HOUSTON – Not playing as a team has rarely been an issue associated with the Houston Dynamo. But after two losses at home, their first two in the BBVA Compass Stadium era, the club that has been the epitome of cohesion the past two seasons is looking to find some continuity.
“It comes back to working hard together and being a team,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “I think everyone gave 100 percent, but I don’t think everyone had that team mentality. I don’t think we had that team mentality in our heart and soul when we were on the field.
“It’s not that people were being selfish. That’s something different. The way we work together is something we can improve on. We know how to do it. We’ve done it already this year.”
The game against the New England Revolution was an example of what observers are not used to seeing from the Dynamo. Hall called the team’s play "disjointed" after last Saturday’s game and head coach Dominic Kinnear’s disappointment was evident as he spoke postgame about the inability to tackle on defense and finish in the attack.
“Against New England, that’s a game that bothers me and it bothers the group,” Brad Davis said. “You can see that we’re not happy with that and that’s a good thing to see the guys this pissed off. Guys are on edge and that can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. Hopefully we use it to our advantage and come out with that edge.”
For Kinnear, the reason is more about focus and keeping the switch on for 90 minutes.
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“I just think sometimes we’re switching off,” Kinnear said. “That for me can be a problem. Every minute has meaning in the game because a goal can be scored anytime and you can’t lose track of that.”
And though the team is certainly upset with the way things are going, Kinnear explained that it was not time to hit the panic button.
“We had a meeting today and I told the guys ‘Take a step back. You’re three points out of first place in the Eastern Conference,’” Kinnear said. “We’ve set high standards and sometimes if you don’t meet them you lose your focus. You have to remain focused. You look at the way the season’s going and we’re still in a good spot.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.