With five regular-season games left, the Houston Dynamo are in danger of missing out on the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
They’ve only won once in their last nine attempts (1W-5L-3D), with the latest defeat coming Wednesday night against expansion side Nashville SC. The 3-1 blitz at BBVA Stadium left first-year head coach Tab Ramos providing a frank assessment of what’s needed to turn things around.
“At the end of the day, we want to make the playoffs and that's what we're here for, but we have to look like a playoff team,” Ramos said. “Getting into the playoffs and not playing well isn't the right way to go about it so you can have one game and go home. I don't think that's a huge price. We have to make the playoffs because we deserve it and are a team that has a chance to win the championship. We didn't look like that today."
Highlights: Houston Dynamo 1, Nashville SC 3
Houston have enjoyed bright stretches this year, rattling off three straight wins after the MLS is Back Tournament. They also beat Texas rivals FC Dallas last week, 2-0, but the splotches of red (defeat) and yellow (draw) on their 2020 form chart are more common than they'd like.
Still, the Dynamo are only two points out of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot, so their season remains very much alive. And with forward Darwin Quintero continuing his scintillating form – the Colombian playmaker has seven goals and eight assists in 17 matches – they have a match-winner who could spark a stretch run.
However, Ramos knows his team needs to be sharper to prove they're indeed worthy of being in the playoffs.
“I felt that this was the game that would get us back into the playoff picture,” Ramos said. “If I have to be honest, I was sort of counting on it. It's disappointing because basically in the first 10 minutes, we lost the game in a way that we thought we couldn't possibly lose it, because we prepared for that. Losing balls in the middle of the field that turned into a turnover and a quick goal in the opposite way. That's exactly how we lost it."