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Houston Dynamo mental lapses lead to third straight loss: "We need to be sharper"

On a day where their attack was out of sorts, the Houston Dynamo defense needed to be on point; and for the first 67 minutes they were. However, what has been a bad theme for the club in 2014 reared its head again as one misplay put that good work to waste.

After neither team was particularly dangerous, Kevin Alston and the New England Revolution were finally able unlock the Dynamo defense when center back Jermaine Taylor and company failed to clear a dangerous attack. Alston scored his first MLS goal which was enough to put the Dynamo away in what turned out to be a frustrating 2-0 loss.

“I don’t think there was much in the game up until that point,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “There weren’t really many clear-cut chances up until that point. They won a tackle at the top of the box, ball fell to the right guy and he put it away.”

Houston’s defense had looked in control for much of the game. Outside of shots from Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez that were repelled by goalkeeper Tally Hall, New England did not look any more threatening than the Dynamo.

Alston’s goal gave New England a lead that was doubled by Jerry Bengtson in the dying moments, changed that as the Revs found a rhythm moving forward.

“The first goal we were just sloppy getting the ball out of the 18 and they took advantage of it,” Ricardo Clark told the media. “We need to be sharper going into the second half. From the forwards, through the whole team, all the way to the back, we need to act more as a unit and not let those kinds of goals happen. I think both of them were preventable.”

Hall took the blame for Bengtson’s insurance goal where he failed to get to a ball after coming off his line leaving rookie AJ Cochran to defend the goal.

“After three steps I’m running out knowing I’m probably not going to get the ball, but I’ve already made a poor decision and you just kind of hope you get lucky,” the goalkeeper told the media. “I felt like I kind of let the team down, took away our chance to get an equalizer and get a point.”

As for what was missing in the attack, Kinnear attributed to being unable to connect passes. Houston’s forwards Will Bruin and Giles Barnes saw little of the ball and the Revs defense was able to keep Houston from getting in dangerous spots. The result was Houston failing to put a shot on goal.

The inability to get going hurt as points looked to be there for the taking for the Dynamo leading to a third consecutive loss.

“I think we let ourselves down, and at the same time I think later – most of the second half – they found their groove and we were punished for it,” Hall said.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.