A congested schedule looks to have finally caught up with the Houston Dynamo.
On their fourth match in less than two weeks, the Dynamo fell on Saturday night to an aggressive Montreal Impact team energized by a good crowd and a new stadium. Coming out of halftime level at 2-2, the Dynamo were unable to match the home team’s energy and emotion. Houston did not have the legs as Montreal outshot the visitors 8-0 in the second 45 minutes and scored two decisive goals.
After the match, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear was frank with his opinion to why the match unfolded as it did.
“This one’s on me,” the Dynamo boss told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “I don’t think I handled the team correctly after Wednesday night. We looked tired and I think that’s down to my team selection. Every once in a while the coach has to stand up and say the defeat is on him and I have no problems doing that tonight. I coached and picked the game very poorly tonight.”
HIGHLIGHTS: MTL 4, HOU 2
Kinnear relied on his starters and made only two changes in the starting lineup from Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Toronto FC. He inserted Brian Ching and Je-Vaughn Watson for Mac Kandji and Luiz Camargo against an Impact team whose game plan materialized to be one centered on pushing the pace to exploit the acreage of Stade Saputo.
After an even first half, Montreal stayed the course and continued to pressure Houston’s defense with speed, and especially that of Sanna Nyassi who frequently tested the Dynamo defense. Subsequently, with the Dynamo's tired legs, it was enough to do the Dynamo in.
To top things off for their defense, which has given up seven goals in the last two matches, Houston were without starting full back Jermaine Taylor, who missed his second game in a row with a hip flexor strain.
“It hurts because he’s not available and maybe you can move some guys in and out if you have him,” Kinnear said of the Jamaican international. “But saying that, they broke well on us and we didn’t have enough energy to step on the ball or step out on them. I think we should’ve had a fresher team on the field.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.