SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Houston Dynamo started the month of June the same way they started the month of May: with a disappointing loss.
And if this month goes according to the same script as last month — not a single win over a four-week stretch — Dominic Kinnear’s men will find themselves out of the playoff picture very, very quickly.
“I was a little bit stunned because we knew some of the results of [Saturday’s] games was a chance for us to pick up some points,” Kinnear said after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at San Jose.
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Houston’s winless streak has now reached seven straight games and has seen them slide from the top of the Eastern Conference to a logjam in the middle. But more worrying is that they’ve shown complacency in stretches and, according to Kinnear, a lack of intensity that is coming back to bite them in the rear.
Worse yet, Saturday’s loss opened up a tough two-week stretch in which the Dynamo will be without three starters who are missing on international duty, and a host of injuries that are still limiting Houston’s depth.
Center backs Jermaine Taylor and Andre Hainault are with their national teams for the Gold Cup, which prompted Kinnear to move midfielder Geoff Cameron back to his original center back spot against the Earthquakes and shifted Brad Davis back in the central midfield. Further injuries and suspensions are stretching Kinnear’s depth to no end as the team continues to search for another attacking player.
The result Saturday night was a thin lineup that wasn’t able to keep up momentum for 90 minutes.
“The first half was a good show of attitude and determination,” said Kinnear. “The second half was one of those where the first 20 minutes, it was a different attitude, and it was disappointing.”
Houston lacked the ferocity they brought in the first 45, as well as the lack of ideas. The defense began to relax — which allowed San Jose to open the game’s scoring in the 69th minute — while the offense sputtered. The result was another game in which the Dynamo failed to grab points and one that sends them back to Houston angry.
According to forward Cam Weaver, the frustration in the Houston locker room is growing with each result and every player is taking it hard.
“Yeah, everyone,” the big striker told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s a team thing. Each person’s got to take part of the blame. We’ve got to go back to work this week and try to find that fighting spirit again.”