The season is over and the final game of the 2018 campaign for the Houston Dynamo ended on a high note as they were able to put together a comeback after going down 2 goals in the first half on the road against the LA Galaxy. The second half saw the Dynamo get more space with LA sitting slightly deeper, a tendency of current Galaxy head coach and former Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear , and were able to take advantage of a poor LA defense.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) Joe Willis was huge in goal against the Galaxy and really he has been all season. He overtook Chris Seitz for the position and never looked back. Tyler Deric had begun to get starts in goal, but only after the Dynamo failed to earn their spot in the postseason. Willis managed 5 saves total and caught 4 crosses and kept the Dynamo in the game like he has for much of the season. Mauro Manotas may have had a breakout season, but there’s a lot to say about Willis’s performance this year as well.
2) Speaking of Manotas, he was one of the main reasons the Dynamo were able to get their 2nd win on the road. Romell Quioto got things started with his goal, but Manotas stepped up to the penalty spot to equalize it and then made a great run to give Houston the lead. He’s been outstanding this season setting the franchise record for scoring in a single year and he’s still just 23. He nearly completed a hat-trick too which would have brought his scoring tally this year to 20 goals, but he was ruled offside.
3) For some reason the Dynamo, at least in the latter part of the year, have played better when they go down a goal or two. Teams that take leads typically take fewer risks going forward and if Houston is behind they commit numbers higher up to get goals back. This works well against teams with poor back lines like the LA Galaxy who have a bottom 5 defense in terms of goals allowed. Against teams like the Seattle Sounders, it’s very difficult. We saw the chances add up in those games and the chances added up, but they weren’t quality looks. Houston needs to find ways to be hungry out of the gate, and not just at home.
4) The 2018 season has seen more downs than ups. Winning the US Open Cup is great and all, but missing out on the playoffs a year after making the Western Conference Finals is a big letdown. The small victories like denying a rival in the LA Galaxy their opportunity to make the playoffs in front of their fans on the final game of the season was satisfying. Oh and, you’re welcome Real Salt Lake.