First of all, let us get the typical responses out of the way. Everybody knows the Supporters Shield has absolutely zero bearing on who will win the MLS Cup, or even if a team will make it to MLS Cup. As impressive as the Houston Dynamo have been since they arrived in Houston (note: I see there was a 2010 season, but I choose to believe 2010 just never happened.), what is more impressive is they have never won the Supporters Shield. We haven't hoisted it once.
The best part about not lifting the Supporters Shield? In the last decade (since 2003), only two of the ten teams to win the Shield have gone on to successfully win MLS Cup. Those other eight teams? Only one of them even made it to MLS Cup. Yikes. I think I am just fine not winning Supporters Shield. Seems some kind of curse almost. Oh, it gets worse.
Out of the ten teams to win Supporters Shield, only five have won their respective Conference Semifinals. So, in conclusion, the winner of Supporters Shield statistically has a 50% chance to lose in the Conference Semifinals, a 20% chance to lose in the Conference Finals, a 10% chance to lose MLS Cup and a 20% chance to win MLS Cup.
Second of all, everyone needs to take a deep, deep breath. Two games do not mean much in the grand scheme of MLS. Sure, this second game the team looked absolutely defeated early on, even way before giving up the goal, but it doesn't mean much. Really, in my mind, I perceive this sort of a game as a moment I like to term "wake the hell up, boys." And they will.
Adversity is something every team needs to face. Whether it is injuries or bouts of poor form or some other internal turmoil, it is important to building a team's mental fortitude. And we all know mental fortitude is what allows a team to overcome the greatest of obstacles known only as MLS officiating. We need our team to be mentally tough if we hope to lift the MLS Cup this season, and I am of the belief they need this kind of abysmal outing to force them to find that mental toughness again.
MLS officiating is not going to change, and while sometimes the team benefits from terrible calls, more often than not they are hurt by them. Mental toughness turns a terrible call into fuel for the fire. It is the us against the world mentality, and it will serve the Dynamo well come the playoffs.
And finally, we haven't even begun to discuss or think about the summer transfer window. Is this the type of front office to sit on their laurels, or are they the types to go out and find a piece or two to plug in somewhere? Yeah, there should be a move or two made during this transfer window, mark my words. I don't know if this means you should expect to see some new superstar in Orange, or whether it means you should just prepare yourself for the inevitable trade of a player fans may like, a lot, but prepare yourselves.
Do not get so wrapped up in what this team is doing right now. The Dynamo usually start off slow and then build up to a much better closing to their season. This year, they built up rather quickly, and are now hitting their slump. So take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Count to ten. Do all the things you have to do to bring yourself back from the ledge.
From where I'm sitting, we are exactly where we want to be, forming our mental toughness in the face of extreme adversity. We're building character and that never say die attitude. We're building a champion. My only question for you is: