HOUSTON — After Saturday night's 2-2 draw against the New York Red Bulls at Robertson Stadium, Houston Dynamo deadline day signing Koke was not impressed.
With the Red Bulls that is.
"The Red Bulls did not appear to me to be from another planet," said Koke, who scored his first goal in the match. "I don't understand why they're placed on a pedestal. I believe we were better and we deserved more but unfortunately we let the win escape."
Koke's 82nd-minute strike had seemingly put Houston in position to take the victory before Mehdi Ballouchy's stoppage-time header for New York resulted in a 2-2 tie.
Although the Spaniard said he had a hard time gaining any enjoyment from opening his MLS scoring account, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear was more optimistic.
Admittedly disappointed with the way his team dropped two points Saturday night, Houston’s manager chose to single out the positives. Aside from allowing the bookend goals by RBNY, the Dynamo held up well against one of the league’s most talented attacks, controlling and creating for their share of the match.
“I think we’re playing well,” Kinnear said. “I’m not trying to make the sun shine, but I told the guys, ‘Be disappointed, I am.’ We let up late but, all in all, I really like what I’m seeing from the team.”
He pointed to several areas of improvement with concentration and aggression ranking among his chief concerns. But two draws — including a 1-1 tie in New York in April — against the consensus top team in the Eastern Conference give reason for the Dynamo to feel positive.
“We gave up a goal after 30 seconds and there’s a lot of time to play and you can easily bury your head, but we didn’t,” Kinnear said. “If we simplify things at times, I think we’d be better going forward; but all in all, the efforts and determination is there and the ability to play for each other is high right now.”
Two games and two points into a tough four-game stretch, Houston head to the Home Depot Center on Wednesday to take on league-leading LA Galaxy ahead of a Saturday home match against FC Dallas. Heading into the second of three games in seven days, Kinnear hinted that the lineup will see changes.
“This stretch is difficult because they’re all good teams,” Kinnear said. “It’ll be hard to ask [the regulars] to all play 90s, so we subbed a little earlier than normal tonight looking ahead to Wednesday and I think we’ll see some different lineups this week.”
Houston comes out in force
It’s a big deal when the roadshow that is the New York Red Bulls comes to town. Saturday’s crowd of 25,314 was the 10th-largest crowd to see a Dynamo home game at Robertson Stadium.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.