The Houston Dynamo claimed their sixth win of the season out of eight games total which has them positioned for third place in the Western Conference with games in hand. This victory was especially satisfying since it came over I-45 rivals, FC Dallas. The game saw Houston largely in control, but ended in a close 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) For most of the first half, the Dynamo looked like the stronger side with more meaningful possession and FC Dallas tended to sit back daring Houston to break them down. Tactically, that’s been very effective against the Dynamo and the home side found it difficult to find space to run which is their strong suit. However, after Alberth Elis drew a penalty and Mauro Manotas converted it, the game began to open up – especially in the second half. With Dallas sitting not as deep as earlier that made room for the Dynamo to do what they do best: counter attack which resulted in a fantastic team goal to double Houston’s lead.
2) For a derby game, the atmosphere wasn’t what it has been in previous games and I don’t mean the fans. The fans as usual were great. I just found it odd that the away supporters were allowed to sit directly under the roof with their instruments which magnified the sound so much that at times it was louder than our own supporters. The club has also participated in assisting with tifos to great effect, notably the Thanos tifo. This time, our own supporters had to unveil it and it wasn’t timed as well. Overall, I think the experience fell short of being a great derby match from an atmosphere perspective, but three points is still three points.
3) I thought Wilmer Cabrera did not manage this game as well as he could have or as well as he did against Columbus Crew SC. He took off Mauro Manotas in the 73’ minute which was far too early. I thought the move was too soon to take off the club’s best center forward who was also going on a hat trick. With 17 minutes plus stoppage time left, FC Dallas had plenty of time to get a goal back and take control of the game. Fortunately, Dallas only got one back late, but they nearly equalized in extra time. I thought Oscar Boniek García should have come off earlier as well as he was on a yellow from the first half and led all players in fouls.
4) Overall it’s hard to complain with getting all three points and sitting third in the Western Conference with games in hand. The Dynamo have had a relatively soft schedule so far with a front loaded home schedule, but continue to get results regardless – although that schedule looks a little tougher when factoring in the double game weeks thanks to Champions League. The Dynamo will face a big challenge next weekend when they visit the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Sounders. A draw or win there should be a good indicator of how good this team is.