After struggling to find a late equalizer in Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy, the Houston Dynamo were left to contemplate what went wrong.
Unable to challenge LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts — who made one save on the night — for much of the evening, Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear pointed to a less-than-sharp offensive performance as the cause.
The culprits: lack of passing touch and patience.
“We were short getting there and we were being a little bit rushed with our passing,” Kinnear said. “As far as it goes, you have to be patient — especially when you get forward. We were still finding areas to get forward. I think we just got to a point where we would be a little cheap with the ball and gave it away.”
The play on the field didn’t match the advantage shown on the stat sheet. The Dynamo won the possession battle and had more passes completed on the night than the Galaxy. Still, their attack was misfiring in the place where it mattered most: the final third.
Houston got into dangerous areas a number of times in the second half but were unable to find the final pass against a compact and organized side.
“I think we are a little disappointed," captain Brad Davis said. "I think we could play better, that’s for sure.”
Defense a bright spot
On a night in which the Dynamo couldn’t get on the scoreboard, one positive was the defense's solid play.
Against a potent LA attack, Houston allowed just three shots on goal and limited the Galaxy’s attackers to shots from distance and probing balls in the box. Kinnear did point to a need to relieve pressure with better passes from the back in the first half, but overall the coach was somewhat satisfied with his back line’s performance.
“I think we did OK,” Kinnear said of the defense. “I think we have been defending real well as a group. We were recovering well.”
Ashe suffers knock
According to a team release after the game, left back Corey Ashe was lifted at the half because of a left leg injury. The team did not specify on the nature of the injury or its severity. Mike Chabala manned the position most of the second half before switching to right midfield, when Houston switched to a 3-5-2 late in the game and forced Ricketts to make a running save in the late stages of the match.
Davis sets club record
Wednesday night’s game marked the 137th appearance in MLS play for Davis. He surpasses Brian Mullan and Pat Onstad as the club leader.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.