Coming into Saturday’s match with D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo stressed organization. It was the only way they would beat the red-hot home team’s attack, they figured.
Despite a well-laid plan, the execution failed at RFK Stadium, and D.C. found the time and opportunities to doom Houston to a 3-2 loss and extend their winless streak to four matches.
Full Match Highlights
“It wasn’t just one thing,” defender Andre Hainault told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after the match, “there was a lot of stuff that went wrong. We were slow to close down balls and were a little indecisive. I don’t feel like we ever really got going in the game. We weren’t very good defensively.”
Whether it was misreading headers, missing runners, breaking an offside trap or simply bad luck, the Dynamo defense — which has given up eight goals in the last four games — never found its feet. Their defensive struggles were D.C.’s gain as their attackers, led by Maicon Santos, who scored a brace, and Dwayne De Rosario exploited the opportunities they were given.
“I thought we gave up some bad goals,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “The positive is we’re scoring goals on the road, but we’re giving the ball away in some bad areas and we’re getting punished for it.”
One of the biggest negatives for Houston was the inability to break the pressure. Unforced giveaways in the midfield, in particular, undid their plans and made an already tough job even tougher.
“You have to pass out of pressure because if you lose the ball they have a lot of guys around it,” Kinnear said. “The closer any team is to goal when you turn the ball over the more chances they’re going to get.”
Houston’s defensive struggles overshadowed a brace from second-year striker Will Bruin. Bruin’s goals were indicative of the what can happen when the Dynamo can keep possession. His first goal was a well-worked one that concluded with a volley from a cross on the left side.
But those positives were undone by the defensive miscues.
Now the club have a week and a half off. They next play at New York on May 9 before going home for the massive BBVA Compass opener — the first home game of the season.
“We don’t want to finish this stretch of road games like this,” Hainault said. “We want to figure things out and right the wrongs against New York.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.