Houston conflicted over three-week break from action
HOUSTON – After losing 2-0 to the Seattle Sounders last Friday at CenturyLink Field, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said the first thing he thought about when heading to the locker room was getting back on the field.
Kinnear and the Dynamo have a long wait ahead of them to do that.
After starting the season with six points from three road fixtures, the Dynamo have back-to-back off dates this weekend and next, which will force them to wait 23 days from Friday’s loss until their next match against the Chicago Fire on April 15.
HIGHLIGHTS: SEA 2, HOU 0
“Going into it after a loss is a negative,” defender Bobby Boswell told MLSsoccer.com. “It sucks because you always remember your last game and that was a loss to Seattle. But with that said, we’ve gotten started with six points in three road games. I think statistically most teams would take that.”
Just four weeks into the season, the Dynamo are left to figure out how to best capitalize on a three-week break from action. With only minor health issues to deal with, Houston plan to use the time off to fine tune their skills by playing some intra-squad matches and a friendly against the PDL Laredo Heat on April 5.
And with a disappointing loss behind them and five-straight matches against Eastern Conference opponents upcoming, the Dynamo can’t afford to come out of their break without their sharpness.
“[This break] could be good or bad mentally because if teams in the East go out and get beat every week, it’s a positive," Boswell said. "But if teams in the East are winning games and taking a big lead on us. … We don’t want to be anywhere near the bottom of the table. But all we can focus on is how hard we work and I don’t doubt for a minute that we’re going to work really hard.”
While the positives and negatives of this break on the field are up for debate, there is no question Houston could use some time off from the travel that comes with a season-opening, seven-game road trip.
To help his team recover from the travel of the first three weeks, Kinnear will give his squad three days off this weekend, something he cannot remember ever doing during his time as a coach.
The hope is that the time off will give the Dynamo a chance to recharge their batteries as they look to build on their early success in 2012.
“Maybe it’d be better come August or July but … we’ll take advantage of it and it’s a weekend to get away a little bit,” Andre Hainault said. “It’s not the half way point but with three road games in a row and four left, it’s nice to get a little break from that. It’ll be good and we’ll use it to our advantage.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached for comment at Darrell.A.Lovell@gmail.com.