Dynamo happy to get first road win, but know they still have much to prove

WASHINGTON -- After scoring a goal and registering an assist to help the Houston Dynamo finally record a first away win of 2017, Andrew Wenger doesn’t expect the skeptics to quiet down just yet.

And he agrees Houston still have plenty to prove.

“I think they still have a lot to talk about,” Wenger said after the Dynamo’s 3-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday night. “But I mean, we’ve gotten one [away win]. So let’s talk about getting two. It’s a tight race in the West, so we can talk about that. There’s lots of things and ways for us to improve yet. And we need to take the positives from today, but we look forward to that going forward.”

Wenger's sixth-minute goal on a corner-kick header began a three-goal, 12-minute ambush against the Eastern Conference’s last-place team.

Alex contributed assists on all three goals, the last two scored by Mauro Manotas and Memo Rodriguez against a D.C. team that three days ago gave up a three-goal second-half lead in a historic 4-3 loss at Seattle.

Even so, the Dynamo recorded a win that kept them third in the West without their four Gold Cup callups, including leading scorers Erick Torres (12 goals) and Alberth Elis (6 goals).

And they had their own skeletons after missing a similar string of early chances in Wednesday’s scoreless draw at Minnesota, a result that stretched their road record this season to 0-7-3.

“We needed to prove at some point that we were going to be able to take three points because the team was playing well, was playing solid,” coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “And we never, never doubted about how we were playing. We just needed to continue mentally being strong, believing in what we were doing and the guys (who played) today.”

The Dynamo weren’t the last MLS team without an away win, but rather the only one that appear a serious MLS Cup contender as the stretch run approaches.

And after spending most of the season trying to rectify the version of themselves that has a Western-Conference best eight home wins and the one that capitulated at teams like the Philadelphia Union and the Colorado Rapids, the picture is clearer. If only a little.

“The monkey is off the back in a sense,” Wenger said. “Granted, does that mean anything if we never win again? So it’s about winning another game on the road.”

They’ll get their next chance in two weeks at Real Salt Lake.