The Houston Dynamo tried to get a comeback win following a loss on the road against the Portland Timbers. This past weekend they had stiff competition with LAFC and were only able to muster up a draw. Despite not getting the total three points, the result felt earned, even with a bit of controversy by the visiting club from LA. There were positives, plenty of negatives for both sides, and in the end it’s a match you hope to grow from as you compete against the wealthier clubs. Yes, this could’ve been a game to steal points from a big market team, but the Dynamo largely didn’t do enough to convert their chances, which is where I’ll begin with my observations:
1) Houston didn’t capitalize on their set pieces which in a game with a slick field, a lot of sloppy play by both teams, can be the difference maker. The Dynamo did well to win plenty of corners and set pieces around the 18 yard box, but failed to make the most of them. Memo Rodríguez and others were over hitting their dead balls and Tyler Pasher seemed to under hit his too often. Apart from the service being an issue, I caught Oscar Boniek García being the man marking the goalkeeper on corner kicks. He is not necessarily the player, as a center back given his size, one that I’d want that up the field with that responsibility.
2) The LAFC goal to me really did seem offside. I’ve seen plenty of replays and to me it was, but I think the final score felt accurate in how both sides played. Obviously, I would’ve liked if the Dynamo took three points from a top club, but I just didn’t see either side doing enough to really deserve the win outright. It’s totally possible that’s a function of the slippery field that resulted in sloppy play by both sides, but neither looked clinical pushing forward. Possession was a mess; it just wasn’t a pretty game of soccer in general outside of those two minutes where goals were exchanged – but shout out to Fafà Picault for that service to Tyler Pasher.
3) Speaking of Pasher and Picault, the rapid response to going down a goal at home was incredible. The service as I said was spot on, and the run was too. This was lacking for far too long. The Dynamo opened the game too cautious with their movement and they did the same on the road against Portland. I’d like to see more risks taken pushing forward. Measured risks obviously, but more would help put pressure on opponents and pin them back. I’d rather see a talented offense oriented club like LAFC spend more time in their half than ours.
Clearly the Dynamo still have some room to grow, but I’d argue it’s been more promising than preseason predictions indicated. Hopefully Tab Ramos’s side continues to learn from mistakes and develop into an even more formidable opponent to those in MLS. This wasn’t a poor result, it just seemed that way as a home fixture.