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Dynamo Film Session: Gilberto header shows Dynamo's defensive woes

One opportunity for Chicago early in the second half showed that the Dynamo still have a lot of work to do defensively.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After looking through the comments section on this website, I've realized that not many people are very optimistic about the current Houston Dynamo situation. Here are a couple direct quotes from the comments:

I want the coaching staff fired, the players fired, the front office fired, the sales office fired, the groundskeepers fired, security fired, concession people fired – anyone associated with the Dynamo, I want fired.  —Ellen

There is nothing good about this team right now. The margin of error is so small in games that this team does not have what it takes to win games. No one is performing and honestly, I put much of this on the staff. No one wants to play for them and guys that could get things done just don’t. I believe that several of the players if traded would really start to perform on their new team. Canetti and Jordan are the real culprits of this mess. The rest are just what they put in place. Coyle’s coaching is a POS, but it was the FO clowns that believed he could do it when the rest of the civilized community were shaking their heads over that decision. —arnoldmm62

They don’t play together, they refuse to play their roles, they don’t communicate. These are things you expect in youth soccer not in professionals. —bmuras292

The consensus appears to be that this team and everything about this team is horrible. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I'll admit that it's looking really, really bad for the Dynamo right now, and if something doesn't change fast, they will be basically eliminated from playoff contention in May. That's a realistic possibility right now.

As for the Owen Coyle-related hot takes, I'm not sold on firing the manager just yet. Give him a few weeks to try and fix things. If nothing improves by then, I'm all for letting him go and starting fresh. I know I said this a few weeks ago, but I'll give Coyle the benefit of the doubt after a couple of recent wins.

Dynamo fans, you can get excited about the USMNT and the Copa America for now. Until then, here's an analysis of a Chicago Fire chance that showed how disorganized Houston's defense is:

The play starts with Chicago's Matt Polster sprinting through the midfield:

Immediately prior to this, Polster had received a pass from the back and slipped through Ricardo Clark and Alex to find the space he is taking advantage of now. This is one of the few instances where the Fire built up from the back.

He has plenty of support on both sides. Four players in red are making runs, and he has a player in front of him as an option as well. The Fire are pushing numbers forward and giving the Dynamo a real test, something that didn't happen too often.

Polster lays it off to Arturo Alvarez (circled in blue). Kennedy Ignoananike (in red) made a diagonal run through the backline showed above and, after cutting off, will be the target of Alvarez. He is kept onside by Sheanon Williams (22).

The Dynamo's high defensive line is shown clearly here. They used the offside trap for much of this game, and while it was good for the attack—which needed to throw numbers into the final third—it often did not work defensively because of their lack of discipline, organization, and speed. This is another example of it getting beat.

Igboananike receives the ball through from Alvarez, who, like five other Fire players, begins to sprint forward and join the attack. Jalil Anibaba (2, orange arrow) struggles to catch up to the speedy Nigerian, allowing him plenty of space to run into. Agus (4) is either pointing to the player behind Igboananike or campaigning for offside.

Gilberto (number four) is the only one running into the central channel. He's the one to watch.

Igboananike decides to leave it for right-back Rodrigo Ramos (red arrow). Ramos will bring it into the box.

Clark (13, circled in orange) is on his horse, trying to cut off the Brazilian before he can send in a cross. Anibaba is well behind him—despite what the picture indicates—and likely wouldn't be in a position to challenge Ramos should Clark allow him to go through. Gilberto is marked by David Horst in the middle.

Clark decides to make a hasty sliding challenge that misses by a few feet rather than hunker down, push him towards the byline and make sure he doesn't send in a cross. This is pretty bad defensive play by the veteran midfielder, and one that he will likely here about in the real film session with Owen Coyle.

That leaves Anibaba with a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of time to cover it.

With Clark essentially out of the play, Anibaba is left to go 1v1 with Ramos. The substitute left-back is too far off to immediately close him down, meaning Ramos has time to send in a ball without much pressure. If Anibaba had made more of an effort to get back and Clark hadn't dived in, this probably would not have happened.

Horst has his eye on Gilberto (9) in the six-yard box. He should be realizing the danger of the imminent cross and making sure to get goal-side on the Brazilian striker. At the current moment, he is not doing that.

The cross comes in. The 5'10" Gilberto signicantly out-jumps the 6'4" Horst.

He gets sufficient contact on the header and forces Tyler Deric into a really good save:

That's a great save from Deric. It shows his athleticism and shot-stopping talent, as well as his ability to get in on the Save of the Week discussion as much as possible.

Here's the full video of the goal:

What this instance is really about is the Dynamo's worrying lack of defensive organization. Their high line is easily broken with a couple of dribbles by a defensive midfielder and a light through-ball to a pushed-up right-back. There are mistakes all around here—from Clark's ill-fated slide tackle to Horst's lackadaisical marking—but the biggest thing to take from this is that Houston still have things to fix defensively.

They still have to fix things everywhere. I understand your frustration.