Dynamo Notebook: Confidence beginning to soar

HOUSTON — With Saturday’s dramatic 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake, the Houston Dynamo are starting to have the look of a team that is destined to pull out clutch results.

Whether it’s gutting out a draw at the end of a game or snatching a goal back at important moments, the Dynamo are starting to play like a team with the confidence to come away with points.

Houston showed their comeback skills three times against RSL over the weekend. Twice the team battled back from a one-goal deficit, trailing 1-0 at halftime and then 2-1 at 60 minutes. Both times the club responded to difficult situations before eventually pulling out the improbable last-second winner.

HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 3, RSL 2
Get Microsoft Silverlight

“Even though we were losing in the first half, we turned around the game,” forward Carlo Costly said. “From the first minute, we showed our character. We never put our heads down.”

The ability to claw back into games has shown that Houston are perhaps turning the corner in a season that saw them start well — dropping just one of their first seven contests — but then fall into a rut in the middle third of the schedule.

“I just think everyone’s playing better,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear about his club’s progression. “At the beginning of the year, we were just treading water. We were going good but not busting through, but now everyone has upped their game. Plus they’re having fun.

“They’re undefeated in five and have only one loss in the last 10. I think anytime you get a point and play well, it gives you confidence — and the mistakes don’t bug them because that confidence is there.”

Veterans step up

While Alex Dixon’s last-second goal stole the show, the Dynamo were in the game because of contributions from their veteran leaders Brian Ching, Bobby Boswell and Brad Davis. Both Ching — who took the team lead with five goals on the year — and Boswell notched game-tying goals in the second half to give Houston life.

Davis continued his blistering assist pace, notching two helpers en route to setting a career high with 13, which leads MLS.

“We were finding Brad quite a lot,” Kinnear said. “We were finding space wide and when Brad gets the ball, it’s always a dangerous situation.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.