or by calling (713) 276-GOAL.