HOUSTON -- If you’re looking for a reason to buy stock in Houston’s chances to make a deep run in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Dynamo’s depth provided just that Wednesday night.
On the road in a hostile environment against a FAS side intent on pushing the match, the makeshift Dynamo lineup held firm in every phase of the match. The result was a 3-1 win and, more importantly, a performance that shows the Dynamo have the kind of depth that in years past has been a staple for CONCACAF success.
“Our team is extremely deep this year and we put what is basically a second team out there and got a result,” striker Brian Ching told MLSsoccer.com. “We want to be one of better teams in CONCACAF and in order to do that you have to go on the road and win games.”
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear employed a lineup that, while short on regular minutes, had a good mix of veteran experience and youthful exuberance.
Youngsters such as Warren Creavalle, Tyler Deric and Kofi Sarkodie were shepherded by a group including normal team leaders in team captain Brian Ching and Bobby Boswell, along with players who have been through tough international play before in Jamaican regular Je-Vaughn Watson and Brazilian Luiz Camargo.
“Anytime you go on the road and get a win, especially in this competition, it’s not easy and if people think it’s easy they’re sadly mistaken,” Kinnear said. “For the young guys they got some experience and this is going to make them better so we’re really happy with it.”
Depth was not the only thing Houston showed Wednesday night. Houston did well to handle a hostile environment as they received the customary treatment on and off the pitch in a match that grew more and more physical as the night went on. Outcomes, while interesting, that were not unexpected by the visitors.
“It wasn’t too bad,” said mifielder Colin Clark, who had an assist in his first foray into the tournament. “I thought it was definitely poor but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. The crowd gave us a lot of heat but they created a great atmosphere and it was good to see a different type of style, you would say, and that was fun.”
Starting on the right foot
Houston’s win over FAS is big considering they have a tough test next week when they venture to Honduras to face champion Olimpia that will go a long way in deciding who comes out of Group 3.
“To start this tournament with two games on the road is difficult and looking at it on paper the easier of the two games was the first one,” Kinnear said. “It’s great that we took advantage of that opportunity and [next week’s match] is not going to be easy. We got three points and we’re tied with Olimpia so I think it’s a great start for us.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.