HOUSTON – The life of a goalkeeper means that you’re going to stand out in two instances: when things are going well or when they’re going very badly. Last week Tally Hall stood out for the latter.
The Houston Dynamo goalkeeper and two-time All-Star had one of the worst games of his career with three mistakes leading to each of three goals in a 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. This Sunday, when the Dynamo travel to the Colorado Rapids (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes), he’s looking to put the mistakes to good use.
“The sad thing I had to look back and think, 'Is that worse than other games I’ve had?' and it’s a good competition,” Hall told MLSsoccer.com Friday. “It was a difficult one for me because I want to do better for the team.
“I think in general the past isn’t just where you find mistakes,” Hall continued. “If you look in the past for me I see a fairly consistent bout of success. It’s not looking at the past to get me in a hole; it’s looking at the past to get me out of a hole because I know what I’m capable of individually.”
While he can find things to build off in past performances, the tape from the San Jose game did not yield much success.
His troubles started late in the first half when he caught a back pass from David Horst that led to an indirect free kick goal. He was again directly involved with a goal when he came off his line and was beaten to a header by Atiba Harris, who then knocked in a rebound. He also took part of the blame for the play that led to the penalty kick conceded by Corey Ashe as the play started with a poor goal kick.
Despite the rough performance, the confidence in Hall is still there as a player who has come up big for his team in the past and shown he can bounce back.
“We have a rule, you win a game you get an hour to celebrate, you lose a game you get an hour to be down in the dumps, and anything longer that then you’re manufacturing something,” said goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley. “There are a few things that happen during the year that you don’t expect to happen but I don’t push too hard because he’s always bounced back.”
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Hall has built some of that confidence this season, but the club itself has seen wild shifts in fortunes. Nowhere is that more evident than the fact that they lead the league with five shutouts yet are tied with Philadelphia Union for giving up the most goals (24) this season.
Those numbers would drive any goalkeeper mad, but Hall is keeping an even approach. For now all Hall can do is look to bounce back and understand it is part of the job for a position that comes with high stakes.
“We’re always looking at what can get us three points,” Hanley said. “You don’t dismiss it right away because you say ‘Oh, he has a long leash.’ I’m not the one that makes that decision but it’s always a possibility and you never want him thinking it’s not. You never want them to think it’s easy.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.