The Houston Dynamo were back to serving up goals by the bunches in a 5-1 thrashing of defending MLS Cup Champion Toronto FC. While the Reds fielded a reserve-heavy side due to their their upcoming Concacaf Champions League final second leg on Wednesday, it was a much needed three points and return to form for the Dynamo.
Here are three things we learned:
1. Back on track
Winning was a must. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera reiterated the importance of reestablishing the team’s home field advantage earlier in the week and emphasized that point once more in his post match comments. The three points – and no additional injuries – made it mission accomplished.
Beyond the win, the offense was on fire – scoring a record-tying five goals in a single match – with the front three of Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto all etching their name on the scoresheet. Quioto looked as good as ever in a Dynamo jersey, being involved in all of the team’s five goals – recording his first goal of the year and two assists in the process.
2. Staying competitive
Part of the conversation leading up to the game was whether this match would be postponed to allow Toronto FC to focus on the Concacaf Champions League. The change would’ve not only have forced the Dynamo into a more congested schedule later in the season but it would again disturb the rhythm by forcing them to play three matches in 42 days.
Thanks to the schedule staying in tact, the Dynamo can now build some consistency going into summer months while maintaining competition. Joe Willis made his first start of the season in lieu of Chris Seitz, the Dynamo’s starting goalkeeper through their first five matches.
When asked about the subject, Cabrera said internal competition was the reason for the change and Willis – who went through this situation last year and was the goalkeeper during the playoffs – said he was keeping himself sharp if the situation arose for him to start. That competition has been seen in other positions this season and expect it to continue throughout the year.
3. Trust the Process
Despite going on a four game winless skid between opening day and Saturday's result, the Dynamo's offensive output has been consistent
The team has taken at least 12 shots in every game, and have yet to be outshot this year. Saturday's 20 shots weren't even the most of the season – they took 21 in the loss to Vancouver in March. The Dynamo are creating enough chances to win on a weekly basis, now it comes down to converting those chances and limiting the opposition's.
The next opportunity for the Dynamo to show their stuff will be on the road next Saturday at Minnesota United FC (7 p.m. CT, KUBE 57).