HOUSTON – After his team's shutout win against FC Dallas last weekend, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made a simple yet important comment:
“Anytime you get a shutout, it puts you in a good position to win a game,” Kinnear said.
Backing that statement up this weekend against the red-hot Chicago Fire will be a tall task. Chicago have scored an impressive nine goals en route to a three-game win streak, led by the exploits of former Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro.
The Fire come to town Saturday afternoon for what will be a showdown of teams making moves up the Eastern Conference (4 pm ET; Telefutura).
“They’ve got a pretty good dynamic with speed and skill, and it’s been paying off for them,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “Teams get hot and become dangerous and that’s them right now. Hopefully they’ve scored all their goals, and it’s pretty tough to play on Wednesday and come back so we’re hoping it’s as hot as can be and we make it a tough day for those guys.”
Oduro has been the trigger man for the surging Fire, who have flown up the playoff standings on the back of their brimming attack. While Oduro has enjoyed a great start to Chicago career, his tenure in Houston was rocky.
The Ghanaian displayed the same speed in Houston that he has on every stop in MLS. Yet so far this season for the Fire he’s shown the supreme goal-scoring ability he possesses. It was a different case in Houston where his season-best tally was five goals in 2010. His inability to consistently finish made him a target for the fans and eventually the Dynamo moved him to Chicago for Calen Carr after the first game of the season.
Now he makes his return to Houston with 11 goals and leading a surging Fire attack.
“He’s got world-class speed and he’s found a system that works for him,” Boswell said. “Guys that come here then leave; they seem to do well when they go other places. We want those guys to do well, but just not against us … Saturday my job’s going to be to make sure he doesn’t score.”
With Oduro and company heading to town to continue the playoff push, the Dynamo know all too well the dangers that Oduro & Co. pose.
“They have a lot of good attacking players,” Kinnear said. “[Marco] Pappa is a good attacking player … and they have [Patrick] Nyarko and Oduro who can stretch the field. With those guys they’re getting goals from a lot of different places.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com