HOUSTON – Through the ups and downs against Chivas USA on Saturday, there was never a feeling that the Houston Dynamo were at a point of disaster from a team perspective.
Their reaction to an early pair of mishaps from defender Hunter Freeman is evidence of that.
First, Freeman was whistled for a foul that led to Bobby Boswell's goal being disallowed. Then, just four minutes later, his poor back pass was intercepted by Marcos Mondaini, who scored to put Chivas 1-0 ahead.
It would have been easy to point fingers, yet at half time with the game tied, Houston showed their character by supporting their embattled teammate.
“I came in at halftime and just said, 'I owe you guys,' and asked them to fight hard so we could get out of it — and that’s what they did,” Freeman said. “I think the only thing you can do is own up to it and raise your hand and take blame and say, 'I’m with you guys.'"
The scene at halftime showed the character of both Freeman and his teammates. And having pulled even before the break, Houston came into the second half focused on moving forward.
“That’s what good teams do," Boswell said. "They have each other’s back."
Cameron comes through
Geoff Cameron followed up his solid performance at center back against San Jose last week with a versatile shift that included playing both center back and central midfield — and scoring the first-half equalizer.
After returning to central midfield and making several good runs in the box, Cameron chipped in 34 minutes at center back when Eddie Robinson went down with a knee injury.
Brian Ching makes his return
Nursing a one-goal lead, the Dynamo returned forward Brian Ching, who came on in the 70th minute. In his first action since May 4, Ching helped Houston kill off the game. More importantly, he and showed no effects of the plantar fasciitis injury that shelved him for more than a month.
“I thought he had some pretty good movement when he was in,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He slipped through there at the end, and his movement was very good. Now we just need to get him 90-minutes fit.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.