“Ok, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row’. And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak’... It has happened before.”
Things haven’t been easy for the Houston Dynamo the past few seasons. The above is either something head coach Tab Ramos said in the locker room this week, or a quote from the 1994 film Major League II. (It’s from the movie.) The Cleveland Indians team in the movie begins to learn what it’s like to win again and their manager has to remind them how to quantify success. After a win at Sporting Kansas City and at home against Minnesota United, the Dynamo look to put together a ‘winning streak’ when SKC comes to BBVA Stadium.
Can Houston put together that elusive winning streak? Here are three things to watch.
Welcome to Houston, Ariel
New signing Ariel Lassiter made his Dynamo debut Wednesday night and what a first impression it was. Lassiter came on in the 55th minute, scored in the 65th minute, and scored in the 70th minute. With Houston in the midst of a crowded schedule of fixtures, Lassiter could get his first start tonight. The Costa Rican international showed he knows how to find the net and he worked very well with the Dynamo attackers, mainly Alberth Elis who assisted both of his goals.
Patience pays off
It seems like the Dynamo were still finding themselves under Ramos during the tournament in Orlando and they are now starting to grasp the tactics and are beginning to turn the corner. It’s great for all Dynamo fans to see what Tab is building and incredibly entertaining when this team turns on the style. Defender Zarek Valentin spoke this week about the team’s confidence.
“At this point, we are definitely feeling confident in our game,” Valentin said. ‘We didn’t get as many results as we wanted in Orlando and leading up to Orlando with a tie and a loss, a pretty bad loss away to Kansas City. We weren’t too happy with that, but ultimately, we did trust the process. If I might take that saying from my buddy Joel Embiid from the 76ers, but I think that we knew that we were moving in the right direction. The pieces were slowly coming together and that we were working toward that success, our style of play and really implementing that. I think we have shown what we were capable of in the last two, three four matches. I think you are only as good as your last game. So, we can go and have these great performances, but if we get a loss against Kansas City we might have to then, look at the tape and see where we can get better. I definitely think confidence is high amongst the group, but we understand that we are going to play a very talented team, that did beat us earlier this year and they beat us pretty bad, we still remember that. So, it is a matter of being cognizant about the past and ultimately, worrying about ourselves more than them.”
Winning at Home
It’s been a season unlike any other in 2020 but even without fans, the Dynamo are showing that BBVA Stadium can still be a tough place to play. Houston’s last loss at home was August 3 of 2019. This team’s ins’t quite the side that put together a MLS record home win streak back in the early days of BBVA, but they are beginning to show promise. Being a dominant team on your home pitch, and mixing in road points, will get you in the MLS playoffs and make you a contender.