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Trask Smith

Dynamo laud "winning mentality" at home, look to replicate it on the road

On the five-year anniversary of BBVA Compass Stadium opening, the Houston Dynamo kept their unbeaten home streak intact with a 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday.

BBVA Compass Stadium has become a fortress for the Dynamo this season. No other MLS team has as many home victories as the Dynamo this season. Of the seven Dynamo home games, six have resulted in victories.

Friday’s victory also gives Houston more home wins than they had in 2016. Better yet, the Dynamo are already just one victory away from matching their entire win total from last season.

How have Houston been so dominant at home?

“I like their mentality,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera said on what he likes about how his team plays at home. “We have a winning mentality when we play here. The players have been improving game by game.”

Cabrera added that team improvement doesn't always mean more goals scored, which isn't a problem anyway at the moment as they lead the league in scoring. He noted how his team has made a conscious effort to get forward while still staying solid defensively.

Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza chalks up the team’s dominance at home to simply having family, friends and fans in the stands.

“Guys get up for that,” DeLaGarza said before shifting focus to the team’s road woes. “On the flip side, when we go on away games we have to find that energy and get excited about crowds being quiet.”

Forward Erick "Cubo" Torres gave some of the credit to the fans. He states that the Orange faithful have made the visiting teams feel uncomfortable. But much like DeLaGarza, Torres quickly pivoted to talking about how the Dynamo need to take their home intensity and take it with them on the road.

The Dynamo — who have played three road games — have yet to win a game away from the confines of BBVA Compass Stadium. Of the next five Dynamo games, four are on the road, starting with a midweek game in Philadelphia.

“Yes, we’re conscious of the fact that we are a strong team at home. Now we need to fight on the road to get points,” Romell Quioto said. “I think we have to win a road game, we’re not going to lose all of them.”

It wasn’t all positive from the Dynamo. Alberth Elis, who notched his fifth goal of the season, left the game in the 31st minute with a right leg sprain. His compatriot Quioto exited the game in the second half.

Cabrera said Quioto was subbed off for precautionary reasons, but should be available for Wednesday’s game against the Union.