HOUSTON—There is no place like home.
No one knows that better than the Houston Dynamo, who are unbeaten in six games at BBVA Compass Stadium. Orlando City SC found out just how much the Dynamo love home-cooking, as Houston's attack blitzed the Lions all night long en route to a 4-0 victory.
Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera noted that his team’s intensity from kickoff put Orlando on their heels and rendered the Eastern Conference side helpless.
“We started to put pressure on them and that created options,” Cabrera said.
The scoring opportunities started early for Houston and only increased as the game went on. Despite a missed penalty and an early injury substitution for midfielder Eric Alexander, the Dynamo were able to maintain their high intensity.
“We scored good goals, especially in the second half,” Cabrera said. “We could have scored more goals. We definitely had great possibilities. It was a very solid game for us in front of one of the best teams in MLS.”
Mauro Manotas — who started the game in place of the injured Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres — notched two goals on the day. This, despite sending a 12th-minute penalty effort wide of the goal.
Some players might let that failure to finish eat at them, but Manotas kept at it and was rewarded with his brace.
“It’s thanks to the confidence that the coach and the team have in me,” Manotas said on how he kept his confidence high despite the missed penalty kick. “In the end it didn’t matter and I just kept looking for ways to score all game.”
Aside from Manotas, Albert Elis and Romell Quioto — who returned to the starting lineup — each scored a goal. Quioto also contributed with an assist.
While the three forwards will take much of the spotlight, it was Dynamo midfielder Alex who pulled the strings on half of the scoring opportunities. The Brazilian earned a pair of assists vs. Orlando City, leaving his mark on the game.
“This was an important game for us because we were dropping in the [Western Conference] table,” Alex said. “And at home we have to get results because we have upcoming away games that are going to be difficult.”
Houston’s victory gives them 16 points from nine games. Last season, the Dynamo did not reach that point total until July 2nd.
“We’re not the best team in MLS when we win, and we’re not the worst team in MLS when we lose,” Cabrera said. “We still have a lot of room to improve in a lot of aspects of the game. But also we have good and positive things to enjoy and try to explode not only here at home but hopefully when we have away games.”