The Houston Dynamo’s list of distractions is lengthy heading into Wednesday night’s match against the Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Houston will be without starting forward Carlos Costly, and perhaps Brian Ching as well. The club is still seeking its first road win of the season. And, while in the midst of a playoff race, they are seeking to bounce back from two straight losses.
And it certainly didn’t help that the team got stuck in Kansas City International Airport for more than 10 hours, forcing them to fly directly to Columbus rather than returning home to Houston as planned.
“Luckily it happened on Sunday, so we’ve had a couple of days in Columbus,” Dynamo forward Cam Weaver said. “We’ve had time to regroup and get our legs moving again, but it’s definitely not ideal with all the travel problems. But, we’re professionals and we’ve had a couple of days to regroup and get going here in Columbus.”
In Columbus since late Sunday night, the Dynamo have spent their time training and trying to make the best of a tough situation. Despite all the distractions, Houston are looking to employ a tunnel-vision approach to help get back on track at Crew Stadium.
“Right now, we’re focused on this game,” Weaver said. “It’s obvious we haven’t won on the road and I think we need to put a lot into the game to come out from the first whistle with a good attitude and energy. ... If we have the right mindset, hopefully we can get a good performance and get a result.”
Houston know very well what they can expect for their host. Columbus beat the Dynamo at Robertson Stadium 2-0 on July 18 and have been great at home this year, with an 8-2-4 record.
And despite Columbus’ recent defensive form – the Crew have allowed 10 goals in their last two games – Houston are well aware of how stingy a defense anchored by Will Hesmer and Chad Marshall can be. The defensive ability, combined with the offensive prowess, make Columbus a tough out for any team making the trip to Crew Stadium.
Blocking out the distractions on the tough road trip will be worth it, though, if the can get a positive result to keep them on track for the postseason.
“We still control our fate,” said Will Bruin. “Everything’s still in our hands and that’s what we want coming down the stretch. We don’t have to depend on other teams, we need to go out and focus on our results. The last two haven’t gone our way but we still control our own destiny.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.