The Houston Dynamo dropped their quarterfinal Leagues Cup match on penalty kicks to Club America on Wednesday night. The midweek match, in front of more then 20,000 fans predominantly dressed in yellow, was a good prelude for the Houston Dynamo. Here are the three key takeaways.
The club stayed healthy
The biggest concern with extra games like the Leagues Cup, Gold Cup, CONCACAF etc is being competitive and keeping your team healthy. Houston was able to achieve both against arguably the most successful soccer side on the continent. Memo Rodriguez played a strong 45 gaining valuable minutes following a troubling leg injury that kept him out of action more then a month. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera gave key players like Mauro Manotas, Tomas Martinez and Kiki Struna the night off meaning Saturday night’s match with Seattle should feature the best starting XI Houston has to offer.
The club scored late
One never knows what a goal in the the late junctures of a match will do for confidence and momentum. For Houston, the goal could not have come at a better time for a team that has scored just in the last 15 minutes of regulation and stoppage time combined. The game tying marker scored by your captain who also just happens to be one of the most storied players of American soccer is huge. Used sparingly this season, Damarcus Beasley ran onto a ball in the 85th minute and took a touch before leveling the match. Houston has had difficulty finishing this season causing Cabrera to address it following nearly every match for more then a month.
The club played in a sea of yellow
It was a home game on Wednesday night for the Houston Dynamo but one would never have known it as a sea of yellow filled the orange seats at BBVA Stadium. If one had just the audio of the game to go by, they would have thought Houston was the road team. Club America brought the fans, the excitement and the tension. With Seattle coming to town on Saturday and key road matches in the coming weeks including the Philadelphia Union on August 11th, Houston needed a scenario like this. Although maybe not as contentious as playing at LAFC or Portland, Houston showed well. Cabrera said it best: “It was a good game from our side. We were very disciplined, organized and the guys on the field battled.”