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Midweek Differential: What Did You Expect?

Yeesh. After a slightly promising draw away to Philly, Houston entered New Jersey for a midweek MLS Eastern Conference clash. 90 minutes later, the Dynamo left with their tails between their legs. Should we have seen that coming?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In last week's Differential, I set out a modest goal for our boys in orange - get four points from a 7 day stretch against Philly, NYRB, and Portland. Against Philly, some stout defending by David Horst helped us to a 0-0 draw, and a brief respite from the loss column.

Against NYRB? No such luck. After last night's 4-0 plastering at the hands of Thierry Henry and... Bradley Wright-Phillips(!?)... Houston fans have every right to be despondent. If Supporters' Shield-winning NYRB is the standard in the East (forgetting about SKC for a moment), then Houston is certainly falling short.

But what did we expect from this midweek match-up? With an injury to Brad Davis, as well as a questionable red card suspension for Kofi Sarkodie, the odds were stacked against Houston. Yes, to be the best you have to beat the best, but that's not where we are at now.

Houston is in the midst of a five game win-less streak. All came against solid opponents (Vancouver excluded, maybe?), but MLS is looking more and more like a league of solid opponents. As I said above, the (made up) goal for this week was 4 points. Getting hammered by a team from New Jersey isn't ideal, but we wouldn't have gotten an extra reward for a 2-1 loss.

As bad as it sounds, this match was likely going to be a loss no matter what. The question now, it seems, is what we'll take away from this. Does the midfield diamond die a quick death? Does Dom now decide to mix things up? That's for you to say in the comments below.

I've rambled a bit today. I think we're all in a rambling mood after yesterday, so I'll keep my list of "five things" important to the Dynamo short. As always, question and condemn in the comments.

1. Defense

Our biggest question mark heading into the season was who would pair with Jermaine Taylor. Good news! Horst is great! Bad news - Taylor looks his age, and the pairing has failed to work.

We discussed a bit last week about AJ Cochran working his way into the starting XI. I think this is the best time to try that out for real.

2. Forwards

I want to remain as neutral as possible here, but it's tough. Both Will Bruin and Giles Barnes have failed to show much this year. Bruin had his one great match, and Barnes has had a great season of "what-ifs". Are there better options? Not really, but it may be time to tinker with Mark Sherrod as a lone striker and stacking five in the midfield.

3-5: Making the losses stop in Houston

Alright. This one is stupid. I'm just a tad flustered, sleepy, and remembering what it is to be a Houston sports fan. Astros? Hahahaha. Rockets? 0-2. Dynamo? Argh.

Let's just beat Portland at home, okay? That would be neat. I don't think LaMarcus Aldridge will be suiting up for the Portland Timbers, so we should be fine. (Editor's Note: God, I hope not.)

Now, if you excuse me, I need some coffee.