It has gone from bad to worse for the Houston Dynamo defense.
With their starting center backs in the fold and a two-goal lead thanks to a first half brace from Brad Davis, the club looked to be in good shape to get a positive out of their game against Toronto FC on Saturday.
It turned out to be too tall a task, as a combination of poor mistakes and missteps in defense turned the good start into a gut punch 4-2 loss to TFC that once again showed the team’s Achilles heel.
“We are just letting too many goals in,” Davis said. “We are just getting scored on a little too easy. We need to be more organized in our shape and attack and defense … All in all we are just leaking too many goals right now.”
Leaking goals gets to the point as it suggests the club is their own worst enemy. As has been the case in a run of seven games that has seen the club give up 19 goals, they once again were victims of self-inflicted wounds.
After two left-footed smashes from Davis in the 13th and 30th minutes provided a cushion, the cracks started to show. Goalkeeper Tally Hall was unable to corral a cross inside the box. His bundle fell to Jonathan Osorio and the midfielder made them pay in the 39th minute.
“For me it’s frustrating because the first domino goes with a mistake from me and so as a team we collapsed as a team,” Hall said. “To be the guy that kicks the first domino is a frustrating night for me.”
After Hall’s mistake, Houston was caught out of shape just before the half by Dominic Oduro and then Jermain Defoe showed his class punishing the club twice in the second half. The last goal came off a woeful pass that put him in one-on-one duel with Hall that he said post game felt “like Christmas.”
“On the road two goals is good for you, and should be good for the win or something else,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “When you make mistakes like that you are not going to come away with that much.”
Where the fix comes from is something the club has yet to figure out. With an attack that has started clicking, getting their defense in order is the question Kinnear and his team has to answer.
“It is to the point now where we have talked enough and we have to find it within ourselves to go out and get results, whatever it may be, however we have to do it,” Davis said. “We have to get results.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.