The Houston Dynamo put in a dominant performance in their first road game of the 2019 season. Houston has typically struggled away from BBVA Compass Stadium and has not had a good record in Colorado, but everything appeared to be clicking for the Dynamo as they cruised to a 4-1 win.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) The Dynamo looked balanced in their offense and in their defense and that’s something that we don’t often see on the road or any time the Dynamo go up a goal early. I credit the players and Wilmer Cabrera for the strategy of getting back to cover, but also continuing to push for more when the opportunity presented itself. Obviously scoring four goals showed the offense clicking, but apart from a silly penalty to give away, the defense looked very good. The Rapids fired off 20 total shots which is double the number Houston got off with just 5 on target. Joe Willis was able to come away with 6 saves, but obviously the Dynamo defenders did well to force tough shots.
2) One of the reasons the Dynamo played as well as they did, as Eddie Robinson pointed out on air, was due to Colorado’s style of play and formation. Though the diamond 4-4-2 is probably my favorite formation of all time, keeping defenders back these days means attackers don’t have to play as much defense. That allows Memo Rodríguez, Alberth Elis, and Mauro Manotas to not have to drop back often leaving them in position for one of Houston’s staples: counter attacking. Furthermore, playing a narrow diamond midfield gives space to players out wide – like Elis – and that was devastating for the home side.
3) Alberth Elis was just too much for the Rapids back line. He forced two own goals, assisted to Memo, and bagged one himself which saw him earn a Team of the Week nod. He’s also been involved in seven of the last Dynamo goals including the four from this match. It’s been a great start to 2019 for Elis.
4) Four games in and the Dynamo are off to their best start in the franchise’s history with 10 points and 3rd in the Western Conference. The defense has looked improved and is only allowing 1.25 goals per game while the offense is among the best in the league in goals finished. So that begs the question: are the Dynamo contenders this year? Whether their level of play continues throughout the season, right now they look like a much better team so far than the side that missed the playoffs.