The Houston Dynamo followed up their 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers with a 0-0 draw on the road against Orlando City SC. The Dynamo appeared to take the lead thanks to a Romell Quioto goal, but VAR overturned the goal and said that goalkeeper Adam Grinwis had possession of the ball before Quioto had stolen the ball.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) With the Houston Dynamo playing in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final this Wednesday, I would have thought Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera would have rested players for this game, but instead he fielded arguably his strongest starting XI. The move to field such a strong squad could be seen as a tune-up match in preparation of the Open Cup Final, but the tactics did not look the part. Against Portland we saw the fast paced and pressuring team that is capable of putting the ball in the net often, but on the road against Orlando City, we reverted to the same conservative tactics that don’t yield positive results. What we did see was huge space in the midfield which stranded the forwards and gave possession to the home side. For a tune-up match, this should be a little alarming. The strategy was too safe and led to lots of passes backwards whenever we had possession.
2) Since we conceded so much space in the midfield, Orlando gained possession and was quick to use it to go at our defense to try and take the lead. This put a lot of pressure on our goalkeeper Joe Willis who bailed the team out often with his four saves.
3) On the other end of the ball, it was nice to see an energized Romell Quioto. His goal may have been called back, but he was constantly harassing defenders by drawing fouls in good spots and getting behind. If he had more support throughout the game, he and Alberth Elis could have feasted against a defense that has let in more goals than any other team in the league.
4) Looking ahead, it’s good to know that we’re hosting the Open Cup Final because our road performances have not been good this season.