FRISCO, Tex. – After falling down on a mucked up pitch before a nearly two-hour rain delay then falling behind 1-0 soon after, the Houston Dynamo still managed to leave Toyota Stadium with a point.
Thanks to a Ricardo Clark laser from outside the box in the 51st minute, the Dynamo picked up their second straight road point since Owen Coyle’s resignation last week.
“It was difficult circumstances tonight – anytime you start a match and get four minutes in and have to reset, it’s definitely difficult for the players to come out and adjust,” assistant coach Wade Barrett said. “But I thought our guys did an excellent job of handling that the best they could. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Play was suspended just under four minutes into the game, which to that point had been nearly unplayable with the ball hardly moving when hit across the pitch.
Barrett was one of many on both sides who were surprised to see the game start when it did, given the amount of rainfall prior and during the opening minutes.
“None of us wanted the game to go forward in those kinds of conditions,” Barrett said. “It’s not good for the players, it’s not good for the fans. A game can’t be played in those conditions. At least nothing terrible happened in the first four minutes.”
Added Clark: “It was a little bit dodgy at first. I remember screaming to the ref that it needs to just be postponed, because in the first three minutes, somebody could have gotten hurt. But the ref did a good job calling the game – we didn’t need to be playing on that anyways.”
Both Clark and Barrett said the delay impacted the team’s explosiveness, especially in the first half where Houston only managed one shot on goal.
“It’s tough because there’s a lot of obstacles when you have those circumstances,” Clark said. “Obviously nutrition, hydration, stiffness is a factor.
"Maybe we came out a little bit slow, but the team showed good character and discipline to come back and keep our plan.”
While the Dallas side will also point to the delay impeding their explosiveness, Barrett was proud of how his team defensively limited both Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz’s touches on the ball – primarily in the second half after Castillo’s finesse was the source of Houston’s early deficit.
“In the game, our players learned their lesson,” Barrett said of letting Castillo breakthrough. “And it didn’t happen again.”
Houston still sit in the cellar of the Western Conference with 13 points, but the two straight road draws they’ve forced have given them their first two road points of the season.
Barrett said he had a talk with the team about how they’ve played “afraid to lose” in many games this season, particularly on the road – but according to him, that wasn’t the case in Frisco Thursday night.
“I think you can see that little bit of attitude change in the guys,” Barrett said. “There’s some stuff that didn’t go perfectly, and we’ll look at all that and try to adjust.
"But the guys are going into their break, but they should come back with a load of confidence based off these couple of performances. Two tough games on the road, and we did it in a short amount of time and under difficult circumstances.”