The last few installments of Dynamo Film Session haven't been the brightest for Dynamo fans. Going back and analyzing the time when the Dynamo gave away a crucial late goal against the Sounders or that game when they decided not to play defense against LA probably didn't lift your spirits. But even in this dreary time in Dynamo Land, we'll look at the good with this team this week.
Here's a look at what happened on that Leonel Miranda goal:
The play starts with Giles Barnes (circled in orange) controlling the ball:
The complete lack of numbers in attack sums up the Dynamo over the last two games. Outside of Barnes, only two other players are even close to the final third, and while it makes sense that they would go more defensive in the second half on the road against a Supporters' Shield contender, given their recent results, they would be expected to make more of an effort on the attacking end.
In that way, this instance reflects many others from games in Utah and Ohio.
The three lone attackers enter against a solid four-man backline and two midfielders tracking back. Andrew Wenger (near side) sees an opening at the back-post. Barnes notices it too.
The cross from Giles is slightly short, but after a couple bounces it reaches a wide open Wenger, who will be closed down quickly by a defender. That takes away his chances of a bad angle shot, meaning he really only has one option: a square pass to Ricardo Clark, the only other Dynamo player within three miles of the eighteen-yard box.
The problem with that is that Clark is pretty tightly marked, and likely wouldn't have time to turn and find space for a threatening shot on target. But this is still a good situation for the Dynamo. Any time they have a recycled ball in the box with someone this wide open it's a legitimate goal-scoring opportunity.
Miranda makes the pass across to Clark, who is immediately double-teamed. He turns and sets up for a weak-footed shot from bad angle while falling away from the goal, a low-percentage shot that won't trouble Nick Rimando very much.
Any time you get a shot on goal, it can be good, even if it isn't a very good one. The struggle for the Dynamo is getting more shots that actually will cause trouble.
The shot goes straight to Rimando, who has trouble controlling it. The most likely reason would be that he saw it late and was unable to be prepared to catch it, but whatever the reason, he is able to turn the rebound away from danger the best he can, avoiding anything disastrous for Real Salt Lake.
Sheanon Williams (circled in orange) had joined the attack and is heavily pressing Rimando, searching for any scraps that come of Clark's shot. He will be the player who gets to the rebound first.
Notice how many players the Dynamo have in the box by now. They're not exactly in all-out attack mode, but they're beginning to put more pressure on the RSL backline.
Williams takes a couple touches and finds Barnes, who, after taking a second to look over things, taps it to Leonel Miranda (circled). The Argentine winger is in a better position to either pick out a pass or send in a cross.
Boniek Garcia is at the top of the box as another option, should Miranda decide to take it.
Miranda opts for the long shot, seeing the lack of options in the box and elsewhere. It's hard to blame him, as he really didn't have many other alternatives.
His shot would take a significant deflection off a defender and skip past Rimando, who was left with no chance. It was an opportunistic and, frankly, lucky shot, but it shows what can happen with sustained pressure in the box.
While the Dynamo have struggled with the balance between a good defense and a consistent attack this season, they got better at it against Real Salt Lake. More plays like the one showed above would be huge for Houston.