The Houston Dynamo collected their fourth road draw of the season, third scoreless, in their visit to Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo began playing with 10 men after Alex was handed a second yellow card in the 65th minute.
Here are three things we learned from the road point:
1. The Dynamo have pulled out points when needed
This is the point in the season when teams begin to separate themselves as the race to the playoffs heats up. As a response, the Dynamo have kept themselves in the top part of the Western Conference by not allowing teams below them to jump them in the standings.
With this draw, the team is now unbeaten in their last five games for the first time since late in the 2014 season. They have also matched their point total from 2016 with 11 matches left to be played.
It is understandable that a team with such a huge roster turnover in the offseason needed time to learn how to play together. They have perfected that with practice and, unlike their 3-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids that saw them unfold in the second half, the Dynamo have found ways to pull out results in difficult circumstances against motivated opponents.
2. The Dynamo got the job done with 10 men
Not that they’ll hope to be playing down a man a lot this season, but the Dynamo can check that box off as completed. The double yellow to Alex threw a curveball in Wilmer Cabrera’s plan, which altered his approach to the final 25 minutes.
“The plan changed when we lost Alex,” said Cabrera after the match. “So we had to execute something different and they responded very well."
The team found a way to frustrate a Real Salt Lake team that could not hit the target despite having 21 shots on goal. Missing a few opportunities of their own, the Dynamo could’ve even walked away with the full three points despite the numbers disadvantage.
3. A Dynamo match will not feature Alex for the first time this year
Due to his red card, Alex will miss the next match at home against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (TICKETS). The Brazilian, who leads the team with 10 assists, has featured in all 23 league matches this season.
In two matches this season Alex did feature as a substitute, with Boniek García taking his place in the starting lineup. The Honduran could be called once again, but other options include Memo Rodriguez, who picked up his third MLS start against RSL, Charlie Ward, or Vicente Sánchez.
It could also be an opportunity for new midfield signing Tomás Martínez to make his Dynamo debut in front of a home crowd. Sounds like you’ll have to tune in to the next episode of Dynamo soccer to find out.