Houston Dynamo FC continued to progress this season under new Head Coach Paulo Nagamura as they got their first win on the road since 2020 in their 3-1 win over Inter Miami CF. The Dynamo currently sit in 7th place in the Western Conference and are unbeaten in their last three matches with two wins and a draw over 6th placed Colorado Rapids. Here are just a few of my thoughts about their win on the road at DRV PNK Stadium.
Race for the first goal
The first half and early portion of the second half really was back and forth with both the Dynamo and Miami exchanging quality chances to open things up. The Dynamo arguably had the better of the chances, but neither the Dynamo nor Miami have been tearing up the scoring this season and it showed a bit with the efforts failing to find the mark. Still wit h both teams playing relatively quickly and bypassing the midfield, it was an entertaining half after waiting as long as we all did due to the extremely lengthy weather delay. But the goals would come and the race for the first one opened things up more as the need to get back in the game create more desperation. Of course it started with the Dynamo leading goal scorer Darwin Quintero, the Scientist of Goals. Griffin Dorsey hit a cross into the box and Quintero headed it down into the net. After his early second half goal, the game completely opened up with Miami’s need to equalize pulling them more apart.
The aftermath of the first goal
The Dynamo did more damage after their 49th minute opener with Miami spread pretty thin. Less than 10 minutes later Quintero would draw a penalty by a poor play by Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman. Fafà Picault would step up to take it and cleanly beat the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Houston sat a little deeper on their lead and the pressure on the defense was felt after Steve Clark made a rare error and conceded a penalty which Gonzalo Higuaín converted. However, as the minutes came closer to 90, Miami was more desperate to get the equalizer and Picault took advantage of a back line stretched thin and put the nail in the coffin with his stoppage time goal. The back and forth nature of the goals really represented how this game ebbed and flowed and highlighted the importance of that first one to help open things up for the winning team.
The progress of the team
It’s important to put this win in context. Winning on the road in Major League Soccer, even over teams ranked low in the standings, isn’t a guarantee. Dynamo fans know how important winning at home can be and taking points on the road is huge. The direction the front office and Paulo Nagamura have taken have clearly been one that has helped gain stability first and now growth with their first win away from PNC Stadiun in what has felt like forever. Unbeaten in their last three with two winnable games at home before going away to FC Dallas, it’s an exciting stretch and a good measure to see how the club is growing and improving.