A couple of weeks ago I posed the question, 'who's to blame?' Has anything really changed for the Houston Dynamo?
After Sunday's draw with the Portland Timbers I am inclined to think nothing has changed. The club is still struggling to find the net, and to prevent solid counter attacks. Too often a defender will be caught out of position or trailing the play as he is marking a specific player instead of defending the play as a whole.
We also discussed some ways to fix these issues, but as of yet absolutely zero has changed. If Dominic Kinnear had it his way, we'd be fielding our starting XI and the substitutes would not change either.
Some readers have noted how this type of start is typical for the Dynamo, and how they always pull out of it. I have to wonder, however, if what we are seeing is truly indicative by previous records. I don't recall starting a season with so many defensive lapses mentally. I don't recall starting a season with such a significant struggle to find the net. I don't recall starting a season with the same players from the previous season, only to suffer through a stretch of wretched play.
I, as well as most fans, am one to forgive when the team begins to succeed again. Until then, we have the right to be concerned, and we have every right to demand change. Sure, we can respond to our struggles by capitulating, "look how much more efficient the offense flowed when Brad Davis was on the pitch," but really, did it?
One goal in 60 minutes is nothing to write home about. Sure, Ricardo Clark didn't start, and the only goal the Dynamo gave up came at the slipping feet of his replacement, Warren Creavalle. Then again, and I've said it before, after all the talk of how much depth this squad has, where the bloody heck is it?!
This team has no depth. When one major player goes down, we might as well write off the entire season as a bust. It isn't like other teams don't lose starting players for long stretches and still do okay.
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not exactly in a happy place right now. If the play on the field improved, then I could buy into the whole injured leaders concept, but it didn't. Not noticeably. Portland still had plenty of space to counter, and they did so effectively. We were for the most part pretty inept at stopping their counter. Which leads me to my final thought on the week.
Jermaine Taylor, for all the grief I gave you two weeks ago, I apologize. The defensive lapses aren't just on you, they seem to be a symptom of a much, much larger problem. The last two matches I can't single you out specifically. You've actually defended admirably, and have worked well with David Horst. Thank you for looking like a return to your pre-2013 form, you know when we all boasted your 1 v 1 defending was best in the league.
Onto the next match on Saturday against Chivas USA who are in a massive struggle for points of their own. Hopefully the Dynamo can show us once again how good they can be.