HOUSTON – While Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire did not cost Houston much ground in the playoff race, in the Dynamo locker room after the game there were few ready to look on the bright side.
"It feels like a loss," Dynamo goalkeeper Tall Hall said. "I don't know how many opportunities we had. It just always felt like it was coming, it was coming, it was coming … To not get it, it doesn't hurt, but it doesn't feel good."
The circumstances of the game did not help.
After a slow start, Houston seemingly snapped awake 20 minutes in. Passes started to connect and the attack geared up and looked dangerous. The work paid off in the 34th minute when Colin Clark swept a loose Brad Davis corner past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Clark’s goal was the only time Houston could capitalize, but it was not for a lack of trying. Houston had a number of chances to grab a winner but it was not to be.
Adding to Houston’s frustration was the goal they gave up.
Former Dynamo striker Dominic Oduro made the most of his chance with a slick outside of the foot shot in the 43rd minute to score the equalizer. Oduro was traded from Houston to Chicago for Calen Carr after the first match of the season. Houston expected him to return fired up, and he did.
“He gets a number of opportunities a game,” Houston’s Brian Ching said. “He had a number of those opportunities a game when he was here. He finished today. He probably was a little bit more motivated. You saw him show his displeasure with the crowd.”
Despite the frustration of a draw, the Dynamo know they have to look forward. The key is moving on and taking advantage of an off week before entering what will be a crucial final two games of the regular season.
“We were a little bit flat today compared to past games we have played,” said defender Geoff Cameron. “We need to take the positives out of this, put them into Portland and then hopefully get a home victory [against LA]."
Defense a positive
Oduro’s goal was one of the few real chances on the day for Chicago, making the result that much more frustrating. The defense, led by Cameron, held up very well against Chicago’s speedy attack and snuffed out the Fire’s advances repeatedly.
“It’s nice when you have a guy like Geoff Cameron back there who has that kind of speed to cover that kind of ground,” said defender Andre Hainault. “Defensively there were some positives but it’s hard to look at positives when you have that sour taste in your mouth.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer