Houston Dynamo FC hoped to follow up their midweek win against Sporting Kansas City in their trip to Commerce City, Colorado to take on the Colorado Rapids. Unfortunately a few first half mistakes and a lack of adjusting tactically led to a 3-1 loss for the Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
With Head Coach Tab Ramos missing out after getting sent off against Sporting Kansas City, it was up to Omid Namazi to step up and help lead the team from the touchline. The Dynamo shuffled a lot of players in this game as it was their third game since last Saturday and the Dynamo deployed a more defensive shape in a 5-2-3. As a result, the early minutes had the Dynamo stuck behind the ball with Colorado taking advantage of the space in the midfield to control possession. Still, in those minutes the Dynamo were more than up to the task to prevent quality opportunities.
In the 10th minute the Rapids had the first real chance of the game. Darwin Cerén gave up the ball in the middle of the field and that allowed a counter attack from the home side. Diego Rubio had an attacking player to his right, but he opted for the shot which was easily saved by the Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Marić.
Not long later on a set piece, Marić got big again to keep the game level. A ball was sent in by Jack Price to the box and Cole Bassett got a head on it forcing a difficult reaction save by Marić.
The Dynamo tried to respond on the counter attack before the 18th minute. A great ball unleashed Memo Rodríguez behind the Rapids’ back line. Instead of trying his luck, he squared the ball across hoping to pick out Nico Lemoine. However, the two were not on the same page and the play was quickly cut out.
In the 26th minute Adam Lunkvist tried to score a worldie. A cross was cleared by the Rapids’ back line and it fell to the left back. He took his space and measured a well struck ball, but unfortunately, it was hit right to Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough.
The Rapids did get the opening goal a couple of minutes later. Yarbrough played a ball to Michael Barrios who got free down the right side. Instead of squaring the ball across goal or crossing it in, Barrios cut it back towards the middle of the box. A trailing run by Sam Vines made it 1-0 to the home side.
The Dynamo would surrender another goal before the 37th minute. Michael Barrios sent in a perfect cross to Diego Rubio who wasn’t well marked by Alejandro Fuenmayor. Rubio got a head on it and put it passed Marko Marić.
Houston responded well three minutes later to come back within a goal. Adam Lundkvist switched play to Christian Ramirez. Ramirez took a touch and then put his laces through the ball. Ramirez nutmegged his defender and slotted the ball into the back post.
However, an error by goalkeeper Marko Marić put the Rapids back up before halftime. Marić received a back pass, got his head down, and tried to clear the ball, only it was blocked into the net by Cole Bassett.
The Dynamo were awarded a free kick in a good spot early into the second half. However, despite getting the opportunity to pull a goal back, Adam Lundkvist’s cross went over everyone and went out for a goal kick.
After making four substitutions at once, the Dynamo looked to get Fafà Picault free on the left side of the field. After doing well to keep the ball in play, Picault tried to pick out an attacking player inside the 18 yard box. Eventually the ball would get to Maxi Urruti who tried his luck, but it wasn’t hit with enough power to threaten Yarbrough.
As the game went on, the Dynamo increased their pressing to some success against the Rapids. However, because they hadn’t adjusted their shape by taking off a center back, the Dynamo had a numbers advantage behind the ball, but not going forward which allowed Colorado to control the midfield and pass their way out of any press by Houston.
The Dynamo did adjust to a back four going into the 80th minute which allowed them to increase their numbers in the midfield to increase their possession and ability to transition the ball up to the forwards. However, their passing really suffered during this stretch as Houston often gifted Colorado the ball before the Dynamo had a chance to look dangerous.
Despite a late push, the final whistle would blow and the Rapids would win 3-1. The errors in the first half were too costly and dug a hole for the Dynamo too deep for them to dig out of. Then they didn’t adjust their shape quickly enough to improve possession higher up the field. By keeping so many players in deeper lying positions with Colorado up two goals, it allowed for the Rapids to win possession and quickly transition the ball into our half of the field.
Next up for the Dynamo is the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday May 22nd back at BBVA Stadium at 8:00 PM CT.
29’ COL: Sam Vines (assisted by Michael Barrios)
36’ COL: Diego Rubio (assisted by Michael Barrios)
39’ HOU: Christian Ramirez (assisted by Adam Lunkvist)
42’ COL: Cole Bassett
67’ HOU: Joe Corona (yellow card)
85’ COL: Nicolás Mexquida (yellow card)
86’ HOU: Maynor Figueroa (yellow card)
Houston Dynamo (5-2-3): Marko Marić; Adam Lundkvist (79’ Oscar Boniek García), Maynor Figueroa , Tim Parker, Alejandro Fuenmayor, José Bizama; Darwin Cerén, Derrick Jones (60’ Joe Corona); Memo Rodríguez (60’ Fafà Picault), Christian Ramirez (60’ Maxi Urruti), Nico Lemoine (60’ Mateo Bajamich)
Colorado Rapids (4-2-3-1): William Yarbrough; Sam Vines, Auston Trusty, Danny Wilson, Keegan Rosenberry; Jack Price (90’ Oliver Larraz), Kellyn Acosta; Michael Barrios (73’ Nicolás Mexquida), Cole Bassett, Andre Shinyashiki (69’ Nicolas Benezet), Diego Rubio