Where does Houston rank in their ability to get shots on target? You'd be surprised...maybe.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

In this week’s Ordinary Orange Observations, I look into just how deep Houston's finishing issue are and touch on the Adam Moffat trade.

Last weekend's win against Philadelphia basically reminded Dynamo fans of the "good ‘ol days," right? Set piece. Brad Davis. Rico Clark. Goal. In years past, that would have been a typical Dynamo goal. One of those goals that opposing fans hated. One of those perfect opportunities for opposing fans to talk about how ugly the Dynamo win. Set piece after set piece... the same old story. As Dynamo fans, we only heard one word in those insults...win.

Well, this new Houston Dynamo team is nothing like the old in those terms. Not this year. In fact, Houston is near the bottom of Major League Soccer in terms of goals scored off set pieces.

The Dynamo have scored only six goals this season off of a set piece. That's good for 13th in the league (of 19 teams). That's definitely not the team of the past.

Looking forward, it really doesn't matter how the Dynamo score goals - as long as they do, right? Well the most troubling statistic I found is related to the issue Dynamo fans continue to panic about.

Finishing.

After a strong start to the season, the Dynamo forwards suddenly lost their ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Week after week passed and Will Bruin and Giles Barnes struggled to find their way on the scoresheet. Omar Cummings continued to be sidelined with injuries along with Calen Carr, Brian Ching has officially become a late sub only, and Cam Weaver has never really been able to replicate his success with the Reserve League on the first team.

All that has amounted to a state of panic in a time of year Houston fans are typically secure. Goals aren't coming, players are frustrated (both offensively and defensively), and the Dynamo find themselves on the fringe of that red playoff line in the Eastern Conference.

So how bad is Houston in terms of finishing?

Rank

Team

SHOTS

SOG

SOG %

1

Montreal Impact

12.3

5.4

43.9%

2

Real Salt Lake

13.4

5.2

38.8%

3

New England Rev.

11.0

4.2

38.2%

4

Chicago Fire

14.3

5.2

36.4%

5

FC Dallas

12.4

4.4

35.5%

6

New York Red Bulls

11.9

4.2

35.3%

7

Portland Timbers

13.4

4.7

35.1%

8

Vancouver Whitecaps

12.9

4.5

34.9%

9

L.A. Galaxy

14.8

5.1

34.5%

10

CD Chivas USA

10.0

3.4

34.0%

11

Philadelphia Union

13.5

4.5

33.3%

12

Seattle Sounders FC

11.7

3.8

32.5%

13

DC United

11.5

3.7

32.2%

14

Columbus Crew

14.3

4.5

31.5%

15

San Jose Earthquakes

13.0

4.0

30.8%

16

Colorado Rapids

13.7

4.2

30.7%

17

Toronto FC

10.0

3.0

30.0%

18

Sporting Kansas City

15.4

4.6

29.9%

19

Houston Dynamo

13.5

4.0

29.6%

That's right. The Dynamo are dead last in the league in terms of putting their shots on goal. Sure there are a couple of teams that are in the bottom half of the league having success (i.e. Seattle, Sporting Kansas City), but the odds are if you're putting more shots on target, you're more likely to find the back of the net also.

Unfortunately, the fault (and fix) falls solely on the shoulders of Will Bruin and the rest of the forward corps. Even though Houston escaped PPL Park with a 1-0 win last week, there was plenty of missed chances. Who can forget (or excuse) Cam Weaver's open net shot that hit the crossbar, only to be followed up with another solid chance and miss seconds later?

"I want to be the guy that gets the goal at the end of the game. I wouldn't have it any other way." -Will Bruin

Prior to the Philadelphia match, Bruin told MLSsoccer.com he had to be "mentally stronger" after dwelling on the climbing number of missed chances lately. Confidence in himself is surely going to be the difference on how this season turns out. If he can overcome the heavy weight of a poor season overall, he could overturn those fortunes at the best possible moment.

Moffat Takes His Beard to Seattle

It's been a few days since the trade deadline has passed, and the shock of the Adam Moffat trade has settled a bit. Steve Davis takes a look at how it helps both teams on Pro Soccer Talk. Additionally, a slightly bearded Moffat told the Seattle Times about hearing the shocking news and let Seattle fans know who controls his beard growing capabilities (hint: he's married folks).

The trade has been assessed enough and ultimately I think most agree it was a tough trade, but a good move for both teams involved. Fans in Houston have settled down quite a bit since the initial news broke, but I can't help but admit I was surprised by the initial reactions.

Over the course of the season, Moffat's play was criticized quite a bit more than most of the other Dynamo players. The Dynamo offense has been flat playing with two natural defensive midfielders and has lacked that punch an attacking midfielder provides. He has also struggled with his passing accuracy and turnovers, something that most will point out.

Ultimately, I think the initial shock from fans was simply because we were still running on adrenaline from his last Moffat rocket. He was our best bargaining chip in a fully stacked midfield.

Look at the upside of the trade. Servando Carrasco had a nice debut - and while results on the field matter, it looks as if the kid will fit right in with our off the field leadership. In Houston, that's important too.

Now it's time for Alex Lopez to step into the role he was brought in for and to move back to a more traditional formation with a defensive and attacking midfielder.

You never know - that could be the spark that ignites this year's run into the MLS Playoffs.

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