The Houston Dynamo wrapped up their third game in eight days with three points despite losing Alberth Elis to injury. The visiting D.C. United got on the board first, but goals from Memo Rodríguez and Tommy McNamara lifted the Dynamo to victory.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) For most of the early stages of each half, the visiting side looked like the stronger team as D.C. United were able to control possession more effectively, create more dangerous chances, and limit the Dynamo’s offense from getting going. Part of that in no doubt was due to the loss of Alberth Elis, but the Dynamo would play their way back into the game which showed their resilience – especially after the Wayne Rooney goal – against a top club in the Eastern Conference.
2) With Alberth Elis’s status up in the air following a head injury, it’s encouraging to know that Romell Quioto has returned and players like Memo Rodríguez and Tommy McNamara are contributing in big ways. Dustyn Richardson did a great break down of Tommy Mac’s game winner, but Memo’s goal was also pretty special. Memo did well to receive the ball, cut inside to open up the goal, and create the space necessary to perfectly place a shot through traffic. It’s not clear at this time if Elis will be sidelined or for how long, but production from these players will be key to weathering the loss of one of Houston’s stars.
3) I’ve been critical of how Wilmer Cabrera has managed games out in the past, but I do think he has gotten better this season even if we still see some of his conservative tendencies peek out at poor times. I thought the Seattle game lacked urgency and the Portland one we sat too deep on our lead, but this was much better. He showed some restraint in sitting deep and he allowed his players to be hungry and go for more goals. Late in the game we did see the Dynamo sit deeper, but it was at the very end of the game, not for 45 minutes.
4) The Houston Dynamo currently sit in 3rd place in the Western Conference and have a few games in hand as well. They’re schedule hasn’t been the most difficult with a heavy home slate of games, but they are getting positive results. They’ll still need to find ways to win or draw games away from BBVA and they may have to do it without their star in Elis, but if they can it will signal to the league to take this club seriously.