Despite enduring a hellish stretch of just two wins in 17 games, goalkeeper Joe Willis says the Houston Dynamo aren't giving up on reaching the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs until they're mathematically eliminated.
And with a surprising 2-0 victory Wednesday night over a Minnesota United that had just beaten Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC, Willis and his teammates prolonged their dwindling hopes just a little longer.
"It keeps us alive in the playoff race, I think," Willis said afterward. "I don’t know what’s going on in the other games right now. But yeah, it’s huge for us going forward. From here on out, we need to win every game. And tonight was a good start."
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The Dynamo are still nine points beneath the playoff line with five matches to play, and would have to climb four spots from their current post of 11th. In other words, it would take perfection down the stretch and some other help from surrounding teams to complete such a push. Three of Houston's remaining matches are against teams currently outside the playoff field, though they must also visit LAFC and Real Salt Lake.
Even if a late run doesn't result in a postseason berth, Willis said interim coach Davy Arnaud deserves to have some success after taking over for the fired Wilmer Cabrera last month. Arnaud got his first head coaching win Wednesday.
"Davy has come in and it’s a tough situation for him, for anyone put in his position," Willis said. "The guys have rallied behind him and are buying into what he’s preaching. Today, it paid off for us."