Five-games down and sinking: Houston Dynamo all out of answers after latest multi-goal loss

Coming off a two-week break the Houston Dynamo were looking for a fresh start to the second half of their season. What they got Sunday night was a fifth straight lopsided loss in MLS play and more concerns about a season that has lost its way.

The 3-0 loss – which puts their combined score in the last five games at 13-0 – to the Montreal Impact drove home many of the same issues that plagued Houston before the break: a stagnant offense and a defense that fell prey to lapses in the back.

“It’s the way things are going,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said succinctly about the loss. When asked what the club needs to do to pull out of the funk he responded with a simple solution, “Win a game. Gives you confidence.”

Houston never looked to be in the hunt for that win for the balance of the opening 70 minutes. They claimed nearly 50 percent of possession but generated just one shot on goal and one Omar Cummings volley off the crossbar on the night.

While the attack struggled to create, the defense struggled to hold up. Montreal’s attack, which rounded into form in the second half when Marco Di Vaio was introduced into the mix, found the cracks and eventually punished the Dynamo for them.

Jack McInerney scored on an unmarked header in the first half, then a 75th minute golazo four minutes before Di Vaio banged the final nail into the Dynamo coffin.

“It’s just football in general. If you defend well and finish you end up with results,” said Kofi Sarkodie after the game. “We just unfortunately lost some guys in the box and they were able to finish. We’ve got to be more organized defensively and be better in the box and finish.”

There was some good news. Ricardo Clark returned for the final 16 minutes after missing nine games with a concussion and Boniek Garcia returned from the World Cup to go a full 90 minutes.

“It’s good to get those guys back,” Sarkodie said. “Brad [Davis] will be back in time and hopefully we can get everything going and get everything back on all fronts.”

Their returns, however, did not change Houston’s fortunes. They’re now left to continue searching for answers while caught in a rut that has turned into a chasm.

“It’s another frustrating game for us … There’s no easy answers is the simple thing to say and we need to do better,” goalkeeper Tally Hall old MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview. “I will say that trainings have been some of the sharpest we’ve had this year. I think our intensity and passion’s there. We believe in ourselves, it’s not coming to fruition but that doesn’t mean it won’t.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.