Kinnear happy with defense despite lackluster display

Dominic Kinnear

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HOUSTON – You will rarely hear Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear overreact to a performance, good or bad.

That was again the case after a rough defensive performance against D.C. United in last Saturday’s 3-2 loss.

D.C. got the better of the Dynamo to record three goals, with two coming in the air, as Houston struggled to contain United’s attack. While it was not the ideal performance, the Dynamo boss stood behind his back four on Monday, proclaiming his confidence that the group will get the job done.

HIGHLIGHTS: DC 3, HOU 2

“It’s one game where we gave up three goals where we normally take care of,” the Dynamo boss said when asked about changes in leadership or personnel on the backline. “It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and say we need this or need that, but we’re fine. We need to go see some film and be better at what we’re doing. We don’t need to make any changes.”

Kinnear’s vote of confidence is no surprise. After all, his backline has proved its credentials time and again, on the international and MLS level, that it can be dominant. For evidence, just look at the performance they put together down the stretch last year when the club allowed just five goals in its last nine matches.

While their experience breeds confidence, their recent form – which includes allowing eight goals in the last four matches – is not being overlooked. The club is looking to correct their ailments before heading to New York to play the offense minded Red Bulls on May 9 and the first step is correcting some uncharacteristic tendencies.

“We’ve got to do better. Giving up three goals [two on headers] is kind of shocking because we’re pretty good there,” center back Bobby Boswell told the media. “I think in the run of things we’ve done a poor job of being accountable. That’s not something we’re used to. We’re going to watch video and get back to work and correct it.”

Boswell’s comments show the club is eager to show that the defense's recent form is more the exception than the rule. With that in mind, Kinnear believes that anyone looking to press the panic button regarding the defense should take a step back and reassess.  

“You don’t want to get caught up in all this, and fans and media do it … to suggest that we need this or that,” Kinnear said. “D.C. are a good attacking team and you have to give credit where it’s due because they have good attacking players going forward.

“If you look at the three goals we gave up it was out of character for us,” the Dynamo boss continued. “Hopefully that statement remains the same and we don’t keep on doing this.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.