SEATTLE - MARCH 25: Geoff Cameron #20 of the Houston Dynamo battles Osvaldo Alonso #6 of the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field on March 25, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium, the Houston Dynamo play what could be one of their most important matches of the 2011 season. After an embarrassing 3-0 demolition at the hands of Chivas USA, the Dynamo have had a week to stew on that loss and hopefully come to the realization that if they don't start getting points soon, any hopes of making the playoffs are going to sink faster than the US Government's credit rating.
So of course it doesn't help that the generally meaningless MLS All-Star Game was on Wednesday and all four representatives from the Dynamo saw significant minutes. Of course it doesn't help that it will likely rain at some point before the match adn then heat up to the roughly the temperature of the surface of the sun (ie. humidity beyond belief). It does help that Brian Ching and Colin Clark will be available after their questionable behaviour against Sporting KC. It also does help that the Seattle Sounders will be playing their third match in a week, with the middle one being a massive road trip to Panama for a CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.
What I'm saying is simply this: Houston needs to win this game. It's set-up for them to win and since the chances of them getting three points at PPL Park against the Union next week are pretty slim, they really need to get three points tomorrow.
I'm going to say it and some people are not going to like it...THIS IS A MUST WIN GAME. THE SEASON IS ON THE LINE.
I realize this team is only two points out of a playoff wildcard spot with three months (and 12 matches after Saturday) left to go...but allow me to smother some pessimism on that point, like gravy on a couple of open face biscuits.
Only five of those 12 matches are at home and not one of those home matches is easy; the Dynamo will face Portland, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Chicago and LA. Houston only has one home league match in September, which means an entire month of traveling and playing in less than friendly environments. Still not concerned about the importance of Saturday's match?
Houston needs points and they need them now and there is no better, or more vital, place to get points then at home. I've stressed this point over and over again and I will continue to do so until it's firmly embedded in your psyche...because it's important!
So far this season, the Dynamo are 5-3-3 at Robertson. In 2010, the Dynamo went 6-6-3 at home and missed the playoffs for the first time since moving to Houston. From 2006 to 2009, the team went 34-8-19 at Robertson.
8 losses at home in the first four seasons, 9 losses at home in the last two...and 2011 isn't done yet.
In other words, tomorrow's match against the Sounders is important...no, it's a must win.