HOUSTON — They are on a near-perfect start to the regular season (5-1-1) and with several talented players on the roster — yet the Houston Dynamo seem to still be flying under the radar around MLS.
Sure, seven games is a small sample of a long Major League Soccer season and things can quickly change, but credit needs to be given where it’s due and the Dynamo have shown that perhaps they are a team that needs to be taken consideration as a serious Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs contender.
“We know what we are capable of and the only thing we need to do is keep working together and improve everything game and try to get as many points as we can,” said Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist, ahead of Saturday's Texas Derby at BBVA Compass Stadium against FC Dallas (4 pm ET | Univision, Twitter in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
More than a decade out from their back-to-back MLS Cup triumphs, the Dynamo's current path has been a slow build. The Dynamo won the U.S. Open Cup in 2018, their first title in that competition, and then made it to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Concacaf Champions League this spring and recently obtained a club record for the best five-game start to a season — and the team wants more.
“I mean we have high expectations of ourselves, we know how well we can play, when we are our best, so the only thing we are focused on is to really just go out every game and play our style of football and try to perform at the highest level possible,” said Lundkvist.
Lundkvist, who joined the Dynamo in April 2018, says he felt right at home since day one, that all the players are humble, hard workers and together as a family are all aiming for the same goal.
As for going under the radar? The team is content to simply do their jobs.
“I think we are really focused on ourselves, on our performances, so as long as we keep doing that, playing well, our goal is to be the best team we can be so — just keep on doubting us,” said Lundkvist when asked what he would tell the naysayers of his team.
Right now in the Western Conference, the Dynamo sit in fifth place with 16 points. La Naranja are trailing behind LAFC (23 pts.), LA Galaxy (22 pts.), Seattle Sounders FC (18 pts.), and FC Dallas (17 pts.), but they also have games in hand on the rest of the Western Conference.
"It is step by step we are working, I think they are doing their job and we are ours and we are going step by step. First of all, we are focusing on what we can do and not what other teams are doing,” said team captain Boniek Garcia when asked if the Dynamo would be able to keep up with the rest of the Western Conference teams.
Even with the Open Cup win last year, the Dynamo seem to have addressed what ailed them, most notably a leaky defense. On top of that, players have been healthier and the mindset has been changed in order to make the team more competitive. And the plaudits can come after the fact.
"It's good that we stay with a low profile, there you will see what the Dynamo can do or is already doing, in fact, we are already in the top spots. Match after match playing in the best way we can and soon you will be talking about the Dynamo,” said Garcia with a smile.