It was Davy Arnaud’s interim head coaching debut for the Houston Dynamo following the sudden departure of Wilmer Cabrera. While the four game losing streak came to an end with Houston hosting the Rapids, the Dynamo were unable to get all three points. Despite controlling things for most of the match, Houston was forced to chase the Rapids in goals, but thanks to some Mauro magic they secured a draw.
Quick Thoughts about the Game:
1) It was a difficult night for Davy Arnaud’s first game at the helm. Mistakes proved costly with Maynor Figueroa (whom many believed to be suspended due to yellow card accumulation, but was eligible to play) struggling the most. Colorado’s first goal showed Figueroa caught out of position on Diego Rubio, and then his poor giveaway helped Rubio slot away his second. The Dynamo actually responded to both goals pretty well as they increased their possession in Colorado’s half of the field, but we saw some of the same problems as the Cabrera-led side and that is the difficulty in breaking teams down when they sit back on a lead.
2) It’s impossible to talk about this game and not mention how good Mauro Manotas has been. He’s shown that he’s great at doing the job by himself, but he’s also grown in a short time by playing with another center forward in Christian Ramirez. His first goal could have been a cool low finish to beat Clint Irwin, but instead he smashed it into the net showing his level of confidence. His second was a well taken tap in with his weaker left foot. Both goals came after good runs down the left side of the field as well.
3) Wilmer Cabrera’s game management style has often been criticized, so it was interesting to see how Arnaud would adjust at halftime with his side down a pair of goals. While he didn’t change things out of the gate due to the Dynamo – though down due to mistakes –largely controlling the possession and chances. Still, we did see some adjustments like bringing on Christian Ramirez pretty early into the half. Tactically, though the Dynamo controlled the game, as mentioned above they struggled to break down the deeper sitting Rapids. It was interesting to see the Dynamo actually surrender some of the midfield in order to create space to counter attack. It worked well and having Ramirez on helped give the appearance of a front four with two center forwards – one that led the line and one that could check back.
4) Overall it was a good start for Davy Arnaud. He can’t be blamed for a poor giveaway and we saw the adjustments work well even though the team looked in control. He recognized what wasn’t working and made the changes to get his team back in the game. It will be interesting to see how he continues and what he will do with players like Romell Quioto once they rejoin the squad.