The Houston Dynamo drew the San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 in their second road game of the season. A goal by the Quakes in the 85th minute saw the Dynamo drop points as the team has failed to collect three points since the opening day of the season.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The Houston Dynamo defensive line that has been hit by a lot of injuries and a suspension was tested. Andrew Wenger at left back showed fairly well and I think deploying him at right back over Adolfo Machado will be a better option when DaMarcus Beasley returns. Alejandro Fuenmayor still doesn’t look completely comfortable, though he did lead all players in intercepted passes with 7. The goals allowed were not particularly easy to defend, so credit to a makeshift back line for making things difficult even though the Dynamo coughed up another lead.
2) We finally got to see the attacking trio of Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis with Tomás Martínez behind them and I’d say the results were mixed. Martínez really needs a better defensive midfield pairing and defensive line so he can commit 99% of what he does to offense in the same way Alex Lima played last season. When Martínez did this against the Quakes, we saw him open up chances for himself and for others – he also netted a great goal by being in the right place at the right time. Elis made some great runs, got in on goal, got an assist, but his 1v1 finishing this year and his longer build up to strike the ball inside the 18 yard box needs to improve.
3) This team needs Juan David Cabezas back. The spine of this team with Darwin Cerén and Eric Alexander works okay, but Alexander can wander a little too far out of position when his primary commitments should be to supporting the defense and distributing to Martínez or the players out wide. Alexander does a lot of things right, but to get the most out of this team I think it needs Cabezas and Cerén in the defensive midfield to let Martínez run free.
4) Is it too early to panic? The Dynamo’s last win was the first game of the season on March 3rd. It’s now April 17th and many of the teams they’ve faced haven’t been among the upper echelon in terms of quality (sorry DC). I understand losing Cabezas hurt. Not having a reliable right back (maybe Wenger’s can help there) is also a problem. We’ve been hit by more injuries along the back line. But our strikers are missing 1v1 chances, we’re coughing up leads, and getting burned on counter attacks. I don’t think this team is necessarily broken, but it’s not getting it done at the moment.