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Trask Smith

On fire in Houston, Dynamo aim to take solid form on the road

The Houston Dynamo are a dramatically different team at home than on the road. Wednesday’s 5-1 destruction of Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium is just the latest evidence of that.

All seven of the Dynamo’s wins this year have come at home. But Houston doesn’t just win at home, they put on a show. The five goals they scored on Wednesday night marked the third time in eight home games that the Dynamo have scored four or more goals. Of Houston’s 27 goals this year, 24 have come at home.

Wednesday’s three points also propelled the Orange to the top of the Western Conference standings, but the Dynamo aren’t making a big deal out of that.

“We’re not really paying attention to the standings,” goalkeeper Tyler Deric said after Wednesday’s match. “We’re just looking at Seattle. We know they’re a good team, especially in Seattle. It’s a tough place to play. So all our focus right now is to figure out how we can set ourselves up to get the best result we can and to get three points in Seattle.”

Deric’s pivot to Houston’s match at the Sounders on Sunday (9 p.m. CT | KUBE 57) is apropos. As close to invincible as the Dynamo have been at home, where they’re 7-0-1, they’ve been miserable on the road. The Dynamo are 0-5-1 away from home, nabbing their first away point of the season in a scoreless draw at FC Dallas last Sunday.

First-year head coach Wilmer Cabrera said that focusing first on home form – Houston only won five home games last year – was part of the Dynamo’s rebuilding plan.

“I’ve always said that we built a strong team to play at home,” Cabrera said. “And we focused first on developing the team to play well here in Houston. We needed to be dominant here [in Houston].”

Now, the team must find a way to make those same improvements on the road. Cabrera and Deric both pointed to Sunday’s draw at Dallas as a positive first step.

“Now we are working to have a balance, not only here at home but on the road also,” Cabrera said. ”We’re already improving the solidity and the defensive work of the group.”

“We just have to go out there and prove it on the field,” added Deric. “We can talk about, ‘we feel good, we feel this and that’, but we just have to go out there and get the results and put in the hard work in the field. There’s nothing that’s going to replace that.”