The winless streak continues for the Houston Dynamo who have failed to win a league game in 9 matches with the latest loss coming last night to the New York Red Bulls. The 0-1 loss on the road at Red Bull Arena showed a lot about how each manager approached this game with both having eyes on future fixtures. This tested the Dynamo depth which was unable to find the back of the net to equalize the game.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) Wilmer Cabrera’s starting lineup shows that he clearly has eyes on the Texas Derby this Saturday. I know we need to start picking up points and to do that we need the strongest possible XI every night, but the reality is the playoffs are all but out of the picture. Priorities should have shifted to the US Open Cup Final and winning the Texas Derby. There are plenty of other issues to take away from this game, but to me the starting lineup is less of a concern.
2) Cabrera was not the only manager to field a starting XI with several key players missing as Chris Armas also stashed some of his better players on the bench. The difference was his role players came out with a lot of energy and attacked relentlessly looking for an opening. They essentially pinned the Dynamo in their own half of the field for huge stretches as they fired off chance after chance. The Dynamo defense didn’t crack until the 55th minute and then we finally saw the team wake up when Cabrera put on some of the first team players.
3) The lone goal of the game, scored by Brian White, began as 5 Red Bull players attacked against 5 Dynamo defenders. Some of the defenders were not in position before the ball was played wide to Michael Murillo. Murillo quickly played a ball intended for White, but it was cut out by Adolfo Machado who had to stretch to keep the ball from going to its original target. Unfortunately, Alex Muyl would slide to keep the ball in play which saw the ball somehow find its way to White who tapped it in. It was bizarre and all happened very quickly, but the effort showed by each of those players highlights the difference between RBNY’s and the Dynamo’s approach to the game. They had been knocking on the door all night, and they fought hard to keep the ball in play and get the game’s only goal.
4) I think one of the most disturbing part of the Dynamo winless streak is how ineffective the offense has been. To the offense’s credit, it isn’t all on them per say. The tactics utilized have not supported those players as often as they had. Not since their win over Minnesota United FC have they scored more than a single goal in a game. Instead they have tried to defend 1-0 leads to ill effect or they have tried to steal games on the road by playing more conservatively, hoping for a goal to come on the counter. The Dynamo began the year with one of the best offenses in the league, but that has slipped as they have attempted to over manage games. This Dynamo team is not built for a Mourinho style 1-0 grind out win and it’s showing throughout this winless streak.