Two tired teams played to a scoreless draw tonight at BBVA Compass Stadium. It's wasn't a boring match, but it won't make any highlight reels either. Simply put, the Dynamo just didn't have many ideas offensively (the Fire deserve credit for being very organized defensively). I guess we can't get too upset about a point, but not getting the full three points at home just isn't good enough for me.
The biggest concern heading in to the match was how the Dynamo defense would deal with the Fire's speedy attack players. What we saw was an excellent performance from the defense in keeping things in front of them, making sure they were in the right position and not making the mental errors we've seen way too much this season.
How the Dynamo controlled that speed was by controlling tempo.
The Dynamo did an excellent job keeping the pace of the match under control on the first half. After a bit of end to end action to open the game, Houston was able to get more possession and slow things down by moving the ball around the midfield. That was important for two reasons. First, it kept Chicago's speedy attack from being able to stretch out the Dynamo and potentially get some defensive miscues. Second, it allowed the players to not be running their asses off just 72 hours removed from a match.
Tempo was everything and since even a fresh Dynamo team would struggle with the Fire's speed, the slower the match speed the better. Things slowed to a near crawl in the second half as both team's began to get tired. Considering both played matches within the last four days, it's understandable.
A point is a point, but you can't help but feel those were two points left on the table that could matter later in the season. We'll see.
I've got some more thoughts from the match after the jump.
Late in the match, the Dynamo had a chance to break with Brad Davis moving forward and Macoumba Kandji on the left and another player on the right. Instead of timing his run properly, Kandji just kept barreling forward, never changing his gate and ran him self in to an offside position. Just an absurdly bad play and a major lack of concentration. Minutes later, Kandji was nose to nose with Gonzalo Segares and have to be separated by teammates. Not the way to impress your coach.
Brian Ownby once again was a second half substitute for the Dynamo. He's a hard working player who isn't flashy, but brings energy and does his job well. He's starting remind people of Brian Mullan. It says a great deal about Ownby that a rookie selected in the supplemental draft is getting significant playing time. Good for him and good for Houston. He's the kind of player you need in this league.
Boniek Garcia is one hell of a smart player. In the 87th minute with both Jermaine Taylor and Bobby Boswell up on the attack during a set piece, Garcia astutely dropped back towards the mid-line to provide defensive coverage. That's simple but smart thinking from our new DP.
I don't know y'all. I don't want to disparage what was a good defensive performance, but you have to win at home in this league. It's how you make the playoffs. I hate leaving points on the table and while I know fatigue was a major factor, in the end, it's just an excuse.
What say you Dynamo fans?