It's weird realizing the Houston Dynamo will not be a part of the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. Despite the ups and downs this season, you can't help but feel that if not for a bad strech of game during the summer, the team was clearly capable of being a playoff team, even in the strong Western Conference. Then again, the roster overhaul that will likely occur as a direct result of the disappointing year is something that needed to happen.
Nobody is hating on the veterans that have helped bring two MLS championships to the city, but it's clearly time for a change and time for some new faces. The nice thing about playing in MLS is the bounce back season is never that far away. Doing a "worst to first" type turn around is not only possible, it's practically common place in MLS, so Dynamo fans realize that with a couple new signings, maybe a solid draft pick or two, the team can be right back in the playoffs next season.
Add to that, there is a great deal to be excited about for the future of Dynamo soccer. We could see a new designated player signing as soon as January and we'll be breaking in a new stadium in 2012. There is some young talent on the roster to be excited about and there is no reason to believe that Kinnear and his staff won't turn this thing right around.
Basically, the 2010 season has been a bummer, but things will be better in 2011.
As for Saturday's game, it was another frustrating match for the Dynamo. Getting a point on the road is never something to take lightly, but it was hard to not walk away from the match feeling like the Dynamo left two points on the table. They were the better side all day, with the exception of a brilliant play from Sebastien Le Toux, and had plenty of chances to get a second goal.
Broken record? Sure. We've felt that way in game after game this season but such is the sport and sometimes there is an invisible wall in front of the goal and you just can't break through.
The nice thing from my perspective about the match was that the Dynamo played better for the second game in a row. The defense was organized and did an excellent job of limiting the Union's opportunities. You can't get too upset about Le Toux's goal, since it really was a brilliant effort from the true MLS MVP. I'm sure some fans might say, where was this team all year, but does it really matter?
The Dynamo knew they were out of the playoffs after the loss to Toronto FC a couple weeks ago, yet instead of packing up, the Dynamo have shown pride and heart and continued to battle in their three games since. I think you've seen a group of players that knew the end of the season would be an audition of sorts for 2011.
After praising the Sons of Ben in the past weeks, I have to shake my head in disappointment after they scraped the bottom of the barrel with the "US Reject" chants toward Brian Ching. For a supporter's group that clearly has some creative minds, I'm annoyed that they decided to attack Ching for a moronic decision by Bob Bradley. Ching doesn't deserve that and what's more, why are fans of the US National Team (which I assume a great number of the SOBs are) trashing a US international for not being selected for the World Cup roster?
I can accept taunts and chants but the idea of taunting a guy like Ching for what was an extremely disappointing event for him is low. I guess part of me hoped that the Sons of Ben might be a little better than the typical Philadelphia sports fan, but clearly that was too much to hope for.