Winning cures everything, and for the first time in seven games, the Houston Dynamo experienced that cure in a 4-1 win over Chivas USA on Saturday at StubHub Center, even if things did not start the way they planned.
Houston went down to Chivas USA just seven minutes into the game when a failed clearance from David Horst led to a Brad Davis foul in the box and an Erick Torres penalty kick goal. Facing adversity again this season, the club responded.
Davis redeemed himself for the foul with a beautiful cut and strike to pull the game level at 1-1 five minutes later, getting Houston right back in the mix en route to ending a six-game winless streak.
“I think the best thing was that we went down a goal, and it’s not a great thing to go down a goal early, but I thought our response was fantastic,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “Scored three great goals before the break and took our time and pick-and-chose our moments to go forward.”
That response showed Kinnear’s men were the better team. The ultimate result was the type of healing performance the club was looking for to put an end to their recent woes.
“[I'm] really happy for the guys, they’ve been working hard and catching a lot of grief from a lot of people, both inside the organization and out, and I didn’t like it,” Kinnear said. “You always want to win. We never step on the field not wanting the result to go our way. So it’s nice to see that we won a game.”
After Davis’ goal, there was not much to dislike on the night for the visitors. The attack started to flow, and the defense settled in. Giles Barnes broke into the scoring column with goals on either side of the half, and Will Bruin added his fifth goal of the season.
“Tonight felt really good, we put four goals in the back of the net,” Davis said. “We’ve been creating some chances but they haven’t really been going in the past few weeks. Tonight we created a bunch and scored four goals so it feels good.”
The only downside for Houston was that Torres’ goal prevented a shutout, but Houston checked all of the other boxes. However, focusing on a lost shutout is nitpicking. The club were focused and dominant on a night they were expected to be, a welcomed change for a team looking to get going in the right direction.
“That’s what we came out to do today,” Barnes said. “That’s what we said in the changing room, but we knew what we wanted to do and we’ve accomplished that this afternoon.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.