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Dynamo show glimpses in Barrett's home MLS debut

The defense was compact and the maintained the shutout. Now the Dynamo have to figure out how to consistently find the back of the net.

Wade Barrett made his official debut as interim head coach of the Dynamo Saturday night against DC United at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Wade Barrett made his official debut as interim head coach of the Dynamo Saturday night against DC United at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid came up big on the last play of the match, denying the Dynamo a goal on a point-blank header from a corner kick that would have one the match. Instead, the Dynamo settled for the 0-0 draw on Wade Barrett's first official match as interim head coach.

Before the match, Barrett – former team captain during the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup winning squads – was greeted by the home crowd with a standing ovation.

Once the match started, you immediately saw a resemblance of the squads that made the Dynamo so successful in their first eight years in Houston – a team that played selfless, was compact on defense, and had a physical presence about them.

Perhaps, Barrett – in his first couple of weeks at the helm since he took over for Owen Coyle – has already begun to rub off on this Dynamo squad.

"I've asked the guys to be tough to play against," Barrett said after the match. "I've asked the guys to limit chances. I've asked them to make it so that every team that comes in here knows it's a battle from minute one to minute 90 – whatever it's gonna be. We kept the shutout tonight, I'm proud about that."

Granted, this Dynamo team has a different make-up than the ones the roamed the pitch at Robertson Stadium. There's no Brian Ching, Craig Waibel, or Eddie Robinson to walk out of the tunnel at BBVA Compass Stadium – guys who lived for physical play. But Barrett believes the personnel he has play at another level for his style of soccer to succeed.

"With this group right here, with everyone that's in a Dynamo shirt right now, I want us to raise our standard of performance."

It's a style that his rival, DC United coach Ben Olsen, is all too familiar with. Olsen, also a former captain for United and former foe of Barrett, also went through the transition of player to coach. And he's all to familiar with the the physical, in-your-face soccer that Barrett hopes to bring back to Houston.

"I think that's the common theme here, coming into this building," Olsen spoke after the match. "It's always a game that you have to be a grown man to play in. They're in your face, they're physical; that what I've always admired about this organization."

For the Dynamo, who sit in last place in the Western Conference, it's a steep climb back into playoff contention. Getting points are a premium for them, and starts not just with getting results on the road, but getting wins at home.

"Getting points is the big thing," Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley said. "It's unlucky that we didn't get three tonight, we had a lot of chances – a lot of good chances.

"It's still coming. It's still young with Wade, but we're gonna get there."