HOUSTON, TX – After the disastrous result in Philadelphia on Sunday, going down 2-0 at PPL Park, I didn’t have much confidence in the Houston Dynamo taking all three points off arguably our most hated rivals, Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium Wednesday night.
When the final whistle blew after 90 hard fought minutes where the Dynamo walked away 1-0 winners the relief in the stands was palpable.
The Dynamo faithful were out in full force. Orange Avenue was once again filled with fans eager to watch the battle against the team who snapped our record breaking 35 Home Game Unbeaten Streak and celebrated that feat in the corner to a small contingent of Kansas City Fans who had made the journey to Houston as if they had just won the MLS Cup, the gall.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this game was an example of Soccer living up to the moniker, “The Beautiful Game,” it surely wasn’t beautiful. Aspects of it maybe, the Dynamo had plenty of passing sequences that were clever and technical yet, they were never able to find the elusive final pass that would cut open the defense and get at least a look on goal. That didn’t come until 40 minutes or so into the first half when Giles Barnes, just outside the 18, let loose a rocket that went well over the crossbar, never troubling the keeper.
The Dynamo defense was better organized than what we’ve seen over the past few games against RSL and Philadelphia, keeping Kansas City to only two shots that were completely off target, never forcing a save from Tyler Deric.
It seemed the entire game was fought in the midfield with the Dynamo able to keep the majority of possession throughout. Kansas City were able to mount a couple counter-attacks after the Dynamo made a few errant passes in dangerous areas. However, with the return of Demarcus “Run DMC” Beasley at Left-Back and Boniek Garcia comfortably sliding into the Right-Back role, Kansas was unable to break us down. We certainly defended as a team which was really encouraging after being outscored 5-1 over the past two games.
The second half started with the Dynamo coming out strong, high-pressing Kansas City, and keeping them in their own half of the field. Finally,in the 67th minute, after a brilliant give and go between Beasley and Davis, Beasley was able to serve up the ball on a platter for Will Bruin to tap in at the far post to give the Dynamo a 1-0 lead. I encourage you all to watch the highlight, make sure to watch the entire build-up leading to the goal because it was a magnificent passing sequence that absolutely demolished the Kansas City defense. Bruin could have walked it into the net, simply beautiful.
Disaster struck, in the 70th minute just three minutes after taking the lead, Boniek was booked for the second time of the night for what seemed to be an errant elbow to the face of Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer who embellished a bit forcing a card from the ref and the sending off of Boniek. The Dynamo were now down to only 10-men to defend.
Impressively, the Dynamo did just that. After 20 minutes of regulation and 4 intense minutes of added time, we defended as a team keeping Kansas City’s chances to just a few that Deric was easily able to keep out and register his 7th shutout of the season.
At the press conference after the game it was all smiles from Owen Coyle and Will Bruin who said “We rise and fall together.” I coincidentally shared that same sentiment in my last article and am going to assume Will Bruin is a reader but he/we are right, that’s the appeal of this team.
This game puts us back into the playoff conversation and makes Saturday’s game against, bottom of the table, Colorado Rapids an absolute must win. The loss of Boniek due to Red Card suspension is a set back but with Sheanon Williams having played there quite well since his arrival we have it covered.
This season has been erratic and if we are going to give ourselves any chance to make the playoffs we need to solidify our defense and be lethal in the final third. We did the first part in this game the latter not so much we’ll need to get ruthless upfront especially if we beat the odds and make the playoffs. I’ll be there, I hope to see you dear reader, there as well.
As always Forever Orange!!
Next Game: Houston Dynamo/Colorado Rapids
7:30pm Saturday, September 26th
BBVA Compass Stadium
TV: ROOT Sports