A stoppage time equalizer by Luciano Acosta saw the Houston Dynamo cough up two points on the road. The Dynamo had led 2-0 going into halftime, but D. C. United was able to stay in it and get a point at home.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The biggest question coming into this game for me was have the Dynamo learned their lesson from 2017’s poor road form which only won once on the road (against DC) and the answer so far is not yet. This Dynamo team was not built to sit deep and invite pressure from opponents and D.C. United had lots of opportunities to score especially down the last stretch of the game. A better strategy would have been to possess the ball and make DC chase the game, but we were turning the ball over too often for that to be successful. That seems to be an obtainable goal, but we also could have played our brand of constantly attacking which would have made it more difficult for DC to push players up the field without the worry of a counter. I think this team can be good on the road, and this is a sample size of just one game, but one has to think this team deserved three points which could prove costly in this conference.
2) Alberth Elis MVP? Maybe not yet, but he’s playing incredibly well at the moment scoring two goals in three games which is good enough for fifth in the league and he has three assists over that span too good enough for third in the league. What’s more incredible is that he’s nearly totaled his total of assists from last year of four and we’ve only played three games. In a game where the outcome was disappointing, Elis was a very big bright spot. He fought hard and was alert to make plays out of nowhere where he punished DC’s back line. My only criticism is that if he wants to be a MVP candidate he needs to bury a shot like the one he had in the 68th minute which would have made the score 3-1 to Houston.
3) The defense did not look alert. A big reason for this is because of how much Houston sat back on their lead (which is a big problem and shares similarity to 2017’s road form) which let DC continue to generate chance after chance until they broke through. That being said, the defense was a mess on Darren Mattock’s goal which brought the score within one. Kevin Garcia was out of position and Adolfo Machado and Leonardo were not on the same page about who should step to which player. It was too easy for Mattocks.
4) As I said above, this is just one game and this team is more than capable of playing up to their standards away from BBVA Compass Stadium. Let’s hope they can learn from this draw and get better. The club has some time before their next road game when they travel to Red Bull Arena, so I hope they can grow their confidence by then.