HOUSTON — In a scoreless draw, it’s easy to look at the goals you didn’t score, as focus is often drawn away from the clean sheet and a positive defensive performance.
While the Houston Dynamo were upset that they didn’t grab a goal to seal the victory in their 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers on Tuesday, they were able to snuff out many of the Timbers attacks with relative ease. Despite giving up nine shots, the Dynamo rarely allowed the visitors to get a clear view on goalkeeper Tally Hall, who made only two saves.
That, coupled with the absence of defensive lapses, which have been adding up of late, had the Dynamo happy about their defensive performance.
“It’s always a process of getting better and better and when we don’t hurt ourselves then it’s difficult to beat us,” Hall said. “I think the last couple of games have been a good example of us being organized and playing well and we’re a difficult team to score on.”
Foul or no foul?
A play that could have unlocked the game late was a non-call when Portland defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso made a physical challenge on Calen Carr, who was in on goal. Despite a collision just outside the box, referee Chris Penso allowed play to resume.
WATCH: Kinnear press conference at BBVA
“It looked from my vantage point like it was a foul and I did see the ball changed direction. … I’m not too sure because I haven’t seen a replay,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “The linesman said he got the ball first but I’ll have to go back and look at the video and then give you my honest answer.”
Since returning to the starting XI against the New York Red Bulls on May 9, Brad Davis has excelled, highlighted by scoring the first goal in BBVA Compass history. On Tuesday night, it was time for a rest after 254 minutes of soccer in seven days.
“We are riding Brad pretty hard right now,” Kinnear said. “I thought maybe I gave him five minutes to many, he may not agree with that but I think he was running on empty a bit. It’s been a good shift of minutes for Brad and we need to make sure we take care of him heading into the next game.”
With the inaugural match and first night game in the books the amount of distractions should die down, which is a good thing. But it would not be bad for the club if some things stay the same.
“You can’t blame the hoopla because it is pretty special,” Kinnear said. “It’s special what is going on here in the stadium with the fans and the organization. … You don’t want to say its back to normal because we hope these types of games are normal.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.