The seven-game road trip to start the 2012 season is finally over for the Houston Dynamo.
The club compiled a more than respectable 2-3-2 record during the stretch, but it ended on a sour note with a narrow 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
The match at Red Bull Arena saw a familiar script play out: The Dynamo played well, especially in the attacking half of the field, and they did enough to earn at least a point. But despite the positives, they came up empty.
“We’ve had a couple of games this year where we’ve been on top of teams and haven’t scored,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told the New York media. “We played well but the most important thing is, at the end, the result, and when you don’t win or get a positive result out of it, you leave feeling disappointed.”
Houston controlled the balance of the match against the Red Bulls, but were undone by an early mistake in a bad place, this time on a back pass in their own 18-yard box that an opportunistic Kenny Cooper successfully deflected a clearance attempt by goalkeeper Tally Hall for the winner.
“I look back on the last seven games and the way we started,” Hall said after the match. “I think it’s frustrating because we are beating ourselves, when we get to a point when we stop beating ourselves I don’t think many teams can beat us. It’s kind of a glimmer of positive but I think we are a good team. But again, we are beating ourselves.”
Highlights: Red Bulls 1, Dynamo 0
Reserves make an impact
In addition to the return of Brad Davis to the lineup, the Dynamo started three players for the first time this season: Mac Kandji, Calen Carr and Cam Weaver.
Coupled with the substitute appearances by Colin Clark and sophomore midfielder Alex Dixon – who Kinnear indicated has impressed in training lately – it made for a reserve-heavy squad that did more than hold its own.
“I thought they brought a good energy to the game,” Brad Davis told MLSsoccer.com. “I think those are the types of performance that you need from guys who when their number’s called want to do well and that’s what they did.”
While Wednesday night’s loss may have been a tough one to swallow, there is not much time to stew with less than 72 hours before they open new BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday against D.C. United (4:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, LIVE CHAT on MLSsoccer.com).
The excitement surrounding Saturday’s stadium christening could provide a quick relief for the midweek loss.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on this game coming up at home,” Davis said. “I’m going to be thinking about this [loss] for a little bit but I have to put it behind me because we have a pretty special day in front of us [Saturday].”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.