VANCOUVER, B.C.—A week to forget for the Houston Dynamo ended on a fairly positive note at BC Place on Saturday afternoon, as the visitors survived a second-half surge from the Vancouver Whitecaps to come away with a 1-1 draw.
A lot of teams seem to get a boost when parting ways with their manager, and that appeared to be the case for Houston, which took the game to Vancouver in the early going and had a 20th minute lead through a DaMarcus Beasley goal before both teams were reduced to 10 men just before halftime.
Although the Dynamo ended up surrendering their lead, caretaker boss Wade Barrett saw enough from his side to be happy with their response to last week's loss in Chicago and the turbulent week that followed.
"It's been an interesting week around our camp," Barrett told reporters after the match. "We had a couple of days to prepare the team. We worked really, really hard over the last couple of days of having a specific plan.
"The game works out the way the game works out. I was proud of the way that the guys really stuck to the game plan. That was the one thing we asked from them. We asked discipline and organization. We stressed that and we stressed how we wanted to play and what we wanted to do."
Vancouver came out all guns blazing in the second half, but Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric was in excellent form, keeping out most of what the Whitecaps threw at him, producing six big saves in total. And the keeper was delighted with the performance put in by he and his teammates to come away with a road point.
"Mentally, we cleared up a lot of things," Deric said. "Heading into the game we had a clear idea of what we wanted to do and we executed very well. It was unfortunate we didn't get all three points, but you have to give credit to Vancouver. They're a very good team, but I thought we performed extremely well today."
The point keeps the Dynamo at the bottom of the Western Conference. Barrett acknowledged the work ahead to get the team back into the playoff mix this season, but feels that the team spirit and fight that the squad has shown in the last few days following Owen Coyle's midweek departure has been a good place to start.
"It was a difficult week," Barrett added. "When something like this happens, it's an opportunity for the players and the team to take a step further away from one another or it's an opportunity for them to take a step closer to the group. I think you could see right away that players were taking a step closer to the group.
"When something like this happens, that's what you need. You have to have the players circle the wagons and say you know what, this group right here, let's try and find a solution to get a positive result on the weekend. The attitude that the players showed the last couple of days, in difficult circumstances, I'm really, really proud of."