The Houston Dynamo notched just their second win of the season, but it was their second win in a row. Tab Ramos put together the club’s first winning streak of 2020 and he seems to have gotten the pieces to fit following a fun and great performance against Minnesota United FC. Here are a few of my initial takeaways from the game:
1 – That opening search for a goal required changing tactics. Early into the game the Houston Dynamo utilized a high press while Minnesota United sat back and absorbed the pressure. The speed of the Dynamo gives them an advantage when they have space in front of them and with Minnesota in a defensive shape Houston struggled to get quality shots. The Dynamo adjusted well to sit a little deeper which helped them save their legs, but it also pushed Minnesota’s defenders into a higher position giving the Dynamo room to run.
2 – Managing the game was A+ from Tab. It was a great lineup with Niko Hansen having a strong game against SKC starting over Alberth Elis. Elis was available and helped increase the lead with two assists. Getting the early second half subs of Ariel Lassiter and Elis helped push the tempo and pressure on Minnesota. As the lead increased Minnesota had to commit some numbers higher up, but instead of parking the bus and allowing Minnesota to rack up their chances on goal, Houston possessed well out of the back which kept the Loons chasing the game. There were some sloppy passes that led to chances for Minnesota, but the defense was there to make up for their mistakes. The Dynamo never stopped going for it, which took some pressure off their back line with defenders not becoming as involved in the offense.
3 – Lassiter with a dream debut. Some people will say that tap-ins are easy, and they are easy to shoot sure, but getting into the right place at the right time and being on the same page with your teammates is not. It was a great finish and then great chemistry with Elis to complete his brace.
4 – It was a good sign that the team managed the game well, but also that they kept the clean sheet. Marko Marić didn’t have much to do, but he had a great punch out on one cross and he had reaction save in the first half. In general you don’t want your goalkeeper to do much so that’s a sign that the team was eliminating the danger before it got to the last line of defense. The Dynamo have cleaned things up over the last few games which is good after giving up 11 goals in their first 5 games.
5 – This team is fun to watch again. No more sitting back for 45 minutes and letting leads slip away, they genuinely seem to be having fun terrorizing defenses late in games and that is a welcome sight. Tab seems to have found a winning game plan with the team getting back-to-back wins and getting them in fun fashion. Darwin Quintero has been a needed spark, but everyone seems to be getting involved on the offense which is great to see.